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21 Oct 2021

World’s first UNESCO digital trail launches in Scotland

Scotland's UNESCO World Heritage Sites are being brought together through the world’s first ever UNESCO digital trail.

The trail connects the country’s 13 place-based UNESCO designations, including World Heritage Sites, Biospheres, Global Geoparks and Creative Cities to form a dedicated digital trail.

Designed to boost Scotland’s world-leading tourism credentials, the trail encourages visitors to stay longer and visit all year round by taking them on a cultural journey across the country, experiencing everything from history to science, music, design and literature to nature and cityscapes.

It will also encourage visitors to make sustainable travel choices, explore more widely and, in turn, contribute to the sustainable quality of life of those communities surrounding the designated sites.

Scotland is the first nation in the world to create such an initiative.

Developed through a unique partnership between VisitScotland, the Scottish Government, the UK National Commission for UNESCO Historic Environment Scotland, NatureScot, the National Trust for Scotland and Scotland’s 13 UNESCO designations, the project has received £360,000 funding from the Scottish Government to support the strategy for the sustainable recovery of Scottish tourism.

The digital trail is available through the website.

Ivan McKee, Tourism Minister, said: "Scotland has always been a pioneering nation and I’m thrilled to see we’re leading the way with the world’s first UNESCO digital trail.

"Tourism is key to Scotland’s economy and as we begin to recover from the pandemic, this collaboration could not be more timely.

"The trail will help to attract and welcome both domestic and international visitors again, by showcasing Scotland’s unique cultural heritage and many UNESCO sites.

"As we approach COP26, I’m pleased to see that the UNESCO trail has sustainability at its core and will help visitors make responsible and sustainable choices by highlighting green accredited businesses and promoting environmentally friendly travel."

To access the trail, click here for the website.

The trail is the latest sign that tourism trails are becoming a trend in the industry.

Others include the Wild Atlantic Way – a 2,500km coastal route in western Ireland – and the Wales Coast Path, a designated long-distance trail which follows, or runs close to, the coastline of Wales.

To read an article on the Wild Atlantic Way, click here for Attractions management Issue 1/2016.

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