Scotland tourism boost on the way ... Tropical storm season comes to Caribbean
Marketing campaigns can be so hit-and-miss. I doubt anyone south of the border expected the simple I Love New York campaign to go on for so long, for example. Other tourism boards, no doubt, have had what they thought were killer campaigns that simply fizzled.
I haven't seen it on tv as the campaign apparently is aimed at folks in England and Ireland, but the latest Visit Scotland project also is shown on the website, www.visitscotland.com, and it appears to be working. An item on travelmole.com says a campaign called Surprise Yourself (reasonably catchy, I'd say) includes "normal" attractions such as Edinburgh Castle but also shows a treehouse hotel, a seaplane travelling from Glasgow to Mull, glorious countryside and some lesser-known events such as an annual fire festival. (The story I saw mentioned the Belhaven Fire Festival but a Google search seems to show they might have meant the Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh, which apparently coincides with the changing of the seasons and is based on old Celtic practices; always a good point of differentiation in a crowded marketplace. It includes processions by characters that include "Torchies," the "Green Man" and "The May Queen," and I only know of the May Queen from the overplayed but still classic "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. Thanks to the BBC, by the way, for this photo of the May Queen in action. It looks like stunning stuff.
As for the campaign, 80 per cent of viewers said the message was relevant, while four in 10 said they learned something new about Scotland. A quarter of the respondents said they were “highly motivated” to consider a future break in the country, and that's pretty good....
"We know that people want to visit Scotland," said Visit Scotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead. "This is about persuading them to book now, and these brand tracker results are a good indication that Surprise Yourself is having the desired effect."
TROPICAL STORM IRENE AND TORNADO IN GODERICH
It's that time of year. We had a tornado in lovely Goderich, Ontario on Sunday, which killed one man and injured others. And now comes a major hurricane, Tropical Storm Irene.
Irene hit Puerto Rico today and appears to be targetting the Dominican Republic next. Folks in south Florida and along the eastern seaboard are waiting nervously to see what happens after this.
Back home, meanwhile, Premier Dalton McGuinty is pledging to help the stricken town recover. It's a little early now, but maybe Labour Day weekend would be a good time to check into a hotel along the Lake Huron shore and do a little boosting of the area's economy...