BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 14:32 GMT
New Scots tourism slogan unveiled
Welcome to Scotland message
Ministers say the message promotes a modern country

Ministers have come up with a "vibrant" new message to greet tourists arriving at Scotland's airports.

The new greeting, "Welcome to Scotland", will replace the previous slogan proclaiming Scotland to be "The Best Small Country in the World".

First Minister Alex Salmond was highly critical of the old phrase, launched by the previous Holyrood administration.

Opposition MSPs were sceptical about its replacement, but the SNP government said it was about more than a slogan.

Under the new scheme, each Scottish airport will have images to represent their local appeal, such as literature for Edinburgh, the Commonwealth Games for Glasgow and the oil industry for Aberdeen, all at an estimated cost of 100,000.

I am so stunned
Jackie Baillie
Labour MSP

Speaking at Glasgow Airport, Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said the images would give people a taste of the very best of Scotland.

She said: "This is not about developing flashy slogans - it's much more real that that.

"This is about showing what a modern, vibrant and successful country Scotland is."

Responding to the new catchphrase, Labour's Jackie Baillie told BBC Scotland: "I am so stunned.

"We've waited with great expectation, we were promised something creative, imaginative to replace the slogan for Scotland that used to exist and I woke up this morning to 'Welcome to Scotland'.

"If this is what the creative talent can bring to us and this is what SNP government is crowing about, frankly, I am astonished."

Former first minister Jack McConnell launched the campaign
Former first minister Jack McConnell launched the first slogan

Liberal Democrat tourism spokesman Liam McArthur said: "Nationalist MSPs have spent years regaling us with tales of how fantastic Scotland is. Now, when they have a chance to create a brand for Scotland they give us this bland statement."

Gavin Brown, the Conservative enterprise spokesman, said: "Next, Alex Salmond will be telling us this is the best small slogan in the world."

Despite the criticism, the new scheme was welcomed by a number of bodies, including tourism agency VisitScotland, Scottish Financial Enterprise and the Robert Burns World Federation.

The phrase declaring Scotland as "the best small country in the world" was launched in 2005 by the then Labour first minister Jack McConnell.

Launching a withering attack on the slogan at the SNP's 2006 conference, before the Nationalists' election win, Mr Salmond said: "That one phrase encapsulates everything that is wrong with the first minister, with the executive and with our national tourist agency.

"It combines the worst of 'wha's like us?' with the worst of an inferiority complex.

"Scotland's only small to those who think small. It's time to think big."

Best small country slogan shelved
26 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Salmond sets out 'winning vision'
13 Oct 06 |  Scotland
Scottish images welcome visitors
13 May 05 |  Scotland


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific