The idea of promoting the UNESCO brand in Scotland is supported by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP and the chair of VisitScotland John Thurso.
The Scottish designations of UNESCO, including 2 Biosphere Reserves, 3 Creative Cities, 2 Global Geoparks and 6 World Heritage Sites have agreed to form a UNESCO trail across the country, which constitutes a global first. It will also for the first time show a collaboration between the different spheres of UNESCO – in particular displaying a cognitive link between the natural and cultural heritage of Scotland.
The UNESCO trail in Scotland will be a digital asset, reachable by interested parties and prospective tourists from all across the globe. It aims to increase the value of visitors to the sites, increase geographic spread amongst visitors to Scottish UNESCO designations, engage and involve local communities, promote UNESCO’s goals and values as well as encourage and champion sustainable tourism policies.
The UNESCO Trail in Scotland is aligned with public agencies in its approach, as well as with the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework and it aims to reduce inequalities and to give equal importance to economic, environmental and social progress. History, heritage and landscape are already a significant part of the visitor experience in Scotland. VisitScotland research indicates that there is a tourism focus on Edinburgh and other cities that act as transport hubs, and the UNESCO trail is an opportunity to encourage visitors to stay longer and visit other areas of Scotland.