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Are you a West Coaster? New campaign aims to encourage sustainable tourism in Wester Ross

New campaign launched by Visit Wester Ross.
New campaign launched by Visit Wester Ross.

If you want to live an authentic life in a place where people and nature live in harmony, you might just be a West Coaster.

Visit Wester Ross has launched a new campaign designed to attract people to the area by appealing to their inner West Coaster.

The campaign is made up of a series of films featuring people who run businesses in Wester Ross and are looking to develop sustainable tourism.

Viewers will be introduced to the Mountaineer West Coaster, the Nature West Coaster, the Water West Coaster, the Cultural West Coaster and the Foodie West Coaster, each of whom will share an insight into their life in the area.

What is a West Coaster?

A West Coaster is someone who is passionate about the Wester Ross area and the people living in it.

Douglas Gibson, co-ordinator at Visit Wester Ross, explained a key characteristic of these people: “People living in Wester Ross share the same mindset. We are passionate about where we live, we treat our stunning natural environment and each other with respect and we are proud to welcome visitors from all over the world and share our home.

“But a key difference is that we take ‘Highland time’ – this landscape and our culture has developed over a long period of time and is not something that needs to be rushed.”

Where are the West Coasters?

Mr Gibson believes there are West Coasters living all over the world and is keen to track them down and draw them to the area through the campaign.

He explained: “We think there are fellow West Coasters all over the UK and indeed the world.

“People who want something different, people who want an authentic experience in a place where people, place and land are inextricably linked, people who want to stay and spend quality time, not just pass through for a selfie.

“So, we are asking people to identify as a West Coaster and come and spend some quality, Highland time with us.

Unesco biosphere

Wester Ross is a designated Unesco biosphere which, according to the Unesco website, means it is a “learning place for sustainable development.”

Natasha Hutchison, general manager of the Wester Ross Unesco biosphere, explained what this means for the people who live there: “Unesco biospheres are often located in breath-taking landscapes and Wester Ross is no exception. This makes them wonderful places to visit.

“But living in a UNESCO Biosphere is about actively working towards a sustainable future and finding that delicate balance between development and conservation to ensure the wellbeing of our people and place for generations to come.”

Dying embers of the day at Flowerdale (Gairloch) and towards Skye about 30mins later. #westerross #westerrossbiosphere #Unescotrail #flowerdale #northcoast500

Posted by Visit Wester Ross – The North West Highlands of Scotland on Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Wester Ross was also included in the world’s first Unesco trail, launched by VisitScotland last year.

Over the next six weeks, a new West Coaster video will be released every Friday to give others an idea of what it is like to live in the area.

These videos can be found on the Visit Wester Ross YouTube channel.

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