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Published on : Wednesday, November 30, 2016
A team of kilted VisitScotland staff scoured four of Europe’s capital cities – London, Paris, Berlin and Dublin – to bring 22 Andrews (including men and women called Andre, Andrea, Andreea and Andreas) to the ancient Fife town which bears the name of Scotland’s patron saint as part of the national tourism organisation’s Spirit of Scotland campaign.
The unique gathering saw the European ‘Andrews’ experience Scotland’s famed warm welcome before taking part in a number of activities, including the world’s biggest outdoor ceilidh, a round of golf and even a Highland Games on West Sands beach.
Scots and prospective visitors are being encouraged to share the video, which promotes the warmth of the Scottish people and their unique #ScotSpirit, via social media.
VisitScotland took the special guests to enjoy the third year of the St Andrew’s Day Celebrations, which is co-ordinated by local charity the St Andrews Partnership and supported by Scotland’s Winter Festivals.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Our global campaign – the Spirit of Scotland – showcases the country’s personality and people to the world and invites international audiences to sample it for themselves.
“Not only has our unique St Andrew’s Day celebration created wonderful lifelong memories for our European ‘Andrews’, but our film will help to spread the Spirit of Scotland around the globe and inspire more people – whatever their names – to come here and experience our spectacular landscapes, rich heritage and, of course, the warm welcome of our people.”
Andrea Henry, 25, from Dublin, said: “I’d never been to Scotland before this weekend – it’s a lot warmer than I thought it would be! St Andrews is very beautiful, we had a fantastic welcome and the whole experience has been fab. I didn’t know St Andrew’s Day was a thing but I’m glad it is and I’m glad my parents named me Andrea so I could be a part of it.”
Andreas Hentze, 48, from Berlin, said: “This is my first trip to Scotland and I absolutely love it. St Andrews is a very beautiful town and I will definitely be coming back.”
Andrew Stuck, 58, from London, said: “It’s been amazing, really great fun. People in Scotland are so welcoming. My mother’s family was from Glasgow and she named me Andrew to keep the Scottish connection. I feel like I’ve only really scratched the surface of Scotland so I’ll have to come again.”
Jim McArthur, Chairman of the St Andrews Partnership, said: “St Andrews is home to Scotland’s best and most authentic St Andrew’s Day Celebrations. There can be no better place for our international guests to experience our patron saint’s day than here in the town which bears his – and their – name! All of the Andrews were given a warm welcome by both the local community and the many other visitors in St Andrews enjoying our events.”
Jerry Beaulier, Chair of Tourism St Andrews, said: “Tourism St Andrews were thrilled to have the ‘Andrews’ and ‘Andreas’ visiting on St Andrew’s day. There is nowhere more iconic than St Andrews to celebrate our national day and there is nowhere better for an Andrew or Andrea to celebrate than the town that bears his or her name and was home to the Patron Saint of Scotland. This was a unique and special experience for them all.”
A Galilean fisherman, Andrew the Apostle has been the patron saint of Scotland since 1320, at the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath. He is also the patron saint of Greece, Russia, Romania and Barbados.