Nostalgia and fond memories of Scottish summer holidays past to drive tourism recovery

From days on the beach that never seemed to end to runny ice creams, wrestling with windbreaks and rainy afternoons, memories of summer holidays in Scotland linger long in the memory.

Back to the good old days....nostalgia and fond memories of holidays of yesterday are expected to drive tourism in Scotland this summer. This picture, from 1969, shows a couple holidaying at Glencoe. PIC: Visit Scotland.

Now, nostalgia has been pinpointed as the country’s next big holiday trend with tourism chiefs believing a return to the familiar, and revisiting happy summer memories of old, will come into force following the trials of the pandemic.

VisitScotland said ‘Mod-stalgia’ - embracing the past through the comforts of today – had been identified as a powerful motivation behind holiday choices.

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Chris Greenwood, VisitScotland Senior Insight Manager, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we travel, for some people this might be their first holiday at home for several years.

"We know that in times of uncertainty that people naturally gravitate towards the familiar. Reminiscing with fondness to past times or a reflective desire to re-live the past can be a magnet to travellers to previously visited destinations.

“In 2014 we identified the trend Mod-stalgia - embracing the past through the comforts of today - and this is something we expect to come into the fore during the 2021 season. "

Research found that some plan to relive memories with a new twist by, for example, revisiting a favourite holiday destination from childhood but swapping the family game of rounders on the beach with a new experience, such as kayaking.

Mr Greenwood added that Scots had a major part to play in helping rebuild the country’s tourism industry following the devastation caused by coronavirus and the ongoing restrictions on visitors from overseas.

He said: The Scottish tourism and events industry need the support of people living in Scotland – we’re asking everyone to take their first post-lockdown holiday in their own country.”

VisitScotland has now launched its Now Is Your Time campaign to promote the idea of nostalgia-driven holidays.

The campaign will cover five themes starting with days out before moving to short stays, city breaks, family gatherings and escape and connect experiences to benefit physical and mental wellbeing.

Tourism is worth £11.5 billion to the Scottish economy, supporting 1 in 12 jobs, with the sector devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and travel restrictions.

Domestic tourism remains one of the country’s most valuable markets with an average of 140.8 million day trips made in Scotland pre COVID-19, generating approximately £5,749 million.

Vicki Miller, VisitScotland’s Director of Marketing and Digital, said: “With so many people staying in the UK this year there has never been a better time to appreciate all the wonderful locations and attractions we have on our doorstep. Whether it’s discovering somewhere new or experiencing an old favourite in a completely new way, now is your time to enjoy the unique experiences that a holiday in Scotland offers.

“Tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the well-being of everyone who experiences it. Tourism makes Scotland richer, economically and socially, and without it Scotland would be a much poorer place.”

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