A MAJOR publisher decided to produce new Scottish tourism maps because of the enthusiasm of volunteers at Inverclyde Tourist Group.
HarperCollins had let their Scotland of Old map go out of print but that all changed after a visit by bosses to Greenock Ocean Terminal where they saw the tourist group’s Clan Desk using the map to help cruise ship passengers.
Yesterday the terminal hosted the launch of new editions of the Scotland of Old map and a Tartans map.
Jethro Lennox, head of publishing at HarperCollins, said: “A couple of years ago, the Scotland of Old Map went out of print as sales were fairly low and we felt we had too many Scottish maps.
“What we did not realise was how popular this map was and, after a visit to the terminal and seeing the old edition of the map in action and the Inverclyde team’s enthusiasm for it, I was able to build a case for publishing a new edition.”
He added: “Ancestral tourism expands year on year and is a major reason why overseas visitors come to Scotland and this is reflected by the volume of inquiries received at the Clan Desk where passengers from the numerous cruise ships discover the meaning of their Scottish surname, its clan connections and their appropriate tartan.
Tourism group volunteers Andrew Pearson and David Stirling, Jethro Lennox of Harper Collins, centre, with civic leaders and others who worked on the project.
“This feedback from these visitors was what prompted and enabled the tourist group – in collaboration with the Scottish Tartans Authority – to assist HarperCollins in designing the content of their new maps.
“Indeed we may well have not published new editions of these maps if we had not had involvement from Inverclyde Tourist Group.”
Mr Lennox particularly thanked volunteers Andrew Pearson and David Stirling for their help. He said: “Their knowledge of the clan boundaries is unsurpassed.”
The Scotland of Old map precisely delineates the territories of the major Scottish clans and families, with many more minor surnames shown in their correct location in the background. Around the four edges of the map, the coats of arms of the principal chiefs and family leaders are shown.
The Tartans Map of Scotland has the same basic map but surrounded by samples of tartans, each approved of by the Scottish Tartans Authority, premier arbiter in the subject. The new map depicts 247 tartans, around 100 more than any previous edition.
Andrew Pearson said: “This is an instance where a future asset for Scottish Tourism would probably not have come about if it had not been for the existence and function of Inverclyde Tourist Group which is playing its part in both the local Inverclyde and national Scottish drive to increase visitor numbers.”