A group of Mull schoolchildren have mapped out the future of tourism on the island by creating a series of special electronic tours as part of the 'Great Escapes' project which officially launched at Mull Tourist Information Centre this week.
Great Escapes, an initiative led by the National Library of Scotland and sponsored by Crerar Hotels, involved six primary schools on the island. The concept was inspired by the 19th century publisher John Murray who created 'Handbook for Travellers', one of the first ever tourist guides to be printed, and whose archive arrived in the National Library in 2006.
Comprising a series of driving and walking tours, Great Escapes provide people of all ages visiting Mull with a fantastic tool to learn and discover more about the history of the island, its unique wildlife and landscape.
The tours are audio-visual presentations with GPS (Global Positioning Systems) which visitors can either use through a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) available from the Tourist Information Centre or as a file downloaded on to a personal device such as a mobile phone.
Routes featured include the Livingstone Walk on the Island of Ulva, Iona Abbey, Tobermory to Dervaig, a Tobermory Village Walk, Torosay Castle and a hill fort walk at Salen Village in both English and Gaelic. As well as the tourist resources, the information will also be going online along with teaching resources.
Teri Wishart, NLS Director of Development and External Relations, said: 'This is exactly the sort of innovative and creative work which the library has always envisaged coming out of the acquisition of the John Murray Archive. It?s great to see how the archive material can tie in with new technologies in order to serve as an inspiration to children today. It?s a wonderful resource and I?m sure it will be used by many visitors to Mull for years to come.'
Heather Waller, teacher at Ulva Primary School said: 'The children have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this unique project. It has enabled them to help create a special guide to their island, which they know and love, and share that knowledge and admiration with future visitors. It?s a fantastic example of being able to make the most of iconic literary resources from the past and bring it bang up-to-date with modern-day technology.'
Paddy Crerar, CEO of Crerar Hotels and Easy Breaks, adds: 'We were delighted to get on board with this project. We understand the importance of first impressions therefore being part of Mull?s very own tourist guide created by the island?s schoolchildren seemed the perfect way to welcome visitors with open arms.'
Dervaig, Iona, Lochdonhead, Tobermory, Salen and Ulva Primary Schools were all involved in the project.
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Tel: 0131 623 3700
18 October 2009