A new campaign is aiming to boost tourism by featuring real Scots with a passion for their country.
Fourteen real Scots from various walks of life have been selected to represent their country in a new initiative launched on Wednesday by VisitScotland.
The £1.25 million European Touring Campaign will kick off in England, before being taken to France, Spain and anumber of other European countries with a high level of holidaymakers. The campaign's organisers hope it will inspire millions of people to come to the country, following a similar drive last year which generated around £85 million for the Scottish economy.
Each of the 14 representatives has been photographed for the Meet the Scots project, in a way which represents a Scottish adventure or attraction. Their passions include, wildlife, island hopping, food and drink and fashion, while their occupations range from barman to Duke and Duchess.
Head of International Marketing for VisitScotland, Denise Hill, said: “Many European visitors are extremely knowledgeable about Scotland and want to experience a deeper understanding of the country and its people.
"Using our Scots to front the campaign allows us to provide consumers with a greater depth of information and insider tips - the kinds of things you don’t find in the guide books and the real gems you discover by meeting local people.
“The campaign strikes a chord with Europeans who not only want the heritage, history and scenery, but also the feeling of connecting with the Scottish people.
"From our international visitor research, the Scots character, humour and passion are widely recognised and admired abroad, and through this campaign, we can exploit those attributes when promoting our country.”
The campaign will run in partnership with low cost airlines, ferry companies, and accomodation providers to attract potential visitors in the face of the depressed financial climate.
Minister for Tourism, Jim Mather said: “Tourism growth is critical to Scotland’s economy and future so I’m delighted to see the very best of our country is to be showcased on a European stage.
"The campaign closely targets European visitors using advanced marketing intelligence, stunning photography and most importantly, by extending a warm welcome. In the current fragile economic climate it’s crucial that we all work together to maintain Scotland’s place as a must-visit year round destination.”
The campaign will be officially unveiled at Edinburgh's Prestonfield House on Wednesday.