A CAMPAIGN has been launched to encourage visitors to come to Loch Ness to discover its legendary stories and help the area recover from the pandemic.

Visit Inverness Loch Ness has launched a short film inspired by tales of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, as part of VisitScotland’s Year of Stories.

The launch of the video follows 16 official sightings of the Loch Ness Monster in 2021, just short of the 2019 record of 18.

The video was filmed in 13 locations with locals sharing stories about their sightings of Nessie, some of them passed down through generations.

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Jo de Sylva, chair of Visit Inverness and one of the stars of the video, said: “Inverness, Loch Ness, and the surrounding area have so many stories, legends and myths to tell, so it’s great to have this video to encourage people to come and discover the stories for themselves.

“From the history of Culloden Battlefield and Urquhart Castle to the beauty of Loch Ness and the great activities and attractions in the area, this video is the perfect way to bring them all together to showcase what we have to offer, as well as our sense of humour!”

Funding for the video came from VisitScotland’s Destination and Sector Marketing Fund and the Inverness City Recovery Fund.

Chris Taylor, Regional Leadership Director of Visit Scotland discussed the reasoning behind the video: “The Destination and Sector Marketing Fund was created to boost and support the sustainable recovery of Scottish tourism, helping to reach new audiences within the domestic market.

“It aims to help organisations like Visit Inverness Loch Ness reach out to new visitors within the UK and promote year-round visitor experiences.

“I hope this video encourages visitors to explore a bit further and discover the region at quieter times of the year.

“It aligns perfectly with the Scotland’s Year of Stories and the legendary tale of the Loch Ness Monster is known the world over.

“Having local voices tell that story, with a sprinkle of humour thrown in, makes it all the more authentic for visitors.”

Johan Sikkema from family vloggers, Family is our Thing, starred in the video. He said: “You can’t beat a good story and we have one of the best ones on our doorstep!

“Nessie is such a star in Inverness and around the world so why shouldn’t we tell stories about her?”

Michael Golding, CEO at Visit Inverness Loch Ness, said: “Come for Nessie, stay for the history, beauty and numerous activities and attractions. Inverness and Loch Ness are so much more than just Nessie, but she is the star of the show and our new video, which we are delighted to launch.

“I really hope the video brings a sense of pride for locals while showcasing the area and its beauty to visitors, acting as a steppingstone for people to discover our stories.”