Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Gibson decries glaring omission

News release
Immediate release


Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has decried the glaring omissions of music and literature in VisitScotland's latest campaign.

Mr Gibson comments concentrate on the 'Perfect Day' website which offers visitors suggestions on how to spend a perfect day in Scotland. The campaign runs till the end of August.

Categories contained on the website include; Walking, Golf, By the Sea (Coastal activities), Wildlife, Food and Drink and Adventure.

However there is no specific category given to music festivals whilst VisitScotland's refusal to promote Scottish literature that relates to many Highland places is evident it's omission . Even though there is a Film and History section.

Mr Gibson said....

"In a time when it is hard to travel around the Highlands and Islands (let alone Scotland) without tripping over a music festival of some kind then it beggars belief that there is so little made of them."

"As a former organiser, sometime participant and regular attendee of music festivals I know the importance that they play in the local communities. There are a lot of people who plan there holidays around particular music festivals."

"Féis Ceilidh Trails, Blas, Belladrum, Rockness, Orkney and Shetland Folk Festival's, Heb Celt and the Northern Nashville Caithness Country Music Festival are just some of the events which draw people from near and far to the Highlands and Islands. For many a weekend at a music festival is as perfect as spending a weekend in St Andrews playing Golf. VisitScotland are serially remiss in failing to recognise this in their latest campaign. A cursory glance at the DiscoverIreland website shows that they are better at advertising their festivals and culture on the front page of their web site. VisitScotland should take a leaf from their book."

"Scotland is world renowned for it's music and party spirit these come together at festivals. It is part of the soul and beating heart of the nation."

"I am again disappointed by the dumbing down approach of VisitScotland. A few years ago I wrote the Chief Executive asking why the organisation would not promote literature. The response came along the lines that literature was considered part of the high arts ergo not many people would be interested."

"This attitude ignores places like Raasay that are far more visited because of the book 'Calum's Road' by Roger Hutchinson. Meanwhile Visit Scotland promotes Hamish McBeth and Monarch of the Glen Country (in it's film and history section). Both of which were books adapted for TV."

"Everyone has their idea of a Perfect Day in the north and west music and literature are key parts not to be missed."


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