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Article published 11/10/2022

Caroline Warburton, Regional Leadership Director, VisitScotland 

Over the last couple of weeks, we have definitely seen the season shift from summer to autumn, and with it a change of pace in terms of visitors to the region. It has been fantastic to see the strong visitor numbers to Fife over the summer, in particular the welcome return of our international guests, many of whom were attracted by The 150th Open in St Andrews and are also benefitting from new international routes opening up at Scotland’s airports.  

As we head into the autumn and winter months, our focus is to drive bookings and demand through our ongoing marketing, PR and travel trade activity. In the short term we are encouraging visits during our traditionally quieter seasons of autumn and winter and ensure Scotland and Fife remains front of mind for both potential domestic and international visitors.  

While visitor concerns around COVID-19 may have lessened, we know that many visitors are concerned about rising costs. This is, of course, a serious concern for businesses as well, who are having to consider how they adapt their operations to manage growing cost challenges. To help businesses access the latest advice and support, we have created a "cost of doing business resource". A link to this guide is provided in this update. 

So many businesses have shown incredible resilience, agility and creativity over the last couple of year, and this month the industry will be celebrating the local finalists in the Central, Fife and Tayside regional finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards. I would like to wish all those shortlisted from Fife below the very best of luck.  

I would also like to extend my congratulations to our newest recipients of VisitScotland Quality Assurance and Taste our Best awards and thank our fantastic local suppliers who joined our St Andrews iCentre team to celebrate 5th anniversary of our Shop Local retail initiative last month.  

I hope you find the following update helpful and informative.

The King visits Dunfermline - Scotland's newest city

The (now official) City of Dunfermline welcomed Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort to the City Chambers last week (3 October) for an official ceremony to hand over the Letters Patent, confirming the new city status.

Dunfermline is now the newest city in Scotland, despite its ancient history, having been granted City status as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee celebrations.

At a short ceremony inside the City Chambers, King Charles officially presented the official documents to Provost of Fife, Cllr. Jim Leishman, in front of an audience of invited guests, which included First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Secretary of State Alister Jack.

The King and Queen Consort then left to visit Dunfermline Abbey to formally mark its 950th anniversary. Caroline Warburton was invited by Fife Council to attend the event at the Abbey and was introduced to The King and Queen Consort as they arrived.

Caroline Warburton, Regional Leadership Director, VisitScotland meeting the King

Caroline Warbuton meeting The King. Credit Historic Environment Scotland

Marketing Fife

  • Lots of new Fife images

    With the support of our multimedia team and funded by Fife Council, we've captured some stunning new imagery of Fife which includes Falkland Palace and Garden, Dunfermline Abbey, Carnegie Library and Galleries, Tentsmuir and Backhouse Rossie Estate.

    You can find these images on our Digital Media Library, which are free for you to download and use. We've also added some footage of the Forth Bridges for use on social channels.

  • Working with Fife Council

    Funded by Fife Council we're running social media activity promoting family autumn breaks in Fife aimed at those living in Scotland and North England. This activity will run until the end of October, with the next phase aimed at retirees in November. 

    As well as this we are working together on an article promoting Fife in Times Travel themed around luxury, due to go live in November.

  • Working with Expedia

    Part of our Scotland is Calling activity, we've launched the latest phase of our Expedia partnership running across both the UK and US markets with the aim of boosting bookings through autumn and winter then into spring 2023. Activity includes a bookable landing page on and with a focus on Scotland's cities and features Dunfermline

  • New blogs featuring Fife

    Take a look at some new content added to featuring Fife:

  • New UNESCO marketing campaign

    Scotland’s UNESCO Trail is being promoted with the launch of a dedicated VisitScotland marketing campaign. The campaign, aimed at potential visitors from the UK & Ireland, Germany and France, will encourage them to discover more about the country’s 13 place-based designations included in the trail. The Forth Bridges is one of the 13 designations included in the Trail.

  • Partnership marketing | Museums Gallery Scotland

    Find out how we created an online buzz for museums across Scotland’s cities - including the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum and Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries.

Corporate press activity

Our corporate PR team work closely with Scottish and UK media to raise awareness of VisitScotland’s work to promote Scotland and Fife to visitors and support for industry. 

Some of the highlights include: 

  • The shortlist for the regional finals in the Scottish Thistle Awards  

  • Celebrating five years of our Shop Local iCentre initiative with a media release highlighting our meet the maker event at St Andrews iCentre featuring a number of local suppliers.

Consumer PR highlights

Scotland's Witch Trail Map

This month (29 September) we launched a brand new trail and map exploring Scotland's tales of witchcraft to mark our Year of Stories 2022.

The downloadable guide features 15 locations and will be hosted on alongside a blog taking a deeper dive on the subject and offering even more witchcraft-themed visitor experiences. 

Experiences on the map include East Neuk Seaweed in Fife.

Hear from our St Andrews iCentre team

The 150th Open has to be year’s main highlight for the team, welcoming over 2000 visitors through the door during the week-long event in July. It was brilliant to see the town and the iCentre busy with visitors from all over the world. 

iCentre events

On 24 September we invited many local suppliers to help us celebrate the 5th anniversary of our Shop Local initiative.  We were joined by Pittenweem Preserves, Kingsbarns Distillery, a new local family business - The East Neuk Salt Company and Wee Neuk Ceramics to name a few.

Maureen Milne (staff) outside the St Andrews iCentre

We're planning another event to take place on St Andrews Day (30 November) and would be delighted for businesses to pop in and say hello to the team!

Scottish Thistle Awards | the shortlist

More than 100 tourism businesses and events across the country have been shortlisted for a regional Finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards. In Fife we've got five businesses shortlisted: 

  • For "Best Eatery Experience" - The Dory, East Neuk and The Ship Inn, Elie and Earlsferry
  • For "Best Hotel Experience (over 20 rooms)" - Garvock House Hotel, Dunfermline
  • For "Best Self-Catering Accommodation Experience" - Lindores - Stay Ride Relax, Newburgh and Morton of Pitmilly, Kingsbarns

Good luck to everyone! 

Browse the 2022 / 2023 Regional Finalists by region on the Scottish Thistles website.

Short-term let legislation

New Scottish legislation for short-term lets came into effect on 1 March 2022. Learn what the legal requirements for letting a holiday property are, and how the new licensing laws in Scotland will work. Some useful resources:

1. Read more about what this means for you in our advice and guidance page.

2. Find out about Fife Council's new short-term lets licensing system on their website.

Quality in Fife

Well done to Backhouse Rossie Estate who have recently received a 4 Star Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance award and Affordable Arts in Methil have also been awarded a 4 Star Tourist Shop.

Our Stars represent world class excellence, helping businesses shine, enabling visitors to make informed choices and driving investment in quality.

Also, a huge congratulations to Dean Park Hotel in Kirkcaldy who have recently achieved a AA 4 Star Award. 

Find out more about QA and let us help you shine!

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