Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

24/9/2008

American Scots invited ‘home’

Changes to the US census rules mean that Scottish tourism chiefs can now target tens of thousands of American households of Scots descent with an invitation to join the Homecoming in 2009.

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather kicked-off VisitScotland’s biggest ever US direct mail initiative today during a visit to Chicago, home of America’s oldest St Andrews Society.

The US census now allows people to identify themselves as Scots – previously the category was Scots-Irish – and VisitScotland are using this information as part of their concerted efforts to encourage visitors to Scotland for next year’s Homecoming celebrations.

Almost 140,000 specific household addresses, profiled by Scots ethnicity and income, will shortly receive a Homecoming mailshot.

The campaign focuses on households in Scotland’s best originating states and districts in the US and Canada.

Speaking from Chicago, where he hosted a Gala Reception with the Illinois St Andrews Society, Mr Mather said:

“There are millions of people across North America who claim a Scots ancestry or an affinity to Scotland, and they are all invited to join in our Homecoming celebrations next year.

“What this initiative by VisitScotland allows is for the Homecoming message, information, and a personal invite ‘home’, to be posted to tens of thousands of households identifying a specific, direct link with Scotland.

“The change in the census rules gives us an unprecedented opportunity to reach out directly to the families most likely to travel to Scotland during the Homecoming – an opportunity VisitScotland and their partners are grabbing with both hands.

“I’m sure this initiative, and the other marketing activity being pursued in North America, will help ensure that 2009 will be a positive year for the Scottish tourism industry.”

VisitScotland’s Chairman Peter Lederer said:

“This is our biggest ever direct mail campaign in the USA. Our Homecoming marketing activity to date has shown that North Americans are responding well to Homecoming, whether they have ancestral links or just simply love Scotland.

“By targeting people of Scottish decent, and with the means to travel, we can be sure that this campaign is reaching the right people. Homecoming is going to be a fantastic year for Scotland, for visitors and those of us who live in Scotland alike.”

VisitScotland’s partners in the direct mail initiative are the airlines Continental, US Airways and Globespan, and travel operators CIE, Trafalgar, Great Canadian Travel Company and Royal Scottish Tours.

To reach ‘Scots’ households in the state of Pennsylvania, VisitScotland has partnered with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and US Airways, who operate a non-stop Philadelphia-Glasgow route.

Scott Taylor, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting VisitScotland and US Airways in targeting people of Scots descent in Pennsylvania with messages about Glasgow and Homecoming. This three-way partnership has proved very effective in previous campaigns and we look forward to continued success in 2009.”

Source-Scottish Parliament

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