IT IS the campaign that tourism bosses predict will trigger a £150 million spin-off for Scotland’s economy – and leave a lasting legacy for the country.
Now VisitScotland has unveiled its £7m blitz to cash in on the arrival of the Disney-Pixar film Brave, which is set entirely in Scotland.
Twenty organisations, promoting everything from ancient castles and prehistoric sites to archery, horse riding and Highland Games events, are throwing their weight behind the venture.
The film focuses on Pixar’s first female lead, a rebellious princess, Merida, who triggers chaos in an ancient kingdom with her have-a-go heroics. The star-studded cast includes Kelly Macdonald in the lead role, as well as Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane and Kevin McKidd.
Six itineraries have been drawn up to promote wildlife, castles, myths and legends, landscapes and clan heritage.
And the likes of Historic Scotland, National Museums Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust hope to generate huge spin-offs.
VisitScotland, which has hosted visits from more than 150 journalists as part of a five-day junket to promote the film, has launched a dedicated website to lure visitors here on the back of the film’s release.
The tourism agency has had to hold back on promotional efforts until now, as all reviews of the film have been embargoed until today, ahead of the world première at the Los Angeles Film Festival in a week’s time.
However, the film, which will have its European première at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this month, is known to have wowed critics.
TV and cinema adverts will be rolled out around the world to lure visitors to Scotland, with VisitScotland already predicting Brave will be a bigger draw than Braveheart was in the mid-1990s.
The organisation chartered a train north for a Brave-inspired press trip earlier this month. Other visits planned this week will take in Glamis Castle, the Mar Lodge Estate, Balmoral and the Cairngorms.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said: “The film’s release is just the beginning for Scotland’s tourism industry.
“We’ve already seen a number of key industry partners sign up to promote their own products and activities.
“We’ve been communicating with thousands of businesses throughout the country to show how they can get involved in what is Scotland’s biggest-ever tourism opportunity, such as Brave-themed itineraries and family packages designed to attract even more visitors.”
Cashing in on our heritage
The National Museum of Scotland has a number of exhibits, including a war trumpet, Pictish stones and Lewis chessmen, pictured, featured in the film.
Historic Scotland, which has sites such as the Callanish Stones, replicated in the film, will be running special events, allowing visitors to try falconry, archery and even jousting.
The National Trust is trying to woo film fans to battle-scarred landscapes such as Glencoe, Culloden and Killiecrankie, while Scottish Natural Heritage hopes it will generate interest in its 40 nature reserves.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West