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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, we hope this will compel them to visit.

The campaign activity will focus on the see, think, plan, and do stages of the visitor journey. We support it with a programme of earned, owned, intermediary, and partnership marketing activity.

Previous phases of campaign

  • Phase one | Product awareness

    We promoted that "Scotland is open" for tourism again, following the COVID-19 pandemic and its travel disruption.

  • Phase two | Influence behaviours

    We encouraged visitors to "tread lightly" and think about responsible tourism when coming to Scotland. We also reinforced the message of Scotland as a safe and welcoming destination.

  • Phase three | Create connections

    We showcased the emotional value and benefit visitors get from a trip to Scotland. 

  • Phase four | Build intent

    We built on emotive messaging, tailored to our audience. In general, we targeted a younger “buzz seeker” (also called "experience seeker") audience.

    For the UK market, we also targeted families and older couples who showed high intent to visit. The latter often has lower cost-of-living concerns and more travel time.

What's driving our activity?

Despite the challenging global economy, people across our key markets keep prioritising 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. These often will have 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. This includes local and sustainable offers that add to their overall experience.

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 larder, heritage, culture, and welcoming neighbourhoods all offer what visitors seek. These are 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
  • 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

We seek to maximise resources in the year ahead to deliver the most value to Scotland and our visitors. That's why, we prioritised our paid consumer market with a focus on our domestic and international markets.


UK - We're building intent and converting interest to encourage bookings for the autumn and winter 2023 and spring 2024 seasons.


International visits account only for approximately 20% of total inbound visits. But they do account for 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 campaign 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.

It largely speaks to the core theme of connection. It allows for flexibility across a range of formats, and always puts our communication channel and audience first.

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

Read more about connection and reconnection travel on

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

  • the use the familiar and iconic to grow awareness and reinforce a sense of place

  • the use of the unexpected and exciting to challenge perceptions of a place and inspire the visitor

  • positioning the visitor as the hero

  • putting our people and communities to the fore through our continuous marketing and media efforts

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

  • brand elements that connect the campaign across formats and channels

  • creating messaging that is specifically designed for an experience, rather than trying to amend a generic template

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

Watch our latest Scotland is Calling video

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.

Scotland is Calling media plan

Our paid media distribution for 2023-2024 will focus on the UK, the United States, 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)

    This raises awareness of Scotland by sharing inspiring video and image adverts to specific audiences. The activity is timed to take into account audience booking windows and encourage seasonal spread.

    This is supported by an integrated mix of influencer marketing, PR, organic social and content marketing.

    Paid media includes social media channels like Instagram and Facebook. On these, we can reach a large volume of experience seeker audiences in the UK.

    These are flexible, low-cost, high-reach channels, that we know audiences are using to search for travel inspiration.

    For the UK audience, we're encouraging autumn / winter domestic breaks and pipeline visits for early spring 2024.

    Instagram and Snapchat are used to reach the American market. Snapchat users in America skew older than the UK. The US activity is timed to build awareness and instigate planning stages of visitor journey for 2024 pipeline.

    Targeted video advertising on Connected TV (Paramount Plus and Disney+) are also used. This is to maximise awareness and our reach in the United States.

  • Partnership (think / plan)

    Joint, paid and in-kind opportunities extend the reach of our campaign messaging to audiences. These come in the form of trusted high impact partnerships, and their wide network of channels and communities, including:

    An exciting, first of its kind, three-way content partnership, targeting UK & US audiences, between ourselves and:

    • top travel content provider National Geographic
    • premium entertainment brand Disney

    A content partnership with the powerful storytelling platform Culture Trip, to reach their US audience. These are millennials searching for inspired travel, adventure, and experiences.

    A content partnership with Le Figaro to tap into their loyal audiences in the French market to inspire them to visit Scotland.

    Building on our partnership with GoPro, @BrookeWillson visited and captured unique content from the east of Scotland. Read her blog post on

  • Online travel agents (do)

    Strategic online travel agency partnerships to reach warm audiences with travel intent, ready to book. They help us reach visitors where they are searching and booking travel and pitch Scotland as a destination.

    These partnerships give us invaluable live search and booking insights to understand how and when people are booking. This helps refine our planning and targeting to support seasonal and regional spread.

    Online travel agency partnerships include:

    • a partnership with Expedia to reach their warm, travel-ready audiences in the UK and US markets
    • a partnership with Skyscanner to target a large, engaged and active German visitor audience

    The aim of the Expedia partnership is to encourage bookings to Scotland through autumn, winter 2023 and into spring 2024.

    Expedia has the largest market share of online travel agents in the United States. This offers us considerable reach to our experience seeker audiences.

    The Expedia activity allows us to support travel, accommodation and experiences in Scotland.

    Skyscanner lets people easily search and book their trip through a tailored mix of digital channels and content. This activity helps us support direct flight routes from Germany to Scotland.

Campaign tactics

  • Insight driven

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

    • focused on the "see", "think", "plan", and "do" stages of the visitor journey
    • targeting life stage, attitudes and behaviours within key market
  • Channel first

    Content designed for the audience and channel in mind, based on market motivators, such as:

    • worldwide - wellbeing, and escapism 
    • United States - film & TV, and ancestry 
    • UK -  connecting with family and friends
  • Integrated

    Our marketing activities are year-round, via, for example, our own communication channels and that of our partners.

  • Seasonally weighted

    We put most resources into our campaign for the months of October 2023 – March 2024. This is because doing so leads to optimal engagement with visitors and has the highest chance of turning "lookers" into "bookers".

  • Partnerships

    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.

Related links