Campaign targets key markets

Scotland tells rest of Europe: ‘We’re open for business’

Nicola Sturgeon speaking

Strong message: Nicola Sturgeon


Scotland has declared its enduring relationship with Europe in a strong message to demonstrate that the country is open on the original date the UK had planned to leave the EU.

The latest chapter in the global marketing campaign, Scotland Is Now, launched today with the message: “Europe, let’s continue our love affair”.

The launch deliberately coincides with the UK Government’s original ‘Brexit day’ and is designed to tell the continent that Scotland remains an open and welcoming nation. It was launched ahead of MPs rejecting for a third time the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement.

Specifically targeted at key European markets – France, Germany and Spain – where Brexit may be having a negative impact on investment and tourism to Scotland – the campaign builds on existing relationships and reinforces Scotland’s reputation as a world-class place for people to live, work, visit, study and do business.

Using a mix of new creative online content and advertising, the campaign will be rolled out online and in key locations including Munich and Paris airports and in major international titles such as Le Monde, El Pais, and Der Spiegel.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “In the face of uncertainty over the UK’s plans to leave the EU, this campaign sends a strong message that Scotland continues to be a welcoming and outward looking country that will always be open for business.

“We cannot sit back and allow Brexit to damage investment and tourism. It is right that we promote Scotland across Europe and there is no better time to remind our European neighbours of our values, our talents, and our friendship than right now.

“Through the expansion of our network of innovation and investment hubs and the latest phase of the Scotland is Now campaign we are positioning Scotland as a place that people will want to visit – and where they will want to study, live and work.”

Currently, Europe provides six out of Scotland’s ten key tourism markets. In 2017, 1.6 million EU residents visited Scotland, generating £956m for our economy. And, at home, the contribution of EU workers to Scotland’s tourism industry should be celebrated, with 21,000 workers (around 11.6%) employed in the sector during 2017/18.

Trade and investment with Europe is equally as critical with around 32% of Scotland’s inward investment projects having come from the continent.

In addition, nine of the top ten export destinations are in Europe, accounting for a significant £13.2 billion of trade for Scotland. And with population growth in Scotland projected to be amongst the lowest across comparator European countries, it is widely recognised that net in-migration of EU citizens coming to live and work in Scotland is critical to the future of the country’s demography, economy and society.

Bringing together VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Government and Universities Scotland for the first time with a single, bold narrative for Scotland, the Scotland Is Now initiative was launched in April 2018.

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