We're now all beyond level zero and therefore out of the levels framework, almost all COVID-19 restrictions have been removed for businesses and individuals. Our job is to:
- Help Scottish tourism recover as quickly as possible in a responsible way
- Mobilise an agile approach to encourage visits from those markets recovering earliest
- Prioritise value recovery over volume
- Showcase the diverse and wide range of Only in Scotland experiences / outdoor and responsible Scottish tourism products
- Inspire visitors to support communities and love local by experiencing, shopping, eating and drinking locally on their travels
Crucially, insights inform our marketing communications and our underpinning themes will be linked to:
- Back to nature
- Slow tourism
- Touring – off the beaten track
- Last minute breaks
- Supporting local
Responsible tourism at the heart of our activity
Responsible tourism sits at the heart of our marketing output with our short-term focus being on those markets which will deliver speedy recovery for the tourism economy whilst supporting medium term growth from key markets.
Our recent activity has included digital advertisements (ads) on YouTube and Teads, paid social video ads, Facebook re-engagement activity, radio adverts, influencer engagement, billboards and tactical out of home activity. All this activity across these multiple channels is aimed to inspire those living in Scotland to enjoy and travel Scotland responsibly.
We’re currently working on our summer plans which will include further activity targeting the domestic (Scotland based) audience with responsible tourism messaging. Meanwhile, our wider UK and Ireland activity will focus around the themes of days out, short breaks, family/gatherings, city breaks and wellbeing.
Our marketing campaign activity in the UK
Following the success of our summer ‘Now is Your Time’ campaign in the UK, our new global campaign ‘Scotland is Calling’ has launched (30 September) encouraging all Scots and UK residents to visit a new part of Scotland. The Scottish and UK activity will focus more on lesser known experiences, inspiring our domestic market to explore new areas of Scotland.
To inspire and encourage UK audiences to consider and book an autumn / winter break in Scotland.
Promote regional spread by raising awareness of lesser-known areas of rural Scotland & stimulating consideration for Scotland's cities
- Encourage responsible travel
Markets: UK (Key Geographical areas; London, SE, NE, NW, Yorkshire & the Humber and Scotland).
Audiences: COVID-19 confident segments (Life Goes On and Less to Lose)
B2C activity - build brand/demand and encourage bookings for autumn/winter
Digital Activity: Captify and Teads (video distribution)
Social Activity: Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest (video distribution)
AV: BroadcastVOD (ITV Hub, STV, All4, Sky On Demand) (video distribution)
AV: Digital Audio (DAX, Spotify, Acast)
Content partner: Wanderlust
Conversion partner: Expedia, continuing successful partnership to encourage and drive autumn winter bookings.
Press (Scots Only) – The Sun
Timings: This activity will run from 30 September through to December, with further activity to be briefed for January – March 2022.
Our market and marketing campaign activity in the international markets
As rules for international travel begin to ease across our key markets, and potential visitors start to think about their next international holiday, many international destinations will be vying for attention. It's critical that we keep Scotland top of mind for potential visitors, so we are launching our new global 'Scotland is Calling' campaign today (30 September).
A series of inspirational films will highlight 'Only in Scotland' and responsible tourism experiences that can be enjoyed in Scotland, targeted to the different markets using a combination of icons (castles and stunning scenery) and new product / responsible tourism experiences (e.g. Johnnie Walker Experience, e-bikes in the Angus Glens). These films will be shared through digital media and paid social activity in our key international markets to raise awareness of Scotland. This will be supported by high profile activity at key planning and booking times for the different markets, with an ongoing programme of activity with our key travel and intermediary partners.
Keep Scotland top of mind when considering first overseas holiday; stimulate demand by informing, reassuring and inspiring visitors to consider Scotland post-COVID-19 and post-Brexit.
Encourage bookings from summer / autumn 2021 in 2022, or in line with restrictions easing.
Work with transport partners to support return of direct access routes.
Support intermediaries to re-gain capacity with timely information and inspiration.
Work with strategic partners to maximise opportunities.
In Europe we have been live with rapid response digital activity from early August to communicate the changing nature of travel to consumers and inform them of what they need to know when planning and visiting Scotland.
Our Scotland Is Calling campaign activity will raise awareness and consideration of a break to Scotland to keep Scotland front of mind for our key European audiences. Our target markets for Europe are Germany and France (core markets) and Spain, Italy, Netherlands and Nordics (developing markets). Activity will include a mix of media platforms with a focus on video distribution of our new Scotland Is Calling video assets to launch in our core markets on 30 September followed with developing markets, mid-October. Our B2C activity will be targeted at Cultural Explorers, Buzzseekers and Adventurers living in key transport/city hubs and our B2B2C activity will be targeted at travel trade professionals and partners.
Paid Media Activity
B2C activity – build brand/demand and encourage bookings for late 2021 through 2022
Digital Channels: Amnet, JustPremium, Oubtrain, Trade Desk, Teads, Captify
Social Channels: Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest
Broadcast (FR/DE only): Addressable/Catch-up TV
Digital Out of Home (DE only)
Content partner: NatGeo
Conversion partner: Expedia
B2B2C activity – inspire B2B product development and support conversion for trade partners
Digital Channels: FVW, Reise vor9
Social Channels: LinkedIn
Content/brand partners: Travelzoo, Tour Hebdo, Tour Mag, L’Echo Touristique, Manageo.
Phase 1: 30 September – mid-December 2021
Phase 2: January – March 2022
As soon as international travel was permissible again from US and Canada, we started running ‘rapid response’ social media posts, linking potential visitors to our web pages giving the latest information on the new travel rules.
Our Scotland is Calling activity in US and Canada is targeted at our traditional ‘Cultural Explorers’ as well as different films for ‘Buzzseekers’ who we think may be more adventurous in terms of travel plans coming out of the pandemic. The focus will be on digital and paid social activity in the run up to Christmas, which will give us maximum flexibility should restrictions change again. For January to March we are planning a number of high profile media and content partnerships to create a strong buzz about visiting Scotland in 2022.
Paid media consumer activity:
- Connected TV through Hulu platform & NBC
- Facebook & Instagram
- Content partnership with Matador
- Other content partners to be confirmed for January – March activity
- Awareness and conversion activity with Expedia
- Virtuoso partnership promoting luxury travel to Scotland
- Other B2B partners to be confirmed for January – March activity
- Phase 1: 30 September – early December 2021
- Phase 2: Mid-January – end March 2022
In China, our primary goal is to raise awareness of Scotland as a holiday destination, focusing on growing our followers on WeChat and Weibo, as well as working in partnership with recognised travel content providers to push Scotland to top of mind for Chinese travellers considering their next overseas holiday.
We are targeting a predominantly younger audience in China, aged 25-44 in tier 1 and new tier 1 priority cities, showing them the breadth of Scotland’s holiday offering and providing inspiration for their next trip.
Paid media consumer activity:
- Activity to grow followers on consumer WeChat and Weibo channels
- Content hub on travel inspiration site Mafengwo
- OTA partner under negotiation
- Grow followers on travel trade WeChat channel
- Activity with trade media partner
- Phase 1: mid October – early November 2021
- Phase 2: February – March 2022
Further support of our campaign work
We will continue to invest in updating and optimising our own channels based on consumer and industry insight and partnership working with destinations and sectors.
This includes our website, social media channels, global email programme, PR activity and relationship building activity with travel intermediaries in all our key markets. We are currently working on developing a new Scotland Education programme for Tour Operators and Travel Agents.
Our Travel Trade Event Scotland Reconnect 2021 took place at the end of April and saw over 7,000 pre-arranged business meetings take place over three days.
Almost 390 buyers from 26 countries connected online with almost 300 Scottish suppliers for business meetings aimed at booking and creating tour packages for future visitors. This year welcomed 41 new buyers and 61 new exhibitors, who were attending one of our travel trade events for the first time.
Around 600 delegates attended each day and took part in 1-2-1 meetings, as well as round table discussions on the latest issues affecting world travel and tourism. Buyers from the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Australia and Brazil all attended the virtual event, in addition to London-based inbound operators representing the Japanese and Chinese markets.
A total of 17 regional Destination Management Organisations attended and there were 12 regional destination showcases, including Tay Region, South of Scotland, Argyll & Isles, Ayrshire & Arran, VisitCairngorms, Destination Orkney and Visit Moray Speyside.
We want to work with you, our businesses, destinations and communities to ensure that visitors and locals can have a fantastic experience when tourism begins to recover.
Here is how to get involved:
We are keen to create a community of businesses who would be interested in working with us to provide complimentary stays, visits and activities. Visit our press trips page to find out more.
Get in touch
You can contact us directly on the following channels:
Contact business advice team: firstname.lastname@example.org