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VisitScotland opens world's first Instagram travel agency

  • The #ScotSpirit Instagram Travel Agency lets visitors craft holidays to Scotland based entirely around other travellers’ Instagram pictures; combining social media with a high street experience.

  • Planning starts at a floor-to-ceiling digital Instagram wall showing images from across Scotland;

  • Visitors pick their favourite ‘#ScotSpirit’ Instagram images and bespoke holiday itineraries are created based on those pictures.

  • Guests can also take a VR tour of Scotland, enjoy a taste of Scottish hospitality, and be in with a chance of winning a brilliant break to the Highlands.

VisitScotland has today (Wednesday, 18 October) brought the digital world to IRL bricks-and-mortar,by opening the first ever Instagram Travel Agency: allowing visitors to build their own holidays to Scotland based entirely around other people’s Instagram photos.This digital twist on the high-street holiday experience combines the enormous amount of inspirational content available online with the expertise and guidance that only the traditional travel agent can offer.

 It’s a common occurrence: a person clicks “like” on a friend’s holiday Instagram photos and thinks “That’s another one for the trip list!”   In fact, more than 488 million people do so – as 61%* of all Instagram users say that they use Instagram to plan their trips to a new place.

What happens when there’s just too much #inspo though? Instagram users agree that it’s a perfect tool to discover incredible destinations – it fuels daydreams about exciting locations (96%) or opens their eyes to different cultures (95%)*.  But…how does one navigate the hundreds of millions of travel-related hashtags** to create the perfect trip? At times like that, there’s no substitution for a bit of good, old-fashioned human interaction and guidance.

The #ScotSpirit Instagram Travel Agency magics away the time spent researching holidays online. Upon arrival, Instagram inspiration is delivered via a resplendently crisp floor-to-ceiling screen displaying hundreds of Instagram photos of Scotland At this state-of-the-art picture wall, visitors, with the assistance of staff, select their favourite ‘#ScotSpirit’ Instagram images of Scotland’s sights, restaurants, experiences, hotels and more.

The personable and knowledgeable staff then use a customer’s cherry-picked Instagram pictures to curate their perfect Scottish holiday suggested itinerary; crafted around their unique personal preferences and schedules. Visitors can then take the itinerary away to book in their own time.

Charlie Smith, Director of Marketing from VisitScotland commented: As a destination we are keen to develop and deliver our powerful national story, giving a respectful nod to the past but portraying a modern, welcoming and dynamic Scotland. We’re proud of the fact that VisitScotland has the biggest tourism Instagram account in Europe, with over 370, 000 followers. People love our feed not only for the stunning photographs – often taken by our visitors - but also because they discover the immense and unexpected variety of things they can see and do in Scotland. Our biggest number of Instagram followers come from London***, so by extending that traditional Scottish hospitality and opening the world’s first Instagram Travel Agency in London, we hope to inspire them to come to Scotland to experience it for themselves!”

Every customer who has a suggested itinerary created for them will also have the chance to win a brilliant break to Scotland. The space itself will be dressed by ANTA Scotland with its beautiful and original home furnishing and ceramic stoneware.  Customers can also experience many different Scottish destinations and landmarks through a VR experience to help them with their decision of where they’d like to visit in person.

The #ScotSpirit Instagram Travel Agency will be open from Wednesday 18th October until Saturday 21st October, and is free to enter, no appointment necessary. It is located in the heart of London’s Fitzrovia, at 89 Charlotte St, London W1T 4PU.

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