IT is Scotland’s answer to the Danish “hygge” which has revolutionised the idea of relaxing next to a roaring fire, or curling up under a blanket while the winds rage outside.
Now tourism bosses hope the Gaelic term “Còsagach” will become the next global lifestyle trend – and attract visitors to Scotland - when it becomes the centre of a major advertising campaign next year.
VisitScotland’s annual Insight report claims that the concept should be part of every visitor experience to Scotland, particularly in the winter months, when cold weather and outdoor activities such as skiing lend themselves to being “Còsagach” once indoors.
Other tourism trends tipped for next year in the report - which publishes elements of consumer and industry behaviour expected to develop over the next 18 to 24 months - include tourism firms providing nostalgic experiences to consumers, as well as “provincial and authentic experiences” which it says will enhance Scotland’s overall tourism product.
The report said that “Còsagach” could be represented by being curled up in front of the fire, book with a “hot toddy in hand”.
It said: “In 2015, over four million domestic tourists mentioned relaxing as an activity that they undertook when in Scotland. With tranquil seascapes, vast open spaces and many warm and welcoming pubs, Scotland is a perfect place for your well-being, so perfect in fact that a word of Scottish origin has been dedicated to that feeling of being snug, sheltered, or cosy; Còsagach.”
It added: “Scotland is a country where Còsagach can be achieved in all seasons, but it’s winter when it comes into its own. It’s no secret that Scotland can have, at times, rather harsh and ferocious weather. In the winter when the storms rage and the waves crash against the rocks, there is nothing more satisfying than being curled up in front of the fire, book and hot toddy in hand, listening to the weather outside.”
The report also said “augmented virtual reality”, where consumers and tourists can experience products before purchase is becoming more prevalent within the tourism industry.
Meanwhile, it said that “Elemental Tourism” identifies an opportunity for businesses to address the “balance of tourism provision” by collaborating to drive visitor traffic to tourism hotspots outside of the norm, while businesses should also consider the importance of a social media presence and businesses seeing themselves through the camera lens.
Chris Greenwood, senior tourism insight manager at VisitScotland, said: “In today’s rapidly changing world, having an informed outlook is vital.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience. It is integral to sustaining communities across Scotland by generating income, creating jobs and stimulating social change – and is increasingly sensitive to consumer trends and economic conditions.
“Our annual trends review has highlighted key trends developing within the tourism sector for the coming year, with the intangible link between the visitor and landscape set to play a significant role.”
The word Còsagach is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “full of holes or crevices; sheltered, snug, warm”.