Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Homecoming 2009 aiming to be a cultural bonanza

Published in the Inverness Courier, 16 January 2009

The Year of Homecoming is a Scottish Government initiative and SNP Highlands and Islands MSP Rob Gibson believes it will bring positive results to the area.

"I think the benefit for the Highlands is to make the kind of links which could lead to people travelling more often and not just once," he said.

Rob would also like to see more money for the campaign so that the "Caledonia" television advert featuring Sean Connery, Chris Hoy and other well known figures from sport and entertainment, can be shown in even more countries. He dismissed criticisms that the advertisement and initiative as a whole played on an out-dated and romanticised view of Scotland.

"What's false about it?" he asked.

"That we have castles or fine golf courses or that we are celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Bard? All of these things are attractors to Scotland and I don't think they are not symbols of modern Scotland. Modern Scotland is about more than just the hipness of shopping centres or city restaurants. This is all the more essential given the financial crisis we are going through so that we attract people who have some affinity or interest sparked by a modern Scotland that has not lost touch with its traditions."

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