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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 27/10/2022

Introduction from Chris Taylor

It has been fantastic to see the return of domestic and international visitors to our region over the summer months. I was fortunate enough to attend a number of great Highland events, including the Loch Ness Etape, Under Canvas, the Mountain Bike World Cup, Belladrum Festival and Dandelion.  

As we approach the autumn and winter season, we will continue to work with partners in our tourism and events industry on promoting activity that extends the season and ensures Scotland - and the Highlands - remain front of mind for potential visitors. I am delighted to announce two upcoming campaigns, first an excellent piece of collaboration across destinations in Highland on a winter campaign – watch this space for more details - and a major campaign, Spirit of the Highlands & Islands, to inspire visits at quieter times and encourage people to explore more and get off the beaten track.  

We know that businesses are facing difficult decisions and are having to consider how they adapt their operations to manage the cost and staffing challenges. We would encourage you to visit our industry website for all the latest industry advice, support and guidance and we will bring you news on industry events taking place in the region.   

It's especially important now that we celebrate people in the industry who have worked tirelessly in the past two years. The return of the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards in November offers us the chance to do this. I am looking forward to the return of this event and would like to congratulate all shortlisted businesses and wish everyone involved the best of luck. 


National Geographic Best of the World 2023

national geographics best in the world list logo


Before we launch further into activity from July - September 2022. This week National Geographic has named the Scottish Highlands in their Best of the World list for 2023. 

This places the Highlands as one of only two UK destinations features, across five key categories. The Highlands features within the "Nature" category to celebrate Scotland’s rewilding efforts, which aim to restore the original landscape of the Highlands by replanting and restoring native species.

Find out more about this prestigious accolade and view the full list of winners.

Hear from our iCentres

Hear from our five iCentres across the Highlands about what's been happening across their areas, including refurbishments, relocations and events.

They'd love to welcome you and your visitors, so be sure to pop in, say hello and hear their excellent local knowledge.

Regional Marketing

  • Scotland's UNESCO Trail

    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. UNESCO Biosphere Wester Ross is one of the 13 designations included in the Trail.

  • Scotland is Calling

    We recently launched a £270,000 UK marketing campaign to mark the next phase of Scotland is Calling, which has been promoted on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Teads (a global media platform). Highland locations such as Dunrobin Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, Glenfinnan Viaduct, Glencoe, Mallaig and the Isle of Skye feature in our hero film and campaign video assets. 

    This campaign includes a partnership with Expedia promoting Inverness, which features on the Expedia booking page.

    In September, we worked with Go Pro content creator activity, which included inviting influencers The Adventure Addicts to explore Glencoe and the Isle of Skye.

  • Scotland's Year of Stories 2022

    As part of this themed year, the Highland's featured in our publishing partnership with The Guardian. In our partnership article on Film and TV locations, we featured the Highlands Folk Museum and Inverness. 

    Within the Year of Stories, we also partnered with Bauer Media to promote events across the Highlands through Moray Firth Radio (MFR). Events promoted included the Nairn Book and Arts Festival, An Tinne, and Northern Stories Festival.

  • The List Campaign

    As part of our campaign with The List, we featured:

    • The An Tinne programme of events on Skye featured in a 12 July Solus e-newsletter
    • Gairloch Museum Festival of Stories was highlighted in a native article on 1 September
    • Voices of Dava Moor at Grantown Museum and a Dark Sky Storywalk in Cairngorms Dark Sky Park were included in the 6 September Solus e-newsletter
    • Voices of Dava Moor was also included in the 8 September "Something for the Weekend" e-newsletter

Consumer PR activity


Our UK focused activity included:

  • A press release focusing on beaches in Scotland, with inclusions for Highlands with coverage including, the Sunday Post online and the Scotsman online. This release was distributed globally.
  • Pitching on "Days out" and things for families to do over the summer included the Highland Games in the Sunday Post.
  • A feature in Waitrose Weekend magazine for the North Coast 500 in July.
  • Coverage on the Alladale Wilderness Reserve as a wildlife stay in the Times print and online; also featured in the Observer.  
  • Coverage for the Knoydart Peninsula in the National following a recent press trip.
  • Coverage in the Times, on the back of a pitch at TravMedia in March, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Caledonian Canal.


Our European activity included:


Our Emerging markets coverage included:

Over the past three months, the Highlands have featured in nine articles pitched to the Chinese market. Some of these articles include:

  • A feature in (with a daily readership of more than 2.5 million) dedicated to Scotland in the autumn. Locations featured include Isle of Skye, the West Highland Way, the Cape Wrath Trail. They also featured an article titled "Small footprint, big adventure" as part of our climate week activity. This feature included the Great Glen Canoe Trail and Loch Ness 360° Trail.
  • “National Travel Geographic (direct translation of their Chinese organisation name)” featured image-led coverage promoted Scotland as the “Country of Castles.” The article showcasing the history, culture and landmarks in in Scotland, including the Highlands.
  • (which receives more than 25,000 readers daily) published an article about summer in Scotland. Featured locations include Nairn Beach, Thurso, Cairngorms, Eilean Donan Castle, Urquhart Castle and NC500. 



Our Emerging markets coverage included:

  • Eight-page feature in Esquire Korea. The journalist visited Scotland in May 2022, embarking on a road-trip to the highlands, Isle of Skye, NC500 and Edinburgh and Glasgow. This eight page spread covers their road-trip along the North Coast 500 route, highlighting the nature and landscape, wildlife, caravan and camping parks (Invercoe Caravan and Camping Park at Glencoe, Sands Caravan and Camping at Gairloch), a picnic with whisky experience and featuring destinations along the route. Locations include Eilean Donan Castle, Durness, Duncansby Head Lighthouse, Inverness, and Fort Willam.
  • Clothing brand, Henry Cotton’s, Travel Blog magazine featured a full edition of 58-page coverage of Scotland unique experiences, including whisky, textile, fishing and golf across the Highlands, Speyside and the Outer Hebrides.

Corporate press activity

It's been a busy quarter for our corporate press team covering the Highlands. Some of the highlights include:  

Related links