Today (10 June 2021), we’ve launched our first Gaelic toolkit which has been designed to help the tourism industry build upon the intrigue visitors from across the globe have for the Gaelic language. Our new asset highlights many ways to use and promote Gaelic and its culture to create a more immersive visitor experience, such as teaching staff some basic phrases and translating place names to reveal their Gaelic origins and meanings.
It comes as interest in the language continues to grow and our consumer site, VisitScotland.com, reports a 56% increase in the popularity and views of Gaelic content. Our 'Scottish Gaelic: Explained' film released in June 2019 for VisitScotland.com has more than 500,000 views.
Scottish Gaelic: Explained
We’ve also included a directory of Gaelic resources which aim to help businesses develop their Gaelic offering, in addition to a curation of case studies which illustrate how the language can benefit tourism – including businesses who offered online Gaelic lessons during lockdown to engage potential visitors. Our Visitor Survey previously found that, with no prior promotion, 34% of respondents felt that Gaelic enhanced their visit and were interested to discover more.
The new toolkit has been delivered through our Gaelic Tourism Strategy which is aimed at increasing promotion and access to Gaelic as part of the Scottish visitor experience. The strategy was developed alongside representatives from the private sector and partners including the Scottish Government, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Historic Environment Scotland. Members on this strategy implementation group have provided content and links to their activity for the toolkit.
The project received funding support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Gaelic Language Implementation Fund and is a live asset that will be frequently updated as new material becomes available.
As an industry, tourism is extremely fortunate to have an asset like the Gaelic language sitting ripe to enrich the visitor experience. It provides an extra layer of authenticity for visitors and has a unique culture you can only truly experience in Scotland.
This new toolkit aims to help businesses across the country embrace Gaelic and use it to set themselves apart. We have worked closely with partners to create this valuable resource and believe Gaelic will continue to prove a huge benefit to Scotland’s identity and capture the imagination of Scots at home and around the world.
As the tourism industry starts to recover from the devastation of COVID-19, finding ways to position Scotland as a unique and special holiday choice is vital. This is because tourism is not just a holiday, it is a force for good, creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the wellbeing of everyone who experiences it.
The National Gaelic Language Plan recognises that Gaelic Tourism plays an important part in using, learning and promoting the language. This toolkit contributes to fulfilling this aim and we are sure that this will support businesses across Scotland to make more use of Gaelic in their everyday work.