A group of children play on yellow space hoppers.

This will mark the first time that a country has ever dedicated an entire year to young people and their accomplishments. The Year of Young People will help give Scotland's youth a new platform and new opportunities for their voices to be heard in all parts of society.

The timing, then, couldn’t have been more perfect as Edinburgh – Scotland’s capital city – was recently awarded ‘Best UK Youth Destination’ at the annual British Youth Travel Awards. The awards, which were celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, were the biggest yet, with a staggering 41% increase in entries. Despite the large number of excellent entries, Edinburgh won out in a battle with Oxford and Chester, who were chosen as the other two finalists in this category.

The awards started in 2007 as just a single category, but have steadily grown in both stature and importance. The judging panel is made up of a host of experts at the top of their game, who cover a range of areas within the travel industry. This ensures that winners are selected by those in the know, securing the prestige of winning one of these coveted awards.

The British Youth Travel Awards highlight the excellent work and successes that are done, specifically in relation to youth travel. From internships to school visits, study holidays to gap years, these awards are dedicated to celebrating the commitment to our future generations. Edinburgh’s success is the perfect precursor to 2018’s year-long celebration of youth across the whole of Scotland.

VisitScotland, Scotland’s tourism body, said of the award:

“We’re delighted that Edinburgh has been crowned the winner of the Best UK Youth Destination category at the 2017 British Youth Travel Awards. To be voted into the top three UK destinations for young travellers is a fantastic accolade ahead of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018”.

Edinburgh and indeed Scotland as a whole offers a fantastic mix of traditional and contemporary experiences, not just for young people, but for people of all ages. The upcoming Year of Young People will only serve to create even more opportunities for everyone to immerse themselves in everything Scotland has to offer. The added bonus is that young people have played an integral role in the creation of this themed year and have been heavily involved in all stages of the preparation.

In the lead up to 2018 and throughout the year itself we’ll be bringing you much more on Scotland’s Year of Young People. You can also find out more about this exciting themed year by visiting their website.

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