Travel Tech

One of the most historic regions and notable tourist traps of the United Kingdom is the Loch Ness area. This particularly picturesque part of Scotland has many attractions for travellers and visitors, but is famously associated with one in particular.

The Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster is the notorious creature which has drawn tourists to the Scottish Highlands for decades. There has been popular interest and belief in the creature's existence since it was first brought to the world's attention in 1933. The existence of the monster was part of mythology before that date, but on 2nd November 1933, Hugh Gray captured a famous image of the creature which has particularly intensified interest in its existence or otherwise.

While zoologists, biologists and other scientists generally scorn the existence of this creature, it has in no way detracted from the popularity of the region as a travel destination.

Although the likelihood of ever identifying the Loch Ness Monster is extremely limited, interest in the phenomenon has remained prominent. And with this in mind, Google has recently set up an initiative which is sure to generate a large amount of publicity.

Just over 80 years after a particularly historic photograph of the supposed Loch Ness Monster particularly incited interest in the creature, Google is attempting to help interested parties seek out this monster. Google has utilised its popular Street View camera technology to provide web services with a particularly unique way of searching the loch for themselves.

Street Viewing Loch Ness

It will now be possible for web users all over the world to search Loch Ness via the Google Maps website. This is already one of the most popular websites in the world, and frequently comes in useful for people seeking directions or geographical locations. There is also a very strong fun element to Google Maps, and this is now being emphasised strongly with this new campaign.

Keen monster hunters can now explore the infamous body of water in Scotland from the comfort of their own living rooms purely by logging on to Google maps. Google has even gone to the trouble of including imagery looking out of the water onto the land, which it is dubbing “Nessie’s Perspective” (‘Nessie’ being a common nickname for the supposed monster).

Google has even gone to the trouble of partnering with resident historical Nessie expert Adrian Shine in order to create and review digital content which is particularly accurate. Shine is very much a believer in this particular creature, and has actually been searching the area surrounding Loch Ness for the monster since the early 1970s. Shine has reportedly logged more than 1,000 sightings, and now wants to assist iGoogle with this unique promotion.

The powerful search mapping technology of Google in combination with potentially tens of millions of individuals sifting the contents of the lake is obviously a powerful dyad. It is certainly an interesting way for Google to promote its technology, as well as generally raising interest in the surrounding region as a tourist destination.

Visit Scotland Partnership

This initiative has been carried out in partnership with Visit Scotland, with the DMO hoping that this global promotion will boost the profile of both Loch Ness and Scotland. This region is one that is particularly associated with tourism, and the natural beauty of the Loch Ness area makes it a spectacular setting for travellers from all over Europe and the wider world.

Although this is a unique way to promote the region, it is a marketing campaign that has provoked mixed feelings. On the one hand, the Google Street View initiative very much appeals to the inquisitive among us, and also feeds into a form of technology which has proven to be extremely popular.

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the prospect of searching for the monster. It has been suggested that having millions of people search for the Loch Ness Monster could potentially burst the bubble of its mystique and ultimately render the loch to be less of a tourist attraction than it was previously.

This seems rather unlikely, though, as it is surely reasonable to point out that the likelihood of anyone actually locating the monster must be infinitesimal! It does seem reasonable to point out that the likelihood of a completely unique monster, or family of monsters, residing in one isolated Scottish lake must be rather astronomically small! Thus, it can be stated with some confidence that no-one will locate the Loch Ness Monster, therefore the mystique of this elusive creature will remain in tact.

Previous Loch Ness Promotion

The Digital Tourism Think Tank has previously reported on the campaign of the UK's national tourism agency, Visit Britain, which also centred around Loch Ness. This £2 million tourist initiative also intended to attract more visitors to the north of Scotland, with a particular focus on the ancient culture of the region. Both campaigns emphasise the importance of taking advantage of the particular unique characteristics of a destination, and delivering promotions that are both fun and interactive.


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