The Hebrides Islands benefit from a new tourism campaign

The Hebrides Islands in the UK, comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland. There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

The Hebrides Islands benefit from a new tourism campaign

The Hebrides Islands in the UK, comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland. There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides. These islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic and the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive influences of Celtic, Norse and English-speaking peoples. This diversity is reflected in the names given to the islands, which are derived from the languages that have been spoken there in historic and perhaps prehistoric times.

A variety of artists have been inspired by their Hebridean experiences. Today the economy of the islands is dependent on crofting, fishing, tourism, the oil industry and renewable energy. Although the Hebrides lack biodiversity in comparison to mainland Britain these islands have much to offer the naturalist. Seals, for example, are present around the coasts in internationally.

A £50,000 tourism campaign to promote the Hebridean islands has been launched as a documentary series on the region comes to an end.
Visit Scotland aims to capitalize on the popular BBC series Hebrides: Islands on the Edge and boost visitor numbers in the area during the autumn.

The documentary series, made by Maramedia and Otter Films, focused on wildlife and conservation in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, and was narrated by actor Ewan McGregor.

Some of the footage already forms part of VisitScotland’s Year of Natural Scotland television adverts which are shown around the world.

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The promotional campaign for the Hebrides will target potential visitors in the rest of Scotland and the north of England through media adverts and travel promotions.

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said: “The Inner and Outer Hebrides have given a wonderful backdrop for our Year of Natural Scotland 2013 campaign, which has been boosted enormously by the Hebrides: Islands on the Edge program. We know that scenes from TV and film have direct impact on visitors’ potential holiday destinations and our activity over the coming weeks seeks to capitalize on this.”

The last episode of Islands on the Edge was watched by more than two million people in the UK.

Nigel Pope, executive producer of the BBC program, said: “As well as being one of BBC2’s top five programs in the last few weeks, there’s been a real ground-swell of support and interest on Twitter and Facebook, with many tweets from influential celebrities like Clare Balding, Bill Oddie, Dominic Wood, Springwatch’s Michaela Strachan and the series narrator, Ewan McGregor.

“A growing awareness of how important the islands are to wildlife and conservation is a very positive outcome of the series. If more people visit the islands to see the wonderful wildlife at first hand, that has to be good for the Hebrides.

“We are now also looking forward to distributing the series internationally with ITVGlobal, who will also be working closely with VisitScotland in taking the programs to tourism and programming markets across the world.”

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