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'Welcome to Scotland', no longer the 'best small country in the world'


Scottish National Party Ministers have announced a 'vibrant' new message to greet tourists arriving at Scotland's six main airports. The new greeting, 'Welcome to Scotland', will replace the previous slogan proclaiming Scotland to be 'The Best Small Country in the World,' from tomorrow. First Minister Alex Salmond was highly critical of the old slogan, launched by the previous Labour administration. Predictably, opposition MSP's were sceptical about its replacement.

Under the new scheme, each of Scotland's six main airports will display the slogan along with images to represent their local appeal, such as literature for Edinburgh, the Commonwealth Games for Glasgow and the oil industry for Aberdeen, all at an estimated cost of £125,000.

Speaking at the launch Glasgow Airport, Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said the images would give people a taste of the very best of Scotland. She said: 'The images celebrate the historic and modern-day successes that have shaped our country. This is not about developing flashy slogans - it is much more real that that. This is about showing what a modern, vibrant and successful country Scotland is'

However, Labour's Jackie Baillie accused the Scottish Government of an 'imagination by-pass.' She told BBC Scotland: 'I am stunned. We've waited for six months with great expectation. We were promised something creative, imaginative to replace the slogan for Scotland that used to exist and I woke up this morning to Welcome to Scotland.'

'If this is what the creative talent can bring to us and this is what SNP government is crowing about, frankly, I am astonished. It sounds more like a road sign at Berwick than it does as an invitation to visit our country.'

Liberal Democrat tourism spokesman Liam McArthur said: 'Nationalist MSP's have spent years regaling us with tales of how fantastic Scotland is. Now, when they have a chance to create a brand for Scotland they give us this bland statement.' Gavin Brown, the Conservative enterprise spokesman, said: 'Next, Alex Salmond will be telling us this is the best small slogan in the world.'

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