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Forget club 18 to 30 Go for a clean break

  • Date: Monday 13th May 2019
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It was interesting to see that VisitScotland is keen to cash in on the global ‘wellness’ trend that has been going from strength to strength over the past few years.

With Scotland’s rugged beauty and natural wilderness easily found just a short drive from many of our cities, VisitScotland’s major new tourist push makes perfect sense to corner a burgeoning market of wellness retreats and spiritual getaways.

Many analysts estimated the global wellness tourism industry to be worth a staggering £639 billion in 2017, so it is no wonder our national tourism agency has invested time and energy into commissioning a wide-ranging look into the huge trend that is growing twice as fast as traditional global tourism offerings.

Producing and publishing its first dedicated itinerary around the theme of health and wellbeing, the agency has harnessed some of Scotland’s most serene attractions and locations across the country, to help visitors relax their mind and leave feeling invigorated and rejuvenated.

Club 18–30 this is not. However, with it being well documented that young people are keen to move away from hedonism to showcase picture perfect Instagram feeds and boast about their clean living lifestyle, it feels that VisitScotland’s new campaign will tap into this new travel movement.

Why drink warm beer on an overcrowded beach somewhere on the Med, when you can breathe in Scotland’s fresh air and have as wild or relaxing break as you wish? That includes everything from white water rafting to tranquil forest walks - surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world?

I can’t think of anything better than getting out and enjoying the Scottish landscape. It helps clear my head and I certainly feel the benefit of the fresh air. It’s the perfect elixir for de-stressing after a tough week.

With recent YouGov research findings showing that 32 per cent of Britons see Scotland as somewhere to head off and recharge the batteries, as well as the figure rising to 47 per cent among those who have previously been on a dedicated wellness holiday, I’m sure that VisitScotland’s Wellness Breaks itinerary can and will certainly capture the imagination of the general public.

With the tourist agency flagging over 11.8 million visits made to Scotland by people from across the UK, it’s hoped the growing trend could generate millions of further trips north of the Border, particularly from Londoners -  with a quarter of the capital’s residents already having been on at least one wellness holiday before.

With the potential benefits to both the overall economy of the country and the local economy for some of the more remote Scottish locations highlighted within the guide - including the likes of Eskdalemuir, Pitlochry and the Isle of Arran - there is certainly a chance for many to reap the rewards from Scotland’s abundant natural resources.

Not only this, but I’m sure many small Scottish businesses, offering wellness breaks and spiritual retreats, shall be looking forward to a potential boost for business. Their thoughts will be quickly turning to how to attract visitors.

With so many tourists, both young and old, keen to enjoy bespoke experiences that reflect both their tastes or are more off the beaten track, Scotland’s entrepreneurs and small business owners can provide this and then some.

Best of luck to VisitScotland’s new campaign. I’m sure that it will not only invigorate our visitors, but our tourist economy as well.



Scotland has made huge strides towards becoming a more environmentally conscious and less wasteful country after Holyrood revealed plans to introduce an innovative deposit return scheme.

Expected to be up and running for March 2021, the initiative will be a UK first and showcases Scotland as a pioneering nation when it comes to green issues.

The new system will mean we’ll soon be paying deposits of 20p when we buy cans and glass or plastic bottles.

But we’ll get it back when we return the container to the retailer or to designated recycling points across Scotland.

Many of these recycling points are expected to be in the form of an innovative reverse vending machine network – essentially machines that lets you ‘post’ your empties back in return for your deposit.  

It is certainly an ambitious scheme considering the goal is to capture 90 per cent of single-use drink containers for recycling within three years. If that happens it will be a huge development for the circular economy in Scotland and our overall recycling habits.

By offering consumers an incentive, I believe it will encourage more people to get behind the scheme and make it a success.  I remember so many people getting on board with returning bottles when AG Barr had a deposit scheme. Let’s bring back that enthusiasm.

Ultimately it should serve to improve the volume and quality of recycling while also reducing litter and waste across our streets and in our seas. Win-win.

We already have companies like Norway-headquartered TOMRA operating in the UK in readiness for the introduction of deposit return scheme in Scotland – and if our country can achieve recycling return rates like Norway’s, we’re surely on to a winner.

It’s great to see Scotland leading the charge and making positive steps for a greener country.



We’re in the midst of an obesity crisis across the UK with one in four adults and one in three children under 15 classified as overweight or obese.

It is no surprise we’ve been heading this way – especially when Scotland is too often home to everything deep fried. What might surprise you though, is that hedgehogs are the latest to be hit by the crisis.

Keen to lure the endangered creatures into gardens and give them a good feed, Scottish households have been leaving out too many carb-heavy treats for these prickly friends.

We certainly need to look out for our hedgehogs, by creating garden habitats and helping to track the population for The British Hedgehog Preservation Society. However, perhaps feeding them last night’s kebab is not the way to go.



It’s sad to hear about the rising use of local foodbanks, along with pleas for donations. Worse, the trend shows no sign of change – especially when looking at a recent charity report.

Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank provider, revealed that in 2018-19 it provided more than 210,000 emergency packages to people in crisis.

That represents a rise of 23 per cent compared to the same period last year, and adds to the 200 per cent increase over the past five years.

No one should be in the position that they can’t afford basic food for their household, but unfortunately it is the reality for many people today.

Here’s hoping the latest figures prompt a meaningful response from the Scottish Government which then helps to identify grassroots solutions to this appalling trend. 





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