“Mild camping” – for lovers of the great outdoors who don’t like to stray too far from the comforts of home – has been identified by VisitScotland as a new trend for 2017.

The national tourism organisation is encouraging landowners and holiday parks to consider providing ‘mild camping’ experiences, something that offers visitors the adventure and thrill of wild camping, but in a secure environment.

Mild camping forms part of the VisitScotland Insight department’s Trends 2017 paper, which is published on www.visitscotland.org today. Another trend identified is “Noveleisure” which, on the back of globally successful books such as Outlander, encourages businesses to highlight local literary connections.

“Cultural Noir”, meanwhile, is all about dark tourism, emphasising the importance of storytelling and local knowledge to satisfy customers’ appetites for details about Scotland’s dark side. Another trend is “Fluid Itinerary Travel”, which encourages businesses to take advantage of the increasing popularity of road trips along routes such as the North Coast 500.

The 2017 trends represent elements of consumer and industry behaviour expected to develop over the next 18 to 24 months.

Designed to stimulate thought among Scottish tourism businesses, the paper also identifies a number of trends:

Fluid Itinerary Travel – Tourism businesses can collaborate to create their own trail or incorporate existing routes to entice the road trip market, which is becoming more popular thanks to routes such as the North Coast 500.

• Just in Time Inspiration – Taking advantage of “digital amnesia”, businesses can create innovative, attention-grabbing promotional marketing which could be utilised in location service software.

• Silence is Tartan/The Deafening Silence of Wellbeing – A recent European report highlighted Scotland as one of the quietest places in the continent, while it also boasts some of the darkest skies. Businesses can promote the health benefits of Scotland by highlighting its peace and tranquility.

• Hunt for Sustainability – With consumers increasingly interested in origin and practices when choosing brands, tourism businesses should look to showcase their green credentials.

• Cultural Noir: Celebrating our Dark Side – From Bannockburn to Culloden, Scotland’s dark history is of huge interest to international visitors. The Scottish ‘dour’ and dark side, meanwhile, has been explored by the likes of Ian Rankin and Irvine Welsh. Businesses can emphasise the importance of storytelling and local knowledge to satisfy their customers’ appetite for details about the country’s dark side.

• Noveleisure: Reading Tourism’s Potential – Building on Scotland’s rich literary heritage and tying in with the Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology, businesses should look to highlight famous works of literature in their region and construct walking tours to existing tourism trails.

• Tourism Capital Investment – Consumer curiosity in the development of products has created a unique opportunity for businesses with little or no connection to tourism. Fishing trawlers, for example, are only at sea during certain times of the year. Could members of the crew offer tours?

Chris Greenwood, Senior Tourism Insight Manager at VisitScotland, said: “The overarching theme of our 2017 Trends paper is ‘understanding uncertainty’. Obviously, predicting the future is complicated, but it is essential for Scottish tourism businesses to be flexible and to be able to react to change. After careful study of growing trends among potential visitors to Scotland, we are giving members of the tourism industry up and down the country an informed outlook of the year ahead.”