Why it’s worth a Venture North

Published on : Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Visit ScotlandA marketing project which aims to promote, showcase and highlight Caithness and Sutherland using a series of short films has been given a £10,000 boost from the VisitScotland Growth Fund.


The grant from the national tourism organisation has been awarded to Venture North for its ‘Venture North Discovery Series’ year-long marketing initiative to emphasise the many draws of the north Highlands.


The Growth Fund cash comprises half the cost of the £20,000 marketing push, with the other £10,000 coming from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Scottish and Southern Energy.


The campaign aims to highlight the attractions of both regions using marketing activity to increase visitor numbers to the area in quieter months and improve overall footfall in busier seasonal times.


The campaign will see three video shorts made covering themes such as dark skies, surf & watersports, the outdoors, visitor attractions and food and drink.


Founded in 2012, Venture North is a group of businesses which focus on promoting the tourist offer of Caithness & Sutherland. Its aim is to benefit not only the tourism economy but also the wider communities and the campaign will be very different to any marketing activity previously used in the area.


Amongst its goals, Venture North Discovery series aims to:

Increase visitor numbers by 15% and the average overnight spend per head by 10-15%
Showcase the Caithness & Sutherland are as an ideal holiday destination on a wide international platform
Highlight the abundance of visitor activities and tourism providers in C&S while documenting the local area’s natural attractions
Increase membership numbers for Venture North to fund future projects and aid direct collaboration between local businesses and local or national tourism organisations
Multiple social media strands will be used to showcase the series and press familiarisation (fam) trips will be planned.


Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said:

“We are delighted to support Venture North’s new marketing campaign through the VisitScotland Growth Fund and I am sure Venture North Discovery series will inspire even more people to enjoy Caithness and Sutherland’s great visitor activities.


“This area is well-known for its numerous rare plants, insects and birds. We hope this marketing campaign will attract even more visitors to this region not only because of its natural beauty and incredible dark skies, but also to experience its watersports and fishing; cycling, walking and climbing and its food and drink.”


Jo Wyke, a Director of Venture North and current committee member, said:

“Venture North has come together as an organisation of local businesses working together to promote the many draws that Caithness & Sutherland has to offer our visitors.


“One of the best ways to direct that spotlight was to formulate a focused year-long online marketing campaign showcasing a series of promotional films encouraging travellers to ‘Venture North’.


“VisitScotland and the Growth Fund was the perfect home for the project and both SSE and NDA have also come on board and we are grateful for their support.


“We are delighted that VisitScotland has seen the potential of the Venture North Discovery series of films, but most importantly that they have recognised how much this beautiful area has to offer and that it merits the platform that this initiative will offer. Their support is invaluable and we look forward to working with them over 2016.


“This year will be an exciting one for Caithness & Sutherland and we can’t wait to get to work on showing the way north to an even wider audience.”


The VisitScotland Growth Fund supports a range of regional, national and sectoral groups to deliver marketing campaigns to UK and International audiences.


Funding can cover 50 per cent of approved marketing costs from a minimum award of £5,000 up to a maximum of £40,000.


Source:- Visit Scotland


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