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Visit Scotland | Alba

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Building awareness and increasing market share

To market Scotland in the most effective and efficient way we focus our activities on the markets which offer the greatest potential. These core markets are the ones that currently, and in the future, will deliver sustainable value for Scotland.

We aim to maintain and grow the domestic market. Simultaneously, we aim to build international awareness and increase market share.

National and international markets

The UK remains our biggest market and is of great importance to us, representing 80% of overnight trips and 57% of overnight tourism spend (2019). We market Scotland to this domestic holiday market. In doing so, we base our strategy on wide-ranging and detailed consumer information.

International markets are also extremely important to Scottish tourism. They deliver considerable value to the visitor economy.

Overseas visitors tend to stay longer than domestic ones and their total expenditure during their visit is higher. 20% of the total number of overnight trips made to Scotland in 2019 were by foreign visitors. But this share provided around 43% of total expenditure (2019).

Data for 2022 will be available in 2024.

Our focus markets

For our international market focus, we use our insights into visitor intent, spend in Scotland, and growth potential. We know these are major factors when people choose a holiday destination. We're also aware of each market’s travel behaviour and preferences.

This knowledge lets us reach them and encourage them to visit, and our competitors’ activity in each market, shapes our focus markets.

Those focus markets, currently targeted with our greatest media spend are: 

  • UK - England North West, South East, Yorkshire, London, North East & Scotland

Find out more about our UK visitors. 

  • US - New York, California, Illinois, Florida, Texas

Find out more about our US visitors.

Other markets

A wider set of focus markets also benefit from targeted media spend. As well as owned, earned and partner channel activity. These focus markets are:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Middle East
  • Netherlands
  • Nordics
  • Spain

Why are travel intermediaries important for our target markets?

Travel intermediaries like tour operators and online travel agencies (OTAs) play a crucial role. They provide holidaymakers with the information they need to choose a destination and plan their trip.

More than half of international visitors using travel intermediaries to plan and book their holiday. Our targeted intermediary marketing programme forms a key part of our marketing strategy.

To help grow our markets sustainably, part of our activity is educating and inspiring travel intermediaries. This helps generate sales and profiles Scotland’s developing product offering. It also encourages intermediaries to feature Scotland ahead of competitor destinations.

It allows us to support the tourism industry in its aspirations to internationalise. But it also lets us attract visitors from international markets.  

We also work closely with our partner organisation VisitBritain. Their teams market the UK across key growth markets in collaboration with national organisations.


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