National Geographic boost for Scottish tourism

'Puffins on the Shiant Isles in the Outer Hebrides', which was exhibited in London. Picture: Jim Richardson/National Geographic
'Puffins on the Shiant Isles in the Outer Hebrides', which was exhibited in London. Picture: Jim Richardson/National Geographic
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SCOTTISH tourism is in line to receive a significant boost after VisitScotland announced a link-up with National Geographic to promote the country’s natural beauty.

The deal between the Scottish national tourism organisation and the magazine forms part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 celebrations, and will take advantage of National Geographic’s readership in North America and in Europe.

The £400,000-campaign will see a VisitScotland TV advert being screened via National Geographic’s channels in America, the UK and France, whilst April’s English and French-language magazines, along with the UK, US, France and Canada websites will carry articles, pictures and other information on natural Scotland.

Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief at National Geographic travel media, said: “It’s a delight to partner with VisitScotland to help share this singular country with the world. Scotland is a treasure and I’ve long been shocked that its enchantments aren’t more widely celebrated.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, added: “This partnership has seen VisitScotland undertake a whole series of activities designed to promote the Year of Natural Scotland around the globe.

“National Geographic is the world’s best known nature title so to be working with them so closely is a fantastic opportunity for Scotland.”

The project carries on work already undertaken by the two organisations to promote Scotland’s beauty.

A jointly-hosted photo exhibition as part of the link-up was recently held in London, featuring stunning images of Scotland’s scenery and landscapes from photographers including National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said: “National Geographic is an iconic, globally recognised brand and as such it is a terrific international showcase for Scotland’s iconic landscapes.

“This is the Year of Natural Scotland and through this partnership millions of people around the world will find out more about the beautiful country we live in. This is a perfect way to show off to our old friends and new visitors just what a spectacular environment we have to offer.”

Picture: Puffins on the Shiant Isles

National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson took the above image of puffins on the Shiant Isles, off the Isle of Lewis. Here, he describes the photo.

“What a beautiful day that was, alone on a wee island, surrounded by glassy seas and befriended by comical puffins in tuxedos. I was sitting on the Shiant Isles, just a few miles off the coast of the Isle of Lewis. Tiny by most people’s standards, but a world unto themselves, perfect if you are a puffin looking to start a family, or a traveller like me looking to get lost and not be found for a while. Down the hill, the razorbills were staking out their territory. Some 200,000 puffins stop by the Shiants on their way north each year.”