Media release: New Lochaber website aiming high


‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ digital site launches on mountain top

THE highest shinty match ever played in the UK – in the shadow of Ben Nevis – will today (Thursday 3 August) help celebrate the launch of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s new ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ (OCUK) destination website, in partnership with VisitScotland.

The new OCUK website features direct integration with the VisitScotland web platform: – a first for the national tourism organisation.

New VisitScotland-searchable windows on mean that when visitors to the OCUK website are looking for accommodation, activity providers, food and drink outlets or events, they can search through Lochaber businesses with a web listing on

The new partnership provides visitors with an even better digital experience and lots more options. It is hoped that the integration will make it easier for visitors to tailor their stay in the area, stay longer, explore further and spend more across Lochaber, the Highlands and Scotland.

The singular setting of Britain’s highest shinty match – at over 1,200m above sea level – is the perfect way to illustrate the online partnership with VisitScotland and Lochaber’s unique offering for visitors.

The new ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ website forms an integral part of ‘Connect to Your Adventure’, Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s year-long digital tourism marketing campaign, targeted at key UK audiences, including families with an appetite for more relaxed adventures and adrenaline junkies looking for more thrilling experiences.

The new design is clean and fresh with far greater levels of interaction, mobile responsiveness and user generated content.

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland regional partnerships director, said: “We are delighted to have worked with OCUK on this pilot project – it is a fantastic shared opportunity for both organisations at an exciting time in their destination plans.

“Our website was relaunched in February 2016 with a new look and feel, greater use of inspiring imagery and video content to showcase the true Spirit of Scotland, and was translated into five European languages.

“Between April 2016 and March 2017, it delivered 1.4 million referrals to businesses via web listings. This was up 19 per cent on the previous year. It is a fantastic platform giving access to a huge amount of domestic and international consumers – all for free.

“We hope that our partnership with OCUK will also help them ensure their website content meets consumer expectations, delivers an enhanced customer experience, boosts web traffic and increases referrals to businesses.”

This latest partnership is part of VisitScotland’s wider Customer Experience Strategy, where we market Scotland with Scotland and deliver the best information to every corner of Scotland through a ‘band’ of tourism ambassadors, enhanced digital activity and an information network which delivers exceptional service.

This includes our partners’ digital channels, VisitScotland iCentres, the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) programme and outreach, including its suite of CooVans.

The way visitors access information has changed significantly and we need to reflect that by switching investment to new initiatives in order to reach more people with personalised information so they stay longer, spend more and grow the visitor economy.

Chris O’Brien, destination manager at OCUK, said: “I am delighted to be announcing this digital partnership with VisitScotland. This integration will enhance the customer’s online journey to the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, connecting them with the very best activity and accommodation providers in Lochaber. We look forward to continuing to work closely with VisitScotland on a truly unique digital adventure.”

Earlier this year, VisitScotland gave OCUK £40,000 of Growth Funding towards creating stunning new videos to inspire potential visitors to ‘connect to their adventure’ in Lochaber

For more information, visit

Visitors to Lochaber are being encouraged to Tweet using #myoutdoorcapital

For more information on VisitScotland, visit


For further information contact:


Kim Walton, regional corporate press officer – Tel: (01224) 269187 / Mob: 07805 802 508 /


Louise Purves, corporate press officer – Tel: (0131) 472 2052 /

Notes to editors:

* Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews

* VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.

* The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.

* This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:

1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country

2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations

3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels

4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice

5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes

6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all

7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support

* To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.

* VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.

* Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about five per cent of total Scottish GDP.

* The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.

* For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to

* Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh).

* For holiday information on Scotland go to

* For information about business tourism in Scotland go to

2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

* 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.

* The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017.  It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.

* The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.

* The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.

* The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

* For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017

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