It could be Uist or Unst, Raasay or Rousay.

A call has been made for everybody in Scotland to sail for free to at least one of Scotland's island communities.

Holyrood ministers are being asked to support the idea as an appropriate way to end the Year of Islands – the 12-month celebration of life on Scotland's inhabited islands – in April.

The call comes from Dr Michael Foxley, leader of the Highland Council, who has already discussed the idea with the Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing and Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland. Now he has written to the First Minister Alex Salmond seeking his backing for the plan.

He suggests that at some point everybody should be given a voucher for a passenger return ticket on a ferry to one of the almost 100 inhabited islands in the Clyde, the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.

He believes encouraging more people to travel and explore the Scottish Highlands and Islands would boost tourism in these areas for years to come. He told Mr Salmond: "I know that you are personally very keen for Scots to explore more of their own country and would therefore be grateful if you could consider this matter.

"One specific suggestion I would like the Scottish Government to consider is to target those finishing S4 year at school. This would be easier to organise within Scottish schools and would allow the voucher to be given to both school leavers and those staying on for S5/S6."

Dr Foxley argues many young people at that age are looking for an adventure, and it would be good to start one on an island.

"Vouchers could be open-ended and the number of vouchers could be in the order of 60,000 per annum," he added

Dr Foxley said he is surprised at the number of Scots who have never visited a Scottish island. He recalled that when he was a GP in Fort William, half his work colleagues had not even taken the Corran Ferry across Loch Linnhe to Ardgour, Morvern and Moidart, never mind going to an island.

The rolling out of road-equivalent tariff (RET) ferry subsidy scheme to all Scottish islands should also make it cheaper

He added: "Although there is a theoretical loss of income to the ferry companies, neither CalMac nor NorthLink Ferries should actually lose out, as people would still buy food and drink on board and the potential for repeat trips would be encouraged.

"There would also be benefits to mainland ports as people will require food, drink and accommodation."

A spokesman for CalMac, the publicly owned ferry company, said: "We are supportive in principle of any initiative which encourages more people to travel to the islands with us and, assuming a number of logistical and financial obstacles can be overcome, would be pleased to welcome young people on board our ferries."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said "We are happy to feed into the council's discussions aimed at boosting accessibility, tourism and the economies of Scotland's island communities.

"The Scottish Government and our enterprise and tourism agencies are working hard to strengthen Scotland's tourism industry. The year of Active Scotland and The Year of Scotland's Islands encouraged young people to discover what our islands have to offer, and the 2012 Year of Creative Scotland aims to build on the success of these campaigns."