Scotland's journey towards a second year of Homecoming will continue with a year-long focus on Active Scotland, to launch on January 1
Speaking at the 2010 International Events Conference in Perth, Tourism Minister Jim Mather said Active Scotland will build on the success of Homecoming 2009 and the Year of Food and Drink - which runs until May 2011, in rallying Scotland around a common theme.
On January 1, 2011, visitors and Scots will come together to signal the start of Active Scotland with the one o'clock run - a fun run or walk from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Park, and part of Edinburgh's official Hogmanay celebrations. The focus year will run until Hogmanay 2011.
Mr Mather said:
"Our diverse and beautiful landscape makes Scotland a fantastic destination to be active, whether you are visiting or you live here - and spotlighting this incredible selling point makes perfect economic sense.
"Through our focus in 2011 on Active Scotland, the tourism industry will work together to promote the vast range of activities Scotland has to offer. From gentle coastal walks to long-distance treks through challenging terrain; open canoeing on a tranquil loch to the thrill of white-water rafting down a fast flowing river; or the fun of a family bike ride to the rush of mountain biking through forests - Active Scotland has something to offer those of all ages and abilities.
"This will be the second in a series of focus years uniting Scotland in a common drive to promote some of its greatest assets as we build towards another year of Homecoming in 2014 - the year Scotland will host both the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.
"Through Active Scotland we are aiming to sustain the momentum of the Year of Food and Drink, through which the tourism industry has been working hard to promote Scotland's authentic produce. There are obvious links between eating delicious, healthy food and drink and being active - and we intend to exploit these opportunities as these two focus years overlap.
"It is particularly appropriate to launch Active Scotland in Edinburgh on New Year's Day - one of the busiest times of the year for visitors, and a day when many are keen to develop a more active lifestyle."