ISLAND communities in the Outer Hebrides are set for an economic boost as a new brand encourages visitors from across the world to come and experience an unique and diverse island journey.
The Outer Hebrides’ brand will position the inter-connected island chain as a top global destination option which offers exciting opportunities for island hopping holidays, highlighting the unique and diverse appeal of the islands’ culture, heritage, wildlife and way of life, appealing to both traditional and emerging tourist markets.
The strapline Outer Hebrides: Experience Life on the Edge sums up how the unique and rich diversity of the Outer Hebrides’ environment and culture combine to offer an enlightening, enriching and engaging visitor experience.
Nick Needham of creative agency, Bright 3D, said: “Creating an identity for a destination like the Outer Hebrides is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and one that comes with an sense of responsibility to the people who live, work and holiday there.
“With such diversity across the islands, one of the biggest challenges was to create a brand identity that would reflect the overall destination, yet give individual islands the chance to express their own personality.
“We ran a series of workshops on the islands to discover what the Outer Hebrides meant to people and to find the common themes linking them together. These themes of communities, landscapes, journeys, senses and contrasts are core to the proposition and are brought to life through a series of graphic wordals.
“The Brand marque is simple and timeless, and the juxtaposition of graphic and text reinforces the strap line ‘experience life of the edge’.”
The brand launch is part of a £150,000 tourism initiative spearheaded by The Outer Hebrides Tourism Industry Association (OHTIA) with support from LEADER, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Together with the launch of a dedicated destination website later in the year, the initiative aims to increase visitor numbers to the Outer Hebrides (currently 200,000 visitors per annum), boost the islands’ economy and bring wide-ranging benefits to the wider community.
Chair of OHTIA, Ian Fordham, explained: “The Outer Hebridesoffer visitors a unique and enriching experience and we felt it was important that this was represented with a strong, vibrant and recognisable brand that encompassed all the individual islands.
“The brand builds on the growing desire for industry lead action and acts as a catalyst for the creation of a unified approach to destination marketing, with the aim of increasing visitor numbers and boosting the local economy.
“The new brand will not only bring together those working within the tourism industry throughout the islands, but it will also help position the islands’ unique identity in the minds of current and potential visitors. We hope that when they visit they will be encouraged to stay longer, spend more and make many return visits to the islands.”
Mairi Buchanan of Highlands and Island Enterprise said: “Tourism plays a significant role in attracting thousands of visitors to the Outer Hebrides every year. The Outer Hebrides are a diverse chain of islands with their own Gaelic way of life, vibrant activity, food and drink, music, art and crafts. The tourism sector is vital to the most fragile areas and this brand initiative aims to grow and achieve the aspirations of the industry in order to increase visitor numbers to boost the local economy.”
Notes to Editor:
- The Outer Hebrides Tourism Industry Association was formed in April 2005 to represent the industry with the aim and objective of promoting, supporting and assisting tourism businesses and interests in the Outer Hebrides. The Association’s Executive forms part of the Area Tourism Partnership group which agrees, reviews and monitors the implementation of the Area Tourism Partnership Plan. The purpose of the Plan is to maximise the benefits of tourism for the people of the Outer Hebrides, by developing a competitive industry, focused on quality and customer service that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and that builds on its history, culture, environment and hospitality of its people.
- The marketing initiative is supported by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage and LEADER – part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Leader Innse Gall 2007 – 2013 programme.
- The Outer Hebrides currently attract around 200,000 visitors per annum, supporting an industry of around 1000 FTE jobs worth an estimated £50+ million to the area’s economy
- Brand Proposition: Situated on Europe’s Atlantic edge, theOuter Hebrides are a unique and diverse chain of inter-connected islands with their own unique way of life, offering a vibrant activity, food, music, art, craft and Gaelic culture. Set in an outstanding and diverse natural environment rich with wildlife and heritage, the Outer Hebrides comprise a very special chain of islands; ideal both for those who are seeking peace and tranquillity and also those looking for active adventure with a taste for a different way of life.
- Brand Positioning: ‘Join us in the islands of the Outer Hebrides to experience life on the edge of Europe’s Atlantic Ocean’.
- Positioning Strapline: ’Experience Life on the Edge’.
Further media information and photographs from Caroline Keith at theKeithconsultancy on 07734 543923 or firstname.lastname@example.org