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Visit Scotland | Alba

Celebrate the best of Scotland and its people

Themed Years take place regularly, with a programme of events and activity throughout each celebratory year. There are lots of opportunities to get involved, whether you are a visitor, a business or an organisation.

Themed Years started with Homecoming Scotland 2009. This unique concept represented one of Scotland's largest collaborative tourism and events initiatives.

Read on for more information on Themed Years. You'll find out what benefits they bring businesses and organisations, our previous themes, and how you can get involved.

1. The Themed Years model

Themed Years started with Homecoming Scotland 2009. This was a new idea at the time and one of the biggest collaborations for tourism and events that Scotland had ever seen.

Homecoming Scotland brought in a lot of extra money and positive media attention for Scotland, along with other benefits.

The the most important result was how it brought together different organisations from Scotland and abroad. These organisations celebrated and promote Scotland in the same way. They all used the same brand and messaging, which made their efforts more effective.

To date, there have been 12 Themed Years.

Events Programme

The creation of an exciting and engaging events programme is central to the Themed Year approach.  Events animate and showcase what we have to offer. They encourage participation and celebration. They raise awareness of the theme and provide important media moments through the year.

Each Themed Year offers at least one events funding programme and a partner events programme that's free to access. Signing up to the partner events programme offers a range of promotional benefits. 

Industry Engagement

Themed Years are a great way to promote your business, product and experiences. You can join the conversation and reach new audiences on social media using the Themed Year campaign hashtags. Or, you can create new content or campaigns to share your unique story with visitors.

Being part of a national campaign like Themed Years offers a great way to engage with visitors and benefit from increased exposure.

Every Themed Year must relate to all parts of Scotland so everyone can see themselves in the theme and promote their own unique offerings. 

For each Themed Year, a Marketing Toolkit is created. It includes a range of resources such as logos, top tips and free-to-use images. These help businesses and organisations take part in the Themed Year and get creative with their marketing efforts.  

2. Headline results of Year of Stories 2022


2,760 pieces of coverage reaching people an estimated 5.6 billion times in print and online


354 funded and partner events across all 32 local authorities


1.4 million attendances at 201 Year of Stories funded events


100s of communities and organisations shared their diverse stories