Tourism agency VisitScotland is set to spend £3 million on its biggest ever autumn advertising campaign in a bid to attract holidaymakers who have delayed their summer break because of the bad weather or the Olympics.
The agency is launching the drive amid concerns Scotland’s tourism industry is suffering as a result of the torrential rains and flooding earlier in the summer and the pull of the London 2012 Games.
The advertising campaign will target families who were put off going away when the weather prospects were so poor or decided against taking a break while the Olympics were on.
Research by Travelsupermarket has suggested that as many as three million British people postponed their traditional summer holiday because of the Olympics.
The VisitScotland campaign will advertise online, through social media, on radio and in print.
It will highlight a wide range of areas, including the arts and culture, gardens, outdoor activities, food and drink, history, heritage and the islands.
It aims to prolong the traditional tourist season into the autumn months, when business normally falls away.
VisitScotland chairman Michael Cantlay said today: “Scotland is open for business, and while the poor weather of the summer has dampened Scottish soil it certainly hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm.
“That’s why we’ve developed a £3m campaign which will tap into the autumn market and remind people of all the great reasons to holiday closer to home.”
VisitScotland will use £400,000 of the budget encouraging people in Scotland to take day trips.
And it will also target visitors from the south-east of England, as well as people in northern England and Ireland.
The full effect of the bad weather and the Olympics will not become clear until official figures are published, but the agency has described the season so far as “challenging”.
Fringe organisers have admitted ticket sales were slow at the beginning of the Festival period and tourism chiefs attempted to make the best of the Olympics by seeking to woo residents from the south-east of England who were anxious to get away during the Games.
Last month, VisitScotland launched a £7m global advertising campaign to coincide with the release of the animated film Brave.