Scotland's Gaelic Islands - project encourages visitors to explore the Hebridean islands

31 January 2020
A new tourism project will invite visitors from around the world to explore the history, heritage and culture of Scotland's Gaelic islands.

Eileanan na Gàidhlig, or Scotland’s Gaelic Islands, a digital campaign led by Outer Hebrides Tourism and developed in partnership with Bòrd na Gàidhlig and CalMac, has received a £25,000 VisitScotland Growth Fund award.

At the heart of Gaelic Scotland

The Outer Hebrides is the heart of Gaelic Scotland, with 50-70% of the local community speaking the language as part of their daily life on the crofts, boats, schools and shops of the islands.  The campaign aims to use the language and its traditions to attract visitors from across the UK to come and experience the cultural offering of the islands.

Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, a series of short videos will be created where BBC Alba’s Calum Maclean interviews islanders in their own language about how Gaelic embodies island life and highlighting where visitors can go to get a taste of the islands’ Gaelic language, culture and traditions.

The videos will be filmed in Gaelic and are designed to be accessible for everyone, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the language and some useful phrases.

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Traditions & language

The videos and influencer activity will be supported by a digital eBook containing rich visual and audio content to allow visitors to learn more about Gaelic music, Harris Tweed, the medieval Kingdom of the Isles, and crofting.

The eBook will provide details on the places they can visit to experience Gaelic traditions and hear the language, including Commun Eachdraidh Nis, or Ness Historical Society, which has a museum and archives that tell the story of the local culture and language.

Gaelic in tourism

Daibhidh Boag, Director of Language Planning and Community Developments, said: “The National Gaelic Language plan has the primary aim that more people use Gaelic, more often and in a wider range of situations and we welcome this initiative as it aims to grow the use of Gaelic in tourism businesses across the Outer Hebrides and at the same time, allows visitors to use their Gaelic or find out more about the language.

We are delighted to be a funding partner in this initiative as we believe that tourism can help grow the use of Gaelic and that Gaelic can help grow the tourist industry in the Outer Hebrides and across Scotland.”

For more information about the campaign, visit the website. Read a Gaelic version of the report here. Link to ferry details at this site.

Photo by Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash, report courtesy of VisitScotland

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