It was set up by tourism leaders to create an authentic picture of Scotland during the coronavirus lockdown by opening a window to people’s experiences while they stay at home.

Now national tourism body VisitScotland has revealed the new campaign to create a visual map of Scotland has already attracted thousands of images.

The #AWindowOnScotland project has been encouraging people to share views from their homes, with the hashtag being used more than 2,500 times across social media so far.

Popular posts include images of the coastline at Oban, a video of 
lawn-mowing at lighthouse cottages on Orkney, the sunset from Gourock and a video from a lodge on the banks of Loch Ness.

Visit Scotland is harnessing the unique views from Scottish windows to illustrate life during the lockdown.

The images, whether they are mundane or inspiring, will help form a new social media campaign that will map where the snapshots have been taken from.

Twitter users are being asked to take a picture of a view from their property and post it on social media using the hashtag #AWindowOnScotland and their location such as #Stirling, #Aberdeen or #Glasgow.  

Tourism leaders hope the campaign will remind visitors, particularly those who go on holiday at Scottish locations and represent one of the country’s most important tourism markets, of the diverse landscape, vibrant cities and stunning scenery that is waiting for them when the isolation ends.

As people across the country stay at home, VisitScotland is urging residents to share the sights they can see from their properties in an attempt to create a virtual vision of the country’s towns, villages and cities.

The project hopes to create a reminder of what is waiting across Scotland when travel restrictions and social distancing measures are lifted by authorities, when safe to do so.
The project has been launched amid fears the lockdown, brought on by the pandemic, is having a huge detrimental impact on Scotland’s tourism industry.

Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion every year including the wider supply chains that support it. 

The industry contributes around £6bn to Scottish GDP, making up around 5% of it.

The Fraser of Allander Institute recently forecast that Scotland’s GDP could shrink by up to 25 per cent as a result of the pandemic, as restrictions stay in place for three months.

The summer tourist season was dealt a major blow with the inevitable cancellation of Edinburgh’s five major festivals.

The #AWindowOnScotland campaign is part of a national tourism strategy to help recover the economy when the coronavirus lockdown is lifted. Staycations and day visits will be promoted when restrictions begin to ease, as part of a national action plan from the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “We’re thrilled at the reaction to #AWindowOnScotland from residents and heartened businesses are engaging with the campaign and using the opportunity to share their windows on Scotland with the world during this challenging time.

“The staycation market will be a key driver in the country’s economic recovery and the many wonderful views people have been sharing while they stay at home will surely be an incentive for many to travel when the time comes.

“The campaign is far from over and we would encourage residents and businesses to continue posting their views, however they may look as it is all Scotland, to help lift the spirits of those at home and abroad.”

The tourism industry is facing its toughest-ever challenge as the pandemic continues to cause national and international travel restrictions.

The Big Houses in the Scottish Borders Group, which represents 11 of the region’s historic houses, is among the organisations supporting the campaign.

Visit Scotland says it is working in partnership with the Scottish Government and other key authorities to manage any developments as effectively as possible.

In a separate project, The Building Centre, a London-based hub for the built environment, dating back to 1931, is attempting to map the shutdowns of the world’s cities, towns and villages.

The organisation is aiming to create a national archive of  images of empty buildings and streets and is inviting both amateurs and professionals to record their own neighbourhoods during this lockdown period.

The Building Centre believes many living in the centre of towns and cities will be able to take photographs safely from their homes.

Gillian Steele, chairwoman of the group, said: “VisitScotland’s #AWindowOnScotland campaign provides us with a great visual opportunity to continue to promote our houses, their gardens and their wildlife from the same perspective as everyone at home.

“I don’t think people will necessarily forget we are here, but with us all looking out of our windows dreaming of that day when we can travel again, and indulge our passion for Scottish heritage, this campaign strikes a chord.”