Fall under the spell of the Outer Hebrides this autumn

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Off the back of the first ever Hebtember, VisitScotland has revealed details about its current campaign to encourage visitors to discover the Outer Hebrides in the autumn.

The national tourism organisation, with support from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, is using a combination of print and radio advertising, plus digital and social media to showcase a range of ‘Brilliant Moments’ on the Outer Hebrides.

The activity is part of VisitScotland’s £5.3million Brilliant Moments campaign. It has the potential to be seen up to 3.1 million times.

Working in partnership with Flybe, a special prize draw offers visitors the chance to enjoy their own ‘brilliant moments’ on the Outer Hebrides with flights to Benbecula, B&B accommodation on North Uist, car hire and an exclusive tour of the RSPB Balranald nature reserve.

VisitScotland has also worked in partnership with others in the tourism industry to promote Hebtember’14, offering potential visitors the chance to win a Hebtember Experience which included travel with Cal Mac, 2 nights’ accommodation at the Caberfeidh Hotel in Stornoway, 1 nights’ accommodation at the Royal Hotel Portree, a tour with Out and About Tours and also a chance to meet songstress Julie Fowlis.

Aimed at visitors across the UK, the campaign also features the Callanish Standing Stones and the unique sight of landing at the Isle of Barra Airport, situated in the wide shallow bay of Traigh Mhòr, as well as showcasing the world-class scenery, rich Gaelic history, and rare wildlife that makes the Outer Hebrides one of the Scotland’s most special destinations.

Between 2012-2013, over 218,000 people visited the Outer Hebrides. With the Commonwealth Games, Year of Homecoming and the Ryder Cup all taking place in Scotland, it is hoped the islands will draw even more visitors during 2014.

Alan MacKenzie, VisitScotland Islands Manager, said: “This year has provided a fantastic opportunity to promote tourism in Scotland. With its rare wildlife, stunning scenery, excellent food and drink and rich Gaelic culture, the Outer Hebrides always a popular choice among visitors and this year businesses and attractions have welcomed people from across the globe. However, we need to keep that momentum going and show visitors, and potential visitors, that the area is a treasure trove of Brilliant Moment regardless of the season.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs and sustains communities and we’ll continue to work hard to promote the Outer Hebrides as we move into the Year of Food & Drink 2015.”

Cllr Alasdair Macleod, Chair of the Sustainable Development Committee at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “This has been a truly fantastic year for Scotland and there have already been some Brilliant Moments, with prestigious events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup attracting thousands of visitors to our shores.

“Tourism in Scotland has been well promoted and we must now use this momentum to continue showcasing the Outer Hebrides to people around the world, as one of the most unique and special places to visit.

“We have a lot to offer, our rich Gaelic culture, varied wildlife and superb standard of food and drink to name just a few. We look forward to 2015 with great anticipation.”