If you’ve not heard of Scotland Week, then possibly you know of Tartan Day? It’s April 6th each year – marking Scotland’s Declaration of Independence in 1307. And, since 1998, Tartan Day has been recognized by the U.S. Senate as an official celebration of the contribution of American-Scots to U.S. culture and life. Over the past 10 years we’ve seen Scotland-focused activity around Tartan Day grow into a week-long program to promote Scotland in North America.
Ahead of this year’s Adventure Travel World Summit slated for October 4-7, increased promotional activity between the U.S., Scotland and the ATTA is helping to draw attention to a destination that is staking its claim to adventure tourism.
Week of March 15th – Adventure Tourism Stakeholders Workshop
For the week of March 15-19, the ATTA’s President Shannon Stowell is visiting the site of the 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in Aviemore, Scotland, to address a broad cross-section of tourism stakeholders at the Adventure Tourism Stakeholders Workshop, which will focus on the sustainable tourism growth opportunity for Scotland. Organized by The Tourism Innovation Group, the Stakeholders meeting’s aim is to help the host destination capture and build on the opportunities presented by the ATTA’s Adventure Travel World Summit in Aviemore. VisitScotland, Cairngorms National Park, Aviemore & Cairngorm Destination Management, Wilderness Scotland and others were directly involved in helping to bring the annual event to Scotland and will be involved in the Workshop, the aims of which include:
1. exploring the scope of the adventure tourism opportunity for Scotland (i.e., What does adventure tourism growth mean for Scotland?)
2. looking at ways in which a legacy can be built around Adventure Travel World Summit;
3. identifying how the Scottish tourism industry can best be engaged in the process, across the supply chain;
4. identifying the developments/improvements required to maximize economic opportunities; and
5. discussing the need for a formal strategy for the development of adventure tourism in Scotland
Scottish tourism stakeholders believe that if they are effectively able to raise the energy levels around adventure tourism, clearly demonstrate the potential that exists and chart a way forward, then substantive growth for Scotland in this market is very possible.
Visit Scotland Makes Itself Known in North America – Scotland Week
Visit Scotland, the tourism board of Scotland, also is driving Scotland Week (this year it’s 3-10th April), with Tartan Day as usual on the 6th April. Each year, a number of Ministers from Scotland’s Government travel to the U.S. to support Scotland Week and VisitScotland works to develop their schedule of trade and media appointments. This year, Michael Russell, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Education & Lifelong Learning Minister, will travel from Toronto to Vancouver and onwards to San Francisco, where he will host a special reception on April 8th, then meet with media and regional dignitaries on April 9th, including a meeting with the ATTA’s Vice President Chris Doyle, to address:
- Scotland hosting the 2010 ATWS in Aviemore, including the PreSummit Adventures and Day of Adventure excursions planned for Summit delegates,
- reviewing the cultural and heritage aspects of Scotland, plus the overall importance of adventure travel for Scotland,
- Scotland’s positioning as ‘Europe’s Adventure Capital’ and as an ‘adventure events destination’, with Scotland having served as host to recent world class surfing events and Mountain Biking Championships,
- Scotland’s recent rating by the International Mountain Biking Association as the best place in the globe to ride, and
- the country’s recent financial investment for infrastructure to support the Great Glens Canoe trail.
With nearly 100 delegates already registered for the 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit (with its target being 600 executives for the four-day trade-only conference), three prior ATTA staff visits to Scotland in the past six months – plus Stowell’s visit the week of March 15th, and the flurry of activity ahead of this year’s global gathering of adventure travel industry professionals, Scotland is well on its way to drawing attention to itself as a compelling European adventure tourism destination.