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Visit Scotland | Alba

Scotland is Calling - our invitation to the world

Scotland is Calling was established as part of our COVID-19 recovery approach. Now in its third year, we're building on the success of our Scotland Is Calling marketing proposition.  

For our core campaign activity through 2023 and into early 2024 we will be focusing on its emotional resonance. 

We want to move audiences along the visitor lifecycle growing awareness and inspiring them with all that Scotland has to offer, ultimately compelling them to visit.

The campaign activity will focus on the see, think, plan and do stages of the visitor journey, supported by an integrated programme of earned, owned, intermediary and partnership marketing activity. 

Previous phases of campaign

  • Phase one - product awareness

    Product driven creative was combined with top of funnel media to promote that "Scotland is open" to tourism again following the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel disruption.  

  • Phase two - influence behaviours

    Behaviour driven creative to encourage visitors to "tread lightly" and think about responsible tourism when exploring Scotland. Also reinforcing Scotland as a safe and welcoming destination.

  • Phase three - create connections

    Connection driven creative and activity showcasing the emotional value and benefit you get from a trip to Scotland. 

  • Phase four - built intent

    Building on emotive messaging with a channel and audience first creative and media approach, targeting a younger “buzz seeker” audience. UK targeting also included families and more mature couples who demonstrate high intent to visit. In the case of the latter, this audience also often has lower cost of living concerns and more travel time. 

    (Note: VisitBritain have since updated segmentation definitions and "buzz seeker" has been updated to "experience seeker" audience).

    Find a summary of the latest campaign activity and results.

What's driving our activity?

Despite the challenging global economic situation, consumers across our key markets continue to prioritise travel. In fact, luxury retail, high-end experiences and bucket list travel bookings have been on the rise. This may be in response to the lack of control consumers felt through the pandemic and a pent-up desire to get back out and see the world. 

To justify the spend, consumers are seeking unique, tailored and personally enriching experiences often with a focus on wellbeing. To the consumer these types of experiences can be perceived to be value for money. Data suggests visitors are happy to spend more for personalised, unique experiences including local and sustainable offers that add to their overall experience.  

And sustainability remains at the forefront of public dialogue. Although it’s worth noting an ongoing disparity in understanding to what this means in practice. 


What does this mean for our marketing?

Scotland's rich and variable larder, our places steeped in history and heritage, our culturally vibrant communities and welcoming neighbourhoods all offer what visitors seek in abundance – unique, powerfully enriching, personal experiences.  

Our audiences are open to more sustainable options, ones that are good for people and the planet. It's important to us that we don't place all the responsibility of making more sustainable travel choices on to the consumer. We must play a leading and proactive role in offering more sustainable and community-focused choices and shaping our visitor behaviours.  

Campaign objectives

Grow the value of tourism to Scotland with a focus on:

  • positioning Scotland as an inclusive, year-round destination that delivers powerfully enriching personal experiences

  • prioritising key markets and audiences to grow Scotland’s share of global travel in a sustainable way

  • increasing the value per visit


Success will be measured by achieving our four key outcomes:

  • spread 

  • spend 

  • sustainability

  • satisfaction 

Markets and audiences

As we seek to maximise resources in the year ahead to deliver the most value to Scotland and our visitors, we have prioritised our paid consumer market focus as follows: 


  • UK - building intent and converting interest to encourage bookings for the autumn and winter 2023 and spring 2024 seasons


International visits account for approximately 20% of total inbound visits but a massive 43% of total visitor spend into our economy. 

  • US - raising awareness and building our 2024 international pipeline of visitors
  • Germany - driving awareness and conversion with seasonally weighted media to drive late 2023 and early 2024 bookings
  • France - driving awareness and conversion with seasonally weighted media to drive late 2023 and early 2024 bookings

Creative direction

Our Scotland is Calling creative aims to show people what they are missing out on if they don’t visit Scotland. What could they not get elsewhere? It draws on those deep-rooted emotional connections.  

Our creative largely speaks to the core theme of connection with flexibility across multiple formats, always thinking channel and audience first.

What’s going to make people choose Scotland over any other destination?

We aim to create noise and urgency to visit with inspiring, light-hearted creative, using novel visual hooks that we know resonate with the markets. Wherever possible, we aim to make our media and creative PR-worthy. 

Read more on the theme of connection and reconnection travel in this AFAR online article.

We take a storytelling approach to our campaign creative, focusing on:

  • leveraging the familiar and iconic to grow awareness and reinforce the sense of place, alongside the unexpected and exciting to challenge perceptions and inspire 

  • positioning the visitor as the hero 

  • putting our people and communities to the fore through supporting content marketing and always-on media 

  • immersive formats that draw the audience in – movement, pace, first-person views 

  • sonic signature that becomes a core brand element, connecting creative across formats and channels 

  • formats designed specifically for the in-channel experience, rather than ‘cut to fit’ 

  • creative tailored to the audience and their level of familiarity with Scotland  

Friends on Salisbury Crags in Edinburgh

Let our majestic landscapes, rich heritage and warm hospitality stir your senses and ignite your wanderlust. Embark on a transformative journey like no other, as you immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Scotland’s culture, marrying ancient history with modern luxury in new and surprising ways. 

Scotland is Calling is our invitation to the world to come and create your own stories.

Watch our latest Scotland is Calling video

Scotland is Calling media plan

Our paid media distribution for 2023-24 will focus on the UK, USA, France and Germany. Targeting "experience seeker" audiences at each stage of the consumer journey:   

Discover more about VisitBritain's experience seeker segmentation

  • Brand building (see)

    Focused on raising awareness of Scotland through distribution of video and imagery assets on paid media channels (social media, connected TV, out of home, etc). This will be supported by influencer marketing, PR amplification, social media and owned channel activity.

  • Partnership (think/plan)

    Joint, paid and in-kind opportunities extend the reach of our campaign messaging to audiences via trusted high impact partnerships, through their wide network of channels and communities.  

  • OTA (do)

    Strategic online tour operator (OTA) partnerships reach warm audiences with travel intent. This will drive consideration and, critically, conversion, encouraging seasonality in line with changing search and booking behaviour. 

Campaign tactics

Insight driven

  • matching demand with supply across regional and sector priorities.
  • option for regional partner upweight of activities.


  • focused on the See, Think, Plan and Do stages of the visitor journey
  • targeting life stage, attitudes and behaviours within key market

Channel first 

Creative designed for the audience and channel in mind, based on market motivators, for example: 

  • Global: wellbeing and escapism 
  • US: film & TV and ancestry 
  • UK: family and friends' connections 


Supported by an aligned programme of always-on, owned, earned, partnership and intermediary marketing activity.


Seasonally weighted

High impact activity weighted to quarter three and four (October 2023 – March 2024) for optimal engagement and conversion.  


Joint funded partnerships with key operators to deliver collective reach and impact. Value add media and content partnerships can be leveraged within this mix. Partners include: 

  • DFDS
  • Caledonian Sleeper and Glasgow Life
  • Avanti
  • LNER
  • Scottish Canals
  • ScotRail 
  • Sustrans

This campaign activity will run from September 2023 to March 2024.  

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