Alex Salmond attending US premiere of Disney film Brave

The advert shows images of Scotland's landscape, including this from Loch Duich

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VisitScotland has launched a global tourism campaign as First Minister Alex Salmond gets set to attend the release of the new animation movie Brave.

The tourism body has produced a TV and cinema advert which promises to be seen by about 80 million people.

World premiere of the Disney/Pixar film is taking place at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Monday.

As well as seeing the film, Mr Salmond will be using his visit to focus on innovation, tourism and jobs.

He will tell business people and politicians that Scotland is a "land of major opportunity" for investment.

The new 30-second VisitScotland advert, which has been voiced by Neil Oliver, will be translated into four languages, French, Spanish, German and Italian.

The body has also set up a new website and is marketing Scotland in countries ranging from the US and UK to France and Germany.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "The launch of the new advert represents a pivotal moment in our campaign with Disney.

"With the advert going live coast to coast, the hard work can really begin by converting moviegoers and fans of 'Brave' into visitors to Scotland.

What is Brave all about?

A scene from Brave
  • Set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland, Disney/Pixar's "Brave" follows the heroic journey of Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald)
  • She is the skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson).
  • Determined to change her fate, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land - massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane), who unleash chaos in the kingdom.
  • When she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters), she is granted an ill-fated wish and the ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her resources - including her mischievous triplet brothers - to undo a beastly curse and discover the meaning of true bravery.

(Synopsis from VisitScotland)

"This is one of the biggest opportunities we have ever had and 'Brave' will be shown in 72 countries across the world. The film is about changing your fate and I believe it will change the fate of Scottish tourism in a significant and positive way."

The Scottish government estimates the release of Brave, the tale of a feisty Highland princess, could boost the Scottish economy by £140m.

The premiere will bring together Disney/Pixar and tourism agency VisitScotland, who are collaborating on a marketing campaign to showcase Scotland across the world.

Speaking ahead of attending the premiere, Mr Salmond said he hoped the film would enthuse people about visiting Scotland.

He added: "It is going to give everybody a really warm glow when they think about Scotland.

"So for the people who know about Scotland already it will reinforce the image, and for the people who don't know, or have never heard about Scotland, it will give them a great introduction to Scotland.

"What we have got to do of course is make sure that all these people say 'I'd like to go and see the real thing'.

"We've got to make sure when they come to see the real thing they feel another boost and we live up to the great depiction of Scotland in this movie."

'Excellent opportunity'

More than 70 firms have also been approached by the first minister as part of the four-day trade mission on the US west coast.

Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, said: "This is an excellent opportunity to highlight Scotland's competitive advantages to some of California's biggest companies."

Mr Salmond added: "Scotland is a land of major opportunity and it is open for business.

"We have a long and impressive track record in life sciences, sciences, technology and creative industries developing an environment where ingenuity and innovation can create jobs and wealth for Scotland."

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