Watch: New video reveals Scotland's 'virtual hug' to the rest of the world

A new video has been created to allow Scots to give a "virtual hug" to the rest of the world and urge people to share their love of the country.

Lunan Bay in Angus is among the locations featured in VisitScotland's new short film. Picture: Paul Tomkins

Staff at VisitScotland have created a short film aimed at triggering memories of previous visits and inspiring thoughts of new ones when the coronvirus restrictions are eased.

The tourism agency said the film - entitled "Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder - was aimed at spreading the message that the country would be ready "with a warm welcome for them when the time is right."

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It wants Scots and anyone else with an affinity to Scotland to share the film and their love of the country to help fuel future travel dreams.

Also intended as "a message of support of hope" for an industry in almost total lockdown in Scotland as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the film features footage of some of the nation's most iconic attractions and remote landscapes.

VisitScotland said it wants to ensure that the tourism industry “rebounds” swiftly to become one of the most successful sectors of the Scottish economy once it moves into recovery mode.

Subtitles in German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian and Mandarin.have been created for the film, which was released on YouTube to coincide with the start of the traditional Easter holiday period, usually one of the busiest spells in the Scottish tourism calendar.

It features Skara Brae, in Orkney, Dunnottar Castle, in Aberdeenshire, the standing stones at Calanais, on the Isle of Lewis, the Paps of Jura and Arbroath Abbey. Also included are Dundee's V&A museum, St Abbs in the Borders, Stirling Castle, the Isle of Staffa and Edinburgh's Dean Village.

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: "We’re putting all our efforts into responding to the unprecedented challenges facing our industry as a result of COVID-19. Our goal is to ensure that tourism rebounds to become one of the most successful sectors of the Scottish economy once more.

"While many countries are in lockdown with travel restrictions in place, we wanted to send a message of support and hope to our friends around the world and assure them that, whilst they can’t visit just now, we will still be here with a warm welcome for them when the time is right.

"We recognise the tourism industry has been hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 situation and whilst we’re already working with you to look at a recovery plan once the timing is appropriate, we’re hopeful the strong emotion people have for Scotland across the globe will help a little in this very difficult time."

VisitScotland marketing director Vicki Miller said: "By launching this video, we are encouraging fans of Scotland to share their love for the country by posting memories of their trips here in the past and help them and others dream about their next holiday to Scotland.”

The view across the sound of Gigha, to the Paps of Jura at sunset. Picture: VisitScotland

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Elie is normally one of the most popular destinations for visitors to the East Neuk of Fife. Picture: VisitScotland

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A view of Murray's Monument in the Galloway Forest Park, near Newton Stewart, features in the VisitScotland film.
The RRS Discovery and the V&A museum are two of Dundee's most celebrated attractions. Picture: Kenny Lam

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