Looking forward to 2021 and back...

Looking forward 2021.

Blog – 6th January 2021

Like most people across the world, we are taking small steps into 2021 in the hope the year picks up by late spring or early summer. We think it is fair to say that, like 2020, 2021 is going to be a difficult year for the travel industry. Since 2005 our private tours of Scotland have enlightened and delighted our guests from all over the world and we look forward to getting out there again and doing what we love, touring the beautiful lands of Scotland. We are also happy to have recently taken our Local Flavours tours into Ireland, England and Wales. Our ethos of discovering off the beaten path gems and supporting local businesses is a mainstay of our business and touring model, and we look forward to continuing with our unique tours as soon as it is safe to do so.

For tour operators like us, 2020 was mostly a year of cancelled bookings. If we look back to 2019, it was a wonderful year of touring. We met so many lovely people while touring Scotland, England and Ireland and we made many new friends along the way. It is worth noting here, that a major bonus of doing our tours, are the friendships we make. I would never have thought that when I started the tour company, I would have lasting friends in the USA, Australia, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Italy, France and many more countries. Friendship is just one of the many positives we enjoy from the art of international travel. The sending of an email from us to you, or vice versa is just so nice. It is a lovely thing to do to say, Hi, how are you all? I still remember our time together and we look forward to seeing you again someday, in our country or yours. I’m sure I not only speak for myself, when I say, this is one of the things we missed most about our cancelled tours of 2020.

We are in the touring and travel industry because we love to show you the best. We take pride in educating you about our history and culture and recounting events from the past. We even ‘try’ to entertain you a little with funny anecdotes, we recommend the best local pubs and restaurants, explore and discover new places and have fun along the way. We love to find you the accommodation which suits you best, whether that is a charming local guest house or small hotel or a castle hotel with fine interiors. This is all part of the package of doing a tour of Scotland with us and we look forward to designing our tours for you again.

Whilst we were not as busy doing tours during 2020, we have been busy working on our business. We started our own YouTube channel and, when it was possible to get out there, we used this platform to show you some of our favourite and local places in and around Edinburgh, Scotland. We will venture further into the highlands to show you some of the wonderful landscapes and history there too, but we are mindful of the travel restrictions and we would rather stay within government guidelines. You Tube – James Campbell Tours

We have always included local gems in our tours and through our social media we have still managed to continue to support these places, with posts, pictures and promotional pieces about our favourite places. One of the campaigns running through the UK and Scotland due to the Corona Virus pandemic in 2020 was, ‘support local’ to help local businesses while people turned even more to on-line shopping. We have been doing this with our guests for many years, so we were able to tap into this and offer our knowledge and support. The ‘local flavours’ theme running through our tours covers everything from off the beaten track gems, local restaurants, crafts, gifts, pubs and locally owned shops. We also love the great outdoors, and we think that after visiting some of the best sights in the country, there is nothing better than including local places so to give you the most authentic experience while you are here. Our local flavours theme is so beneficial to businesses that we can achieve recognition in the Green Tourism scheme, and we will update more about this on our social media and future blogs.

We also launched a new website in the summer of 2020. We are still adding to and updating our website as we launch new travel products. One of the best things about doing our new website was filming with a drone in the Highlands and Argyll for our home page. Travel was permitted in the summer months in Scotland, so we took advantage, and over two full days, we got a lot of filming done with some of the most beautiful shots over Glencoe, Loch Etive, Castle Stalker, Loch Creran and much more. We spent our evenings in the beautiful harbour town of Oban where we enjoyed lovely local seafood at EE-Usk www.eeusk.com

Another thing we love, and have missed in 2020, is photography. And now that mobile phones are equipped with excellent camera’s, it is ever easier to take your picture and see it immediately. Of course, in Scotland, there is no filter needed! Here are some pictures from our archives (including 2020 tours), and we look forward to our posting our next blog as we carry on our adventures in a quite different 2021.