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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 13/01/2022

Sail Scotland has launched a spectacular new series of aerial video guides showcasing Scottish marinas, anchorages, and adventures, encouraging people to explore by boat and stay in new, unique, destinations.

What’s included in the video guides?

The video guides offer an impressive bird’s-eye view of the approach to each destination, with drone footage showcasing sweeping backdrops of Scotland’s world-class sailing grounds, dramatic coastal landscapes, and extraordinary islands.

The aerial footage provides fantastic visuals of the facilities available at each destination, from fuel berths, toilets and slipways to laundries and chandleries. In addition, each video includes onward links to trip-planning features on Sail Scotland’s website including extensive listings, from sail or cruise trips and boating experiences to yacht charters, boatyards, and marinas. Combined with inspirational blogs and highlighted shoreside experiences, these resources make it simple to plan and book a Scottish sailing adventure in a new destination.

It's also hoped that using the video guides to showcase the quality of these destinations, set amongst some of Scotland’s most iconic locations, will attract yachts currently based outside Scotland, inspiring cruising in Scottish waters and encouraging extended stays by relocating to one of the unique destinations.

Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022

Viewers – via adverts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube – are encouraged to share their own photographs and celebrate their own unforgettable moments and unique experiences of sailing and cruising in Scotland, by answering the key campaign phrase: “I sail Scotland because –”. This sharing of favourite memories will complement the visual experience offered by the video guides.

The activity will link with our Themed Year for 2022, Scotland’s Year of Stories. The responses to “I sail Scotland because –” will encourage an exchange of stories and opportunities for connection, while providing inspiration for future visits. Shared anecdotes might include tales of nights spent at anchor under the dancing northern lights; being welcomed into a pier-side restaurant for the best seafood ever tasted; or watching, spell-bound, as an orca pod breaches close by. Find out more about Scotland's Year of Stories with our marketing toolkit

Locations featured in the guides

The video library of guides is the first of its kind for the marine tourism sector in Scotland, with 10 guides launched online at the end of 2021. Impressively, in the first three weeks of the campaign alone, they were seen almost 700,000 times. A total of 33 locations around Scotland complete the library. Spectacular drone footage takes you sailing past the iconic Forth Bridges into Port Edgar Marina; flying over the northern end of Orkney’s historic Scapa Flow, into Stromness Marina; or enjoying a bird’s-eye view of scattered Inner Hebridean islands on approach to the gentle waters of Puilladobhrain Bay near Oban.

The guides’ launch reflects the post-COVID desire for holidays and escapes “away from it all”; sailing and cruising holidays meet this desire perfectly. This trend is mirrored in the video viewing numbers too, with the guides for Stromness, Campbeltown and the Caledonian Canal – some of the furthest-flung destinations – the top three most-viewed guides to date.

Supporting industry recovery

The campaign targets carefully selected customer groups in Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland, and was created with assistance from the Scottish Government’s Destination & Sector Marketing Fund, delivered by VisitScotland. Visit our Destination & Sector Marketing Fund page to find out more

Sail Scotland’s extensive collaboration with the 33 featured key marinas and anchorages demonstrates the determination to support the sector at this time. Indeed, Sail Scotland has been at the forefront of drives to support the sector throughout the pandemic, in addition to their ongoing promotion of Scotland’s marine tourism industry.

Over the last decade, Sail Scotland has run a series of annual inspirational campaigns in Scotland and the wider UK. The video guide library is the latest, and follows the innovative #MustSeaScotland campaign, which showcased stunning 360-degree virtual reality voyages to must-visit sailing destinations.

Importantly, these new video guides demonstrate a marked transition into a new phase of marketing from Sail Scotland, with the addition of more detailed insights and information about some of Scotland’s classic sailing destinations. This move aims to encourage visitors to begin planning and booking elements of their trip and to support the communities surrounding each destination.

During the pandemic Sail Scotland created the “Shop to Ship” initiative. The scheme helped local businesses market directly to sailing and cruising customers via the Sail Scotland website.

Collaboration with destinations along Scotland’s coasts, islands and canals is a key focus for Sail Scotland, and we want to connect the sailing experience with shoreside experiences. Our new bird’s-eye view video guides transport visitors right into the heart of places and communities, and by highlighting nearby attractions and eateries we encourage them to step ashore to discover local culture and to enjoy local food and drink. We hope the footage will inspire viewers to make plans to sail to new destinations, book cruises and spend more time on our wonderful sailing waters.

Alan Rankin, Chief Executive of Sail Scotland

The Destination & Sector Marketing Fund was created to boost the sustainable recovery of Scottish tourism, helping to reach new audiences within the domestic market.

We know word of mouth recommendations are a huge factor for visitors choosing to travel. By combining this call on visitors to share their stories, with footage of Scotland’s breath-taking shoreline, Sail Scotland’s campaign will help inspire new and repeat visitors.

VisitScotland is focused on the recovery of the industry, building a destination and visitor experience which allows tourism and events to flourish, now and in the future.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland

We are delighted to be part of this Sail Scotland marketing campaign; our marinas in Stromness, Kirkwall and Westray are at the heart of our communities and these aerial videos show just how near they are to local shops, eateries and world-famous historic attractions. This campaign will help us to encourage visitors to sail to Orkney and explore our unique islands and unspoilt waters.

Leesa Guthrie, Orkney Marinas

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