Backpack and great craic!

Press release   •   Apr 04, 2013 00:00 BST

Scotland’s national tourism organisation is targeting a whole new audience, the world’s youth.

As part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, VisitScotland has for the first time partnered up with STA Travel - a leading travel agency which caters for people up to the age of 26 as well as students.

The partnership has seen VisitScotdlan take over their American and Australian websites to encourage potential back-packers and budget travellers to “indulge their wild side” whilst in Scotland. This includes links to the organisation’s own website to find out more the Year of Natural Scotland as well as information on key points of interest for these potential visitors such as ancestry, Homecoming 2014 and events and festivals.

The campaign will also see VisitScotland engage in a number of activities STA Travel Stores in the United States and Australia, including advertising on LCD screens as well as flyers and posters being carried throughout. STA Travel’s twitter channel, which has 136,000 followers and facebook page which has 56,000 likes will also carry VisitScotland messaging.

VisitScotland research from earlier this year showed that first time visitors to Scotland are likely to be younger and highly motivated to visit Scotland for the scenery. Repeat visitors come back because they have enjoyed Scotland previously, fuelling future return visits.*

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “This exciting initiative is another important step in our activity to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland. This country is a natural playground with some fantastic adrenaline sports, great nightlife, fantastic festivals and accommodation to suit all budgets. So, having such a well recognised name like STA Travel onboard, can only be a great thing for Scotland, and hopefully encourage boomerang visits in the future.”

The Year of Natural Scotland 2013 provides visitors with the ideal opportunity to become immersed in all things Scottish, from the rugged scenery of the Highlands and the splendor of the national parks to the freshness of the natural larders and the warm welcome from people who passionately care about this wild land.


For further information please contact:

James Fox
Corporate Press Officer
Corporate Communications
Tel: 0131 472 2052

Notes to Editors:

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to 
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to