SCOTLAND is famous for many things, its scenery, its history, its people and of course, our distinct and vibrant culture.

Seachdain na Gàidhlig (World Gaelic Week) is a fantastic celebration of one of the most valuable aspects of our cultural heritage; our language. It helps recognise the role Gaelic plays in shaping our culture and raise awareness of the language with audiences the world over. We are hugely excited to be part of it and share this story with our visitors.

But this week is also a timely reminder of why we must preserve Gaelic for future generations, for our future visitors but also for the communities who use it.

Responsible tourism is at the heart of everything we do at VisitScotland, and this includes protecting Scotland’s culture and heritage. We recognise the importance of preserving those assets, which are so vital to Scotland’s brand and make Scotland so unique.

Gaelic and its rich culture provide an extra layer of authenticity for visitors with a unique experience you can only truly have in Scotland. This only strengthens the destination connection we know means so much to visitors.

In the last year, there has been a huge increase in Gaelic interest on with the number of users visiting Gaelic-related content rising by 151 per cent in 2022 compared to 2021. Popular content such as our Gaelic Place Names blog and our Scottish Gaelic Explained video earned thousands of views and demonstrates the wealth of interest that visitors hold in the subject.

This increasing popularity presents an opportunity for tourism businesses across Scotland to incorporate Gaelic in their offering. To support this VisitScotland created a Gaelic toolkit, with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, to help the industry build upon the lure of the language with visitors.

It shares ways to use Gaelic and its culture to create a more immersive visitor experience such as teaching staff some basic phrases and translating place names to reveal their Gaelic origins and meanings.

There are now more than 340 businesses listed on that boast Gaelic as a skill with locations ranging from Stirling and Stornoway to Glasgow and Newton Stewart in Dumfries and Galloway.

Alongside supporting tourism businesses, VisitScotland is a supporter of key events including Celtic Connections and the Royal National Mòd, the annual international festival of Scottish Gaelic culture, through EventScotland.

Protecting and preserving Gaelic is not something VisitScotland should or could do alone, we are privileged to work with many brilliant champions of our culture including national Gaelic body Bòrd na Gàidhlig, An Comunn Gàidhealach organisers of the Royal National Mod and Historic Environment Scotland right through to individual businesses.

So, I hope this Seachdain na Gàidhlig (World Gaelic Week) you attend one of the many events being held, share content, or take your own personal pledge to learn more about this special language and the significant role it plays in making Scotland’s culture so special.

Lyn Donnelly is VisitScotland's Senior Responsible Tourism Manager