Launch of the first UNESCO World Trail in Dundee
The trail digitally connects Scotland’s 13 UNESCO sites for the first time
Last updated on October 15, 2021
The world’s first UNESCO Trail, bringing together some of Scotland’s most iconic, diverse and culturally significant sites, was launched today.
The trail numerically connects the country’s 13 UNESCO geographic designations, including World Heritage Sites, Biospheres, Global Geoparks and Creative Cities.
The project aims to showcase Scotland’s finest cultural sites, giving visitors a taste of history, science, music, design, literature, nature and cityscapes.
The trail has been specially designed to support the ambitions of making Scotland a leading responsible tourism destination in the world. It encourages visitors to stay longer at the sites, to visit year-round, to make sustainable travel choices, and to contribute to sustainable quality of life and local businesses in the communities surrounding the designated sites.
Promoting sustainable travel options and communities engaged in responsible tourism practices is at the heart of the trail. Scotland is the first nation in the world to create such a pioneering initiative. The project was developed through a partnership between VisitScotland, the Scottish Government, the UK National Commission for UNESCO, Historic Environment Scotland, NatureScot, The National Trust for Scotland and the 13 UNESCO Designations of Scotland.
The Scottish Government has supported the project with funding of £ 360,000 to support the strategy for the sustainable recovery of Scottish tourism.
Tourism Minister Ivan McKee officially launched the trail in Dundee, the UNESCO city of design, unveiling a specially commissioned design by illustrator and printmaker Jagoda Sadowska, a graduate of the city’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. The design was imprinted on a gate, which will be incorporated into the Open Close city tour as a permanent legacy of the trail.
Tourism Minister Ivan Mckee said: “We are the first country in the world to bring all UNESCO sites like this together in the stretch from Galloway in the south to Shetland, St Kilda, the towns, islands and rural areas of Scotland all covered by UNESCO heritage sites.
“We are extremely excited about this. We think it gives a very good platform for tourists to understand what Scotland has to offer, to come and visit and enjoy what Scotland has to offer and to do in a sustainable way. “
He added: “People who are interested in part of UNESCO’s work and who may be familiar with one of the tourist sites, can in one place learn all about the rest and about the other 12 sites that UNESCO has to offer. we have. They can come and visit and really contribute to Scotland’s tourism economy, but do so in a sustainable way. “
Francesca Osowska, CEO of NatureScot and Chair of the UNESCO Trail Steering Group in Scotland, said: “The trail shows how much of Scotland is ahead in terms of tourism. As a world first, bringing all of these different types of sites together is truly unique. If you are interested in culture, whether you are interested in the history of Scotland or its outstanding natural beauty, there is something in the trail for you. “
She added, “Sustainability is at the heart of this trail, so alongside information about the different designations and what routes you can take, there is also information about local businesses that are green accredited. Having that accreditation green is really fundamental, as well as information on active and green travel to make it as sustainable a trail as possible. “
VisitScotland’s Director of Industry and Destination Development Rob Dickson said: “It’s a great way to promote some different places in Scotland, but unique places in Scotland that visitors can visit. “
He added: “We believe Scotland is a world class destination and this demonstrates the world class status we have.
“They will attract a different audience, they are promoted in a different way, we hope different people and people will come and see this in Scotland and look at this in a way that was not possible before and that will inevitably lead to Scotland. attracting a different audience, we think. “
Professor Anne Anderson, non-executive director of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, said: “It will really give people a taste of the wonders of Scotland. will really encourage them to come and visit, whether it’s five miles or 500 miles.
“By doing it in a sustainable way, we are providing them with sustainable opportunities. Traveling in a sustainable way, supporting communities, all businesses related to the trail are green accredited. We are really trying to do responsible tourism and make it a real world. first.”
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