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Article published 11/02/2022

A campaign encouraging visitors to explore the beauty of the Highlands in winter has been launched.

Find Your Winter Wonder Highlands is the first marketing campaign of its kind to unite Highland Destination Management Organisations in a unique collaboration.

Visit Inverness Loch Ness, Cairngorms Business Partnership, Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, NC500, Venture North, Skye Connect and Visit Moray Speyside are financially contributing, with further tourism groups providing advice and content.

Hillwalkers in the Cairngorms National Park

The campaign aims to raise the profile of the Highlands as a winter destination and inspire visitors to explore the region off-season for a short break or longer holiday, to extend the tourism season and generate economic benefit during this time.

The campaign is being led by the Highland Tourism Partnership (HTP), working with VisitScotland. As a partnership of Destination Marketing Organisations in the region, the HTP collectively covers some 2,000 businesses in Highland, from across all sectors – hotels, B&Bs, attractions, tours and food and drink.

It began in late January, will run through February and has seen the destinations contribute a total of £17.5K in funding to help amplify the content created by the individual destinations through a new dedicated video and landing page on visitscotland.com.

Here, visitors can discover more about Inverness and the mysterious Loch Ness; Aviemore and the Cairngorms National Park; and the exhilarating snowsports available in Lochaber, the Outdoor Capital of the UK.

Meall a Bhuachaille, The Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

This campaign complements and builds on the £494,000 Destination and Sector Marketing Funding for the region, administered by VisitScotland, to help Highland destinations rebuild and recover from COVID-19.

The campaign, which targets primarily the Scottish and northern English audience, aims to demonstrate why the Highlands is a truly magical region to visit during the winter, with its icy lochs and wintry mountains.

It encourages visitors to slow down and take their time making memories in the Highlands – from stepping back in time into a land of castles and clan rivalries on the Isle of Skye, to exploring the hidden gems along the North Coast 500 and the 3,000 million-year-old wilderness of the North West Highlands Geopark. The region also boasts beautiful coastlines – from the dramatic clifftops of Caithness to the sandy beaches of Nairn and Dornoch.

The campaign covers a number of themes including outdoor activities, dramatic landscapes, geodiversity, wildlife, the Northern Lights, slow adventures, hidden gems, unique history and cultural heritage, responsible tourism, cosy places to stay and eat, and food & drink.

Responsible tourism is at the heart of everything we do. This fantastic campaign, which brings the Highland DMOs together to promote not only their own areas but the Highlands as a whole, aims to provide an immediate boost to businesses who have been severely affected by the pandemic and highlight what an amazing range of experiences visitors can have in the Highlands in winter – from snow sports and the Northern Lights to whisky tasting and winter wildlife.

We want to encourage visitors to slow down and savour some of our great locations in winter - when the region is traditionally quieter, which will help manage numbers throughout the year and provide our visitors with a unique and rewarding experience.

Chris Taylor, Regional Leadership Director at VisitScotland

We all know that individual businesses cannot normally penetrate larger markets, however a collaborative approach enables the Highlands to gain greater traction and heighten awareness of the wonderful product we love to promote.

Frazer Coupland, Chairman of the Highland Tourism Partnership and CEO of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce

Venture North was delighted to collaborate with our neighbouring areas across the Highlands, through the HTP and VisitScotland, to showcase our stunning scenery, wonderful breadth of space, sense of freedom and variety of activities open to locals and visitors in the winter season.

For us, in Caithness and Sutherland, working together benefits all areas of the Highlands. More and more of our tourism businesses are open all year, so we can support them and help protect our environments by encouraging people to travel out-with the main season when locally we know it is actually prime time to experience the joy of a place virtually to yourself or even to catch the elusive Auroras.

Cathy Earnshaw, Destination Strategy Manager for Venture North

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