Programme extended until 2022
Themed Years will continue beyond 2018, it was confirmed today (15 March).
The Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be celebrated in 2020 while the focus in 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories, both led by VisitScotland.
The 2020 theme will support Scotland’s marine and coastal tourism sector, as well as the marine tourism strategy ‘Awakening the Giant’. Scotland’s Stories will be a showcase of the country’s rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.
Scotland’s Themed Years have been running since 2009, proving very successful in giving Scottish tourism an edge and galvanising partners to work across boundaries to create a strong collaborative platform to promote Scotland and its people. The programme of celebratory years has also supported Scotland’s events and festivals sector to develop new and exciting programmes designed to appeal to both visitors and locals.
Speaking at the Scottish Tourism Week Signature Conference, organised by the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Themed Years programme has succeeded in giving Scottish tourism an edge, galvanising partners to work together to promote Scotland and its people.
“Organisations and individuals who participated in the recent consultation were in favour of continuing with themed years. More importantly, a significant majority found the programme to be beneficial to their business or organisation. We also listened to the views expressed that the programme would benefit from longer time scales and the Years will now be delivered in a two year cycle.
“I am pleased that the programme will continue up to 2022, providing an ideal way to continue to celebrate the best of Scotland.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We welcome the news from the Cabinet Secretary that the Themed Years will continue beyond 2018, and the fantastic opportunities that Scotland’s Coast and Waters and Scotland’s Stories will present in 2020 and 2022.
“Themed Years encourage industry to think in new ways and take more innovative approaches. They tap into new audiences and inspire visitors to see Scotland in a different way.
“In 2016, more than a million people attended events during the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, while this year a 12-month programme will spotlight some of our greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems, as we celebrate the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
“We look forward to embracing these new Themed Years, which reflect the diverse and rich offering Scotland has as a must-visit destination.”
One of the key outcomes of the consultation was a desire to further maximise the opportunity presented by Themed Years both in terms of engagement and impacts. This feedback has informed a shift to a new delivery model which will see themed years delivered every other year. The introduction of an extended strategic planning period will help facilitate improved momentum and engagement in order to create a strong collaborative platform to promote Scotland, as well as enabling a longer duration for legacy and increased opportunities for participation across the widest range of partners in the public, private and third sectors.
In addition to the frequency of themed years, the consultation asked for suggestions on future themed year topics which resulted in a broad range of themes proposed, many of them multiple times. Two priority themes for future years were identified and have been announced today as part of Scottish Tourism Week - Scotland’s Coast and Waters will be celebrated in 2020, followed by Scotland’s Stories in 2022 - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.
Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters will follow the Year of Young People 2018 with planning set to begin in the first quarter of 2018, the following Themed Year celebrating Scotland’s Stories will see planning beginning in 2019.