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Since 2016, we have worked with VisitScotland on ScotSpirit breaks, a nationwide project coordinated by the national tourism organisation and the Family Holiday Association.

The project has already seen substantial growth. After helping over 300 families in its first year, this grew to over 420 families in 2017, an amazing 67% increase, as well as attracting support from more than twice as many industry partners.

Collaboration is at the heart of the project. Last year 88 partners across Scotland’s tourism industry donated accommodation, transport, meals and visitor attraction access. Two-thirds of the families helped had never had a break together before.

Over one in three people in Scotland are unable to take a break and over 250,000 children live in relative poverty. VisitScotland launched the ScotSpirit Breaks in 2016 to explore how the tourism sector can contribute to social inclusion and help tackle this issue.

Pictured: Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs is pictured with families and business partners involved in the VisitScotland ‘ScotSpirit’ breaks initiative at the Glasgow Science Centre

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “The ScotSpirit breaks is a fantastic initiative that allows disadvantaged families to enjoy time away together for a much needed break and I’m pleased a record number have benefitted this year. The feedback from families show the impact on them has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The partnership working across the tourism sector to allow ScotSpirit breaks to happen is to be welcomed and I hope the project will continue to build on its success so more families can enjoy Scotland’s tourism offering.”

Further reading:
Report: Annual report 2017
News story: ScotSpirit Breaks celebrate record year
News story: Scottish press report on success of ScotSpirit Breaks
News story: Friends in Scotland and Flanders
Case Study: “Nothing beats your kids being happy”