VisitScotland has published its latest Gaelic Language Plan as part of its commitment to ensuring Gaelic has a strong and sustainable future in Scotland.
It comes as a ‘Scottish Gaelic Explained’ video created by the national tourism organisation in the summer reached over 95,000 views, showing an increasing interest in the language.
The revised plan highlights actions to be undertaken by the national tourism organisation to contribute to the growth of Gaelic over the next three years. These include encouraging and supporting more tourism businesses to engage with Gaelic and recording those that do, while raising Gaelic awareness within VisitScotland.
The plan which was first created in 2012, was drawn up by representatives from across the organisation and was circulated for public consultation before it was finalised.
An immediate focus for the 2019-2022 plan is to conduct an audit of Gaelic-speaking VisitScotland staff, which will take place before the end of the year.
The plan follows the launch of the first Gaelic Tourism Strategy in 2018 which aims to increase promotion and access to Gaelic as part of the Scottish visitor experience. VisitScotland lead on the implementation of the strategy and is co-ordinating progress across all actions and partners involved.
Gaelic is part of daily life in Scotland and has been for generations. As a unique aspect of Scottish culture and heritage, Gaelic can provide an extra layer to the authentic Scottish experience and to Scotland’s many visitors. The VisitScotland Visitor Survey in 2016 found that, with no prior promotion, 34% of respondents felt that Gaelic, as a national language of Scotland, enhanced their visit and they would like to find out more about it.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “This latest VisitScotland Gaelic Language Plan reinforces our commitments to promote the language’s use throughout the organisation, focusing on key areas of our operation such as supporting the tourism industry to embrace Gaelic, our identity, signage, communication with the public and the use of Gaelic on our websites.
“The language has the potential to be a key ingredient in the Scottish tourism offer, providing visitors with a memorable and unique experience. VisitScotland plays a significant role in seeing that those travelling to our shores have their visits enriched even further by Gaelic.
“With over 600 staff, offices and information centres across the country, and all our visitor communications, our role in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Gaelic language is a significant one.”
Welcoming the plan, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Ceannard (CEO) Shona NicIllinnein said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes the third iteration of VisitScotland’s Gaelic Plan and we recognise and value the significant work that VisitScotland undertakes to promote Gaelic in Scotland and internationally.
“Tourism is very important to the Scottish economy and we recognise the huge potential which exists to grow the use of Gaelic across the industry, for the benefit of communities and visitors alike.”
You can access VisitScotland’s Gaelic Language Plan at: http://www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_gaelic_plan.aspx