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Using multimedia techniques and social media channels

Britons asked to be guides for an interactive tourism tour of the edge of Britain

National tourism agency is backing an interactive tourism tour that will use multimedia techniques and social media channels to bring to life destinations around the coastline of Britain. South African Scott Ramsay began his tour of the ‘Edge of Britain’ tour on Sunday 12 July, heading ‘off the beaten track’ until 14 August and showing other international visitors that there’s more to Britain than just London and other city destinations.

Starting and finishing in Peacehaven on the south coast, Scott is visiting coastal resorts, some better known than others. His itinerary of nearly 30 locations includes Bournemouth, Penzance, Mousehole, Porthmadog, Blackpool, Kyle of Lochalsh, John O’Groats, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Dover and finally back to Peacehaven five weeks later. As well as featuring excerpts from his tour on visitbritain.com/edgeofbritain, VisitBritain is encouraging people to recommend places and sights for Scott to enjoy on his trip via his blog edgeofbritain.blogspot.com.

Commenting on his trip, Scott Ramsay says: “To me, ‘adventure’ can mean hiking in the Himalayas or just exploring a new part of the city you live in – it depends on the attitude of the traveller. The coastline of Britain is renowned for its natural beauty and I’m going to stay as close as possible to the ‘edge’, trying to keep the sea in sight but following all the tiny back roads. I hope to discover some remote spots that no-one knows about, while also visiting established tourist towns and landmarks. As I’ve never been outside London, I hope to get as many tips and suggestions as possible from the locals – maybe even some willing tour guides and local ambassadors?”

Like Bill Bryson – another international anglophile – has demonstrated in his books, Scott expects the British people will give colour to his tour, bringing their local areas to life and offering top tips and insider recommendations of what to see and do during his stay. His blog, edgeofbritain.blogspot.com, will highlight the secret spots, the best attractions, places to eat and drink, and activities that offer the best value for money using video, photographs, tweets and regular posts.

Justin Reid, head of online marketing for VisitBritain said: “In many ways Scott is a first-time visitor to much of Britain and we were only too happy to support Scott with tourist information and a platform for his ‘Edge of Britain’ tour. The information that Scott posts on his blog will enable us to showcase Britain’s wonderful coastal destinations and we look forward to hearing his stories. The rise of social media, user-generated content and peer-to-peer forums can turn undiscovered destinations into the latest getaway hotspot.”

VisitBritain estimates that five million more Britons are considering holidaying in the UK in 2009. Recent figures show that Britons have taken -16% fewer trips abroad in the first four months of the year, suggesting that compared to other countries Britain is benefiting from a weak pound that makes overseas destinations that much more expensive.

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