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VisitScotland goes Wild for new North Highlands marketing campaign

Press Release   •   Jun 21, 2013 00:00 BST

My Wild North - a new interactive campaign which showcases authentic natural experiences, activities and events in the North Highlands and invites people to share their holiday memories through pictures, videos, songs, stories and poetry - has been given a £22,000 cash boost by the national tourism organisation.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, announced the Year of Natural Scotland Growth Fund award to the North Highland Initiative at the Royal Highland Show yesterday (Thursday).

The group, which has 750 member businesses, has already attracted a great deal of interest in its new Wild North brand, with television presenter Phillip Schofield among those tweeting the group about his holidays in the North Highlands.

North Highland Initiative will also use the VisitScotland money to match-fund the marketing of its Wild North brand through online advertising, social media and PR.

Wild North has come about through consumers’ desire for authentic experiences, the growth of nature-based tourism and the increasing importance of sustainability.

Mike Cantlay said:

“The Year of Natural Scotland is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our country’s beautiful and unique natural assets, and I am delighted to be able to make this award to the North Highland Initiative. Wild North is a perfect fit for the Year of Natural Scotland and I am sure the campaign will encourage many more people to explore the beautiful North Highlands.”

David Whiteford, Chairman of North Highland Initiative, said:

“My Wild North is a great campaign that we hope will capture the imagination of North Highland residents and visitors as well as encouraging more people to take part in the natural experiences, activities and events on offer throughout the region from now until December. VisitScotland’s contribution has helped to make this campaign possible.”

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Tourism Minister, said:

“As well as encouraging visitors to explore all of our country’s unique natural heritage, the Year of Natural Scotland is also about getting people to appreciate the areas of natural beauty right on their doorstep. My Wild North does just that by bringing to life all that the North Highlands have to offer.

“Supporting local communities, through initiatives such as this, helps maintain our successful, buoyant visitor economy.” 

Due to significant demand, the current round of VisitScotland’s Growth Fund is now closed for applications but will reopen again in late 2013.

Launched in March 2011, the fund has approved 34 applications and invested £2,203,568 in marketing campaigns, involving more than 2,000 businesses across Scotland.

To find out more about Wild North, go to


For further information contact:

Tom Maxwell

Corporate Press Officer

Tel: 0131 472 2409

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