The national tourism organisation shines light on language
VISITSCOTLAND has launched its first Gaelic toolkit to help the tourism industry to build upon the lure of the language with visitors.
The new asset highlights ways to use Gaelic and its culture to create a more immersive visitor experience such as teaching staff some basic phrases and translating place names to reveal their Gaelic origins and meanings.
It comes as interest in the language grows, with the national tourism organisation’s consumer website seeing a 56 per cent increase in the popularity of its Gaelic content from 2018-2020. And a Scottish Gaelic Explained video created by the national tourism organisation has reached over half a million views online.
A directory of Gaelic resources has also been included in the toolkit to help businesses develop their Gaelic offering as well as case studies illustrating how the language can benefit tourism. They include offering Gaelic lessons to people online during lockdown to stay engaged with potential visitors. The VisitScotland Visitor Survey previously found that, with no prior promotion, 34 per cent of respondents felt that Gaelic, as a national language of Scotland, enhanced their visit and they would like to find out more about it.
The toolkit has been delivered through VisitScotland’s Gaelic Tourism Strategy which is aimed at increasing promotion and access to Gaelic as part of the Scottish visitor experience. VisitScotland developed the strategy alongside representatives from the private sector and partners including the Scottish Government, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Historic Environment Scotland. Members on this strategy implementation group have provided content and links to their activity for the toolkit.
The project received funding support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Gaelic Language Implementation Fund and is a live asset that will be frequently updated on VisitScotland.org as new material becomes available.
Riddell Graham, VisitScotland Director of Industry and Destination Development, said: “As an industry, tourism is extremely fortunate to have an asset like the Gaelic language sitting ripe to enrich the visitor experience.
“It provides an extra layer of authenticity for visitors and has a unique culture you can only truly experience in Scotland.
“This new toolkit aims to help businesses across the country embrace Gaelic and use it to set themselves apart. We have worked closely we partners to create this valuable resource and believe Gaelic will continue to prove a huge benefit to Scotland’s identity and capture the imagination of the Scots at home and around the world.
“As the tourism industry starts to recover from the devastation of COVID-19, finding ways to position Scotland as a unique and special holiday choice is vital. This is because tourism is not just a holiday, it is a force for good, creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the wellbeing of everyone who experiences it.”
Shona MacLennan, Ceannard (CEO) of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “The National Gaelic Language Plan recognises that Gaelic Tourism plays an important part in using, learning and promoting the language. This toolkit contributes to fulfilling this aim and we are sure that this will support businesses across Scotland to make more use of Gaelic in their everyday work.”
Find the Gaelic toolkit at: www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/marketing-toolkits/scottish-gaelic