Tourism gears up for “Brave effect”


Scotland’s tourism industry is preparing to translate the worldwide charm of Disney-Pixar’s hit film Brave into visitor numbers.

First Minister Alex Salmond and members of the Scottish Cabinet experienced the Brave effect first-hand when they visited Skye today and took part in a demonstration showcasing archery skills – one of the traditional talents which is a centre-piece to the animated Scottish tale.

Mr Salmond said:

“American audiences have given Brave a very firm thumbs-up with at the box office and I am in no doubt the home audience will do too when the film opens across Scotland on August 3rd and UK-wide on August 13th.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses focusing on tourism and outdoor activities to build on the positive messages around this wonderful story and its sweeping animation and so give fans the ultimate Brave experience when they come to Scotland. Estimates so far are that the film will provide a £140m boost to the economy and this begins with making the legend come to life – just like the trailer says.

“Brave melds elements of our magnificent castles, iconic historic sites and sweeping landscapes into a feisty fairytale intended to inspire and the message that Scotland is the home of Brave is not only confined to TV – there is also a new website and extensive marketing and events activity in countries ranging from the US and UK to France and Germany. The TV and film campaign will reach around 80 million people in the UK and abroad and will spread the word about the opportunities to be experienced here in the land of the Brave.”

VisitScotland Chairman Mike Cantlay said:

“This is an incredible opportunity to extend the reach of VisitScotland’s marketing activity across the world. This film will be shown in more than 70 countries across the world and will give us the opportunity to convert cinema goers into visitors in the biggest campaign VisitScotland has ever launched.

“I am extremely encouraged to see the huge buy-in from tourism businesses across Scotland. On Skye alone we have a range of businesses using the marketing power of Brave; everything from self catering premises such as Kirsty’s Cottage, outdoor activity provider Skyak Adventures, the Stein Inn hotel and Uig pottery visitor attraction, they have all recognised the opportunities and capitalised on this once in a life time opportunity.

“There are very few tourism destinations that get to work so closely with the world’s largest entertainment companies – and this gives us an unprecedented opportunity to put Scotland on the worldwide stage with a whole new audience.”

Ian Brown, Director of Highland Activities, who taught the Cabinet members some of the finer points of archery during the visit to Skye, said:

“Archery is central to the storyline in Brave and is experiencing something of a resurgence now as the excitement grows around the film. We have seen an increase in interest in archery across all three of our centres this year just because of the Brave effect. While archery is only one of the activities we offer at Highland Activities, we are aware that the buzz being created around Merida and her legendary tale presents us with a perfect opportunity to give visitors their own taste of Brave. As only one Scottish business looking to make capital out of this fantastic opportunity, we can’t wait until the film opens.”