The incredible pictures selling Scotland to the world

Luskentyre beach is one of the most popular images shared by VisitScotland. Picture: Mo Thomson
Luskentyre beach is one of the most popular images shared by VisitScotland. Picture: Mo Thomson
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They represent the very best of what Scotland has to offer visitors in terms of natural beauty and historic buildings.

VisitScotland, the country’s national toursim agency, has revealed the pictures which have attracted the most attention on its social media channels this summer.

White Horse Close in Edinburgh. Picture: Paul Cameron

White Horse Close in Edinburgh. Picture: Paul Cameron

They include the golden sands of the Western Isles, Edinburgh’s Old Town and the captivating Borders abbeys, with each having been shared hundreds of thousands of times on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

While the images may be pleasant to view and attract glowing comments from far afield, they serve a serious purpose by selling the country to potential overseas visitors.

Tourist numbers in the second quarter of 2016 were down 7.5 per cent, according to research by the UK Office of National Statistics.

It is thought a 16 per cent drop in European visitors coming to Scotland is behind the decline in the numbers coming to Scotland from foreign shores.

St. John's Church in Ballachulish. Picture: Donna Bramham

St. John's Church in Ballachulish. Picture: Donna Bramham

But spending from overseas visitors over this period broke through the £500 million barrier for the first time.

VisitScotland launched its first ever global campaign – the Spirit of Scotland – in February 2016, with the aim of promoting the country across social media.

The ScotSpirit hashtag has since been shared on average 1000 times a day.

READ MORE: Drop in Scotland tourist numbers linked to EU referendum

Jedburgh Abbey in the Borders. Picture: Laurence Norah

Jedburgh Abbey in the Borders. Picture: Laurence Norah