A Scottish company that offers “the only nocturnal wildlife tours in the Northern Hemisphere” is focusing its night-vision cameras on Germany.
Based in Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway, Nocturnal Wildlife Tours is one of six tourism firms heading to Germany this week as part of VisitScotland’s latest business development mission to one of Scotland’s biggest international markets.
Set up last summer, Nocturnal Wildlife Tours takes guests to risk-assessed wildlife areas in a Land Rover kitted out with a state-of-the-art, externally mounted thermal camera and internal viewing screens.
Those on the tour are then able to get out and enjoy unique views of everything from field mice and hedgehogs to roe deer and even bats through thermal imaging cameras.
Following the tour, which is conducted by wildlife ranger and photographer Keith Kirk, customers are sent a specially edited video to commemorate their experience.
VisitScotland’s two-day business development mission to Hamburg and Frankfurt (15-16 November) will give businesses the chance to hold face-to-face meetings with key tour operators in Scotland’s second biggest international market.
Cowan Scott, owner of Nocturnal Wildlife Tours, says that joining VisitScotland’s mission to a market worth £175 million to the Scottish economy and which welcomes 323,000 visitors a year was important to the growth of his business.
He said: “This is the most effective way of channeling German visitors towards our tours. People don’t automatically think they can watch wildlife at night so we are breaking down barriers and showing visitors that their day doesn’t have to end at 5pm. It’s something you can do all-year round and the reaction from those on the tours has been fantastic.”
According to the 2015 VisitScotland International Conversion Study, outdoor activities ranked highly among German visitors, with 78 per cent enjoying the scenery, 42 per cent taking walks of over two miles, 34 per cent enjoying hillwalking and nearly a fifth (17 per cent) watching wildlife.
Highland Safaris, based in Aberfeldy in Perthshire, is also going on the mission, along with Speyside Wildlife and Cairngorms National Park.
Julie Riddell, Director of Highland Safaris, said: “Germany is a great market for Highland Safaris, with a high proportion of German visitors citing their key driver for coming to Scotland as the outdoors and nature. This is an exciting time for Highland Safaris. Over 25 years in business, we have never stopped loving taking individuals and groups on to the hills of Highland Perthshire to engage with our wonderful nature and, with the launch of Loch Tay Safaris in 2017, it will be a thrill for us to extend our adventures on to the beautiful and mystical waters of Loch Tay.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “VisitScotland supports industry in their aspirations to internationalise and to attract more business and income from international markets. Our mission to Germany is a cost-effective way for Scottish businesses to maintain existing relationships and to establish new ones with German tour operators. Worth £175 million a year, Germany is a key market for Scottish tourism and I’m sure this mission will prove an enjoyable and beneficial experience for all of our partners.”
VisitScotland’s partners on the business development mission are:
• Highland Safaris – Aberfeldy, Perthshire
• Knockdow House – Toward, by Dunoon, Argyll
• The Lovat Hotel – Fort Augustus, Highlands
• Nocturnal Wildlife Tours – Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway
• Speyside Wildlife and Cairngorms National Park
• White Stag Tourism – representing Abbotsford House and Cringletie House Hotel in the Borders
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’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- 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.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- 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 www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design
- 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- Join the conversation at #IAD2016