Mission to beam Scots around world

VisitScotland has put out a global call to those who live and work in the Outer Hebrides to share the islands' memorable places, hidden gems and fascinating stories as part of a new online community.

The national tourism organisation has introduced a new global online community to allow Scots and those who love Scotland to bring alive the streets, characters and landscapes of the country.

The community will mean everyone worldwide from New York to New Guinea can go online in their own homes and ‘talk to a Scottish local’.

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From admiring the beauty of Barra’s Kisimul Castle and beach landings to discovering a replica Iron Age house overlooking the beach at Bosta on the Isle of Lewis, locals are being asked to share their insider knowledge to inspire and excite visitors to make their own memories and adventures on the islands.

Entitled iKnow Scotland, the new online and face-to-face community will give businesses, industry and visitors the tools to enable them to share the Spirit of Scotland with others.

Recent findings show in the last 12 years, 254 new destinations have appeared worldwide leading to significant competition for Scotland’s £5.2bn tourism industry.

The initiative will be backed by an intensive marketing campaign including radio, TV, print and digital advertising as well as a special short film featuring an Amy Macdonald soundtrack.

Features of iKnow:

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· Online Community on visitscotland.com - an active, owned forum where consumers can tell their own stories and show pictures

· Live Web Chat function to allow visitors to ask questions in real time

· Innovative partnerships with industry leaders like TripAdvisor, Google, Booking.com and TrustYou

· Trip planning: A practical trip planning tool to help visitors to plan their break by creating, saving and sharing their own travel itineraries

To find out more go to: www.visitscotland.com/community