Put some Gaelic in those bag­pipes

Calgary Herald - - TRAVEL -

Scot­land’s whiskies, tar­tans and bag­pipes are na­tional sym­bols known to any trav­eller, but not enough is be­ing done to pro­mote the coun­try’s Gaelic her­itage, tourism in­dus­try lead­ers say. Now busi­nesses are be­ing urged to “ex­ploit” the cen­turies-old lan­guage to put it on par with Scot­land’s na­tional icons as well as its food, drink, mu­sic and land­scapes. A five-year tourism strat­egy is aimed at em­brac­ing Gaelic as a “unique sell­ing point” af­ter sur­veys showed one in three tourists said their vis­its were en­hanced by its over­looked his­tory. And one of the key mes­sages for busi­nesses is that Gaelic is “not based in myth” but is part of daily life, The Scots­man news­pa­per re­ported. “One of the great jewels at the front of the crown is our Gaelic her­itage,” VisitS­cot­land chair­man John Thurso said. “There is a tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to ex­ploit this won­der­ful nat­u­ral re­source and make more profit out of it.” Shona NicIllinnein, head of a Gaelic lan­guage agency, said tar­tan, kilts, whisky and bag­pipes all de­rive from Gaelic cul­ture, “but the links to where they have come from has been lost for most peo­ple.” Added cul­ture sec­re­tary Fiona Hys­lop: “Gaelic is an im­por­tant part of what makes Scot­land a unique des­ti­na­tion — one that looks to its fu­ture as well as its past.”

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