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30th January 2024

New campaign with VisitScotland showcases ‘the beautiful south’

Outdoor adventure seekers from central Scotland and Northwest England are being urged to plan a trip to one of the must-visit locations for nature and wildlife experiences this year.

A new marketing campaign is being launched to entice visitors to the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, after it was named on National Geographic’s Cool List 2024.

The GSA Biosphere and VisitScotland are teaming up for promotional activity using Facebook and Instagram running until the spring. The social media posts will direct people to inspirational content on to help them get the best out of a trip and explore the thousands of miles of forests and moorland, historic villages and towns and coastline.

The National Tourism Organisation’s latest insights suggest, among those intending to book a winter break, the most popular activities being planned are walking, hiking and rambling and visiting heritage sites. Central Scotland and Northwest England have particularly accessible connections to the UNESCO Biosphere region, including via more sustainable travel options.

The GSA Biosphere has recently extended its geographical boundary to include even more great experiences. Having nearly doubled in size since UNESCO status was awarded in 2012, to the GSA Biosphere now measures almost 9,800km². It includes Alloway, home of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, and the Rhins of Galloway, Scotland’s most southernly point, where visitors can enjoy spectacular coastline along with historic landmarks that date back to the Middle Ages.

The GSA Biosphere is home to several internationally significant natural habitats and the attractions and activities on offer are designed work in harmony with the area’s environment and protect biodiversity. Growing interest in the area’s UNESCO designation at home and abroad reflects a wider public interest in immersive, nature-based activities and a more ‘carbon conscious’ approach to leisure and travel.

VisitScotland’s Destination Development Director, Gordon Smith said: “Being named on National Geographic’s Cool List for 2024 is a fantastic opportunity for us to promote all the tremendous experiences the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere offers many different types of visitors.

“Mountain biking, kayaking, wild swimming and hiking are just some of the great activities to consider and this new campaign aims to connect with visitors, drawing on their emotions and showing them the dramatic landscapes, wildlife and historic attractions can feel like year-round.”

Ed Forrest, the GSA Biosphere’s Director, said, “We are delighted to be working with VisitScotland in this landmark campaign, and especially to be able to share the amazing diversity of Biosphere experiences with new visitors. There is truly something for everyone in this region and with a tourism offer that is founded on sustainability, everyone’s winter break can be good for people and nature alike.”

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere forms part of Scotland’s UNESCO Trail which was named in Rough Guides’ 24 best destinations to visit in 2024.

Scotland’s UNESCO Trail, launched in 2021, is the world’s first ever national UNESCO trail and includes all 13 of Scotland’s placed-based UNESCO designated sites, recognised for their internationally significant cultural or natural heritage value featuring World Heritage Sites, Global Geoparks, Biospheres and Creative Cities.

For inspiration and information about Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere and Scotland’s UNESCO Trail please visit our Explore page, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about planning your Biosphere experience. Our team are reachable via Feature image at the top of the page is courtesy of Galloway Cycling Holidays, a Biosphere-certified activity provider.


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