Skip to main content

Nearest and deerest

Press Release   •   May 30, 2014 00:00 BST

Scotland’s newest wildlife attraction, the new Red Deer Centre at Highland Safaris, based in Aberfeldy, has been officially opened by John Swinney MSP.

In line with the Tourism Scotland 2020 Strategy, Highland Safaris is quite literally turning ‘assets into experiences’ by using Scotland’s favourite wild species, the iconic Red Deer, to add yet another reason to visit this popular 5-Star Visitor Centre.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “We know from the success of the Year of Natural Scotland that our natural environment is one of the top reasons that people visit Scotland. It is fantastic to see that in the year that Scotland welcomes the world, Highland Safaris is making the most of celebrating Scotland’s stunning wildlife with this new attraction.”

Directors Donald and Julie Riddell said: “We are delighted with the response to the Red Deer Centre as this was a significant investment for us involving years of planning . The Red Deer & Barn Owl Encounter offers visitors the opportunity to touch, photograph and even feed these magnificent Animals and fulfils a need for a value for money, memorable, all-weather activity”.

These new experiences, along with the Gold and Gem Panning Centre (unique in Perthshire), the award-winning café and shop, Mountain Bike Trail Centre and indeed the original Land Rover Safaris have enabled Highland Safaris to offer year-round employment in what is often viewed as a seasonal destination.


For more information, please contact Highland Safaris on or call 01887 820 071.

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