Why is Edinburgh Airport so un-Scottish?
We are just back from a trip to Iceland, don’t travel abroad much so was quite wide eyed with the relatively new experience. As the plane approached Iceland we could see hot springs spouting up from the volcanic landscape. The plane comes into land. We are in Iceland – the airport greets us with massive floor to ceiling pictures showing Iceland and it’s people. The iconic jumpers, the horses, the fishing, the landscape, it’s all here. Everything about the airport design feels Icelandic. There’s no mistaking where we are. They have embraced their selling points – it’s a brand and I like it.
After a lovely holiday it’s time to return (wearing my new Icelandic jumper of course). From the plane we see the familiar sight of Edinburgh as the plane horseshoes around the Forth. We land. I’m conscious that the Icelandic people on the flight might be as excited as we were going to their country. What will their experience be? No big iconic images here, there’s a series of Bank of Scotland photos of Edinburgh, non challenging, very standard could have just been bought from one those online photo libraries, definitely no artistry, no style. There’s the standard photo of the castle taken from the regular position. Absolutely nothing here even hints of the heritage of Scotland. No kilts or tartan. It barely whispers that this is Scotland. Why is this? I can’t help feeling that our government – the people who hold the purse strings are embarrassed about our history and the fact that such a high percentage of people visiting Scotland are doing so to trace their ancestry. If we were Iceland we’d be using these selling points – blowing them up, shouting about them. Why is this?