Wade Holland in Dundee
Wade Holland in Dundee

New campaign shows off Scotland’s wild side

American millennials are being urged to ‘wakeboard’ in the footsteps of their ancestors in a new online VisitScotland campaign.

The national tourism organisation has teamed up with travel website, Matador Network and US influencer Wade Holland to encourage visitors with Scottish heritage – but little interest in conducting ancestral research through traditional routes – to visit Scotland and feel that ancestral connection through their experiences.

The new social media video entitled Not Your Grandfather’s Scotland, hosted by self-styled ‘wild travel dude’ Holland, showcases a modern and innovative Scotland to the millennial market in the US.

Wade Holland in Dundee

There are more than 50 million people globally who claim Scots ancestry, nearly 10 million of which reside in the United States.

Already a quarter of long haul visitors, including those from North America, say they come to Scotland to discover more about their ancestry.

Holland, whose ancestral grandfather hails from Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute, spent four days on a Scottish adventure, travelling from the Scottish Borders to Tayside.

The video shows him gin tasting in Edinburgh, land yachting in St Andrews, wakeboarding in Dundee and gigging in Glasgow, all the while decked out in a modern kilt from 21st Century Kilts.

Wade Holland, who hails from Montana, said: ‘Scotland blew my expectations totally out of the water, even though I was in the water wakeboarding in the North Sea.

‘I tell people about that experience and they can’t even believe it. Such a rush. It’s very fitting to who I am, as I’m someone who looks for unique experiences and thrilling adventures on all my travels. That was our Scotland trip in a nutshell.

‘It was pretty neat for me to explore my family’s original stomping grounds, but it was even more exciting for me to break all the stereotypical myths about Scotland and dive deep into the colourful, creative, and adventurous, new-school Scotland. As I mentioned many times throughout my trip, there is so much more I want to explore in this country.’

Gwen Raez, senior marketing manager at VisitScotland, said: ‘At VisitScotland, we’re passionate about sharing our love of Scotland and this partnership with Matador Network enabled us to share that message far and wide.

‘We know many people in the US are proud of their Scottish ancestry, but we wanted to highlight that whilst it’s great to discover the Scotland of your ancestors, you’ll be blown away by what Scotland has to offer now. Wade was a great partner in this and threw himself into every experience we lined up for him.’