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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 21/10/2022

Introduction from Victoria Harvey, Development Manager

Head and shoulders image of Victoria HarveyIt has been fantastic to see the return of domestic and international visitors to our region over the summer months with events like Seanachas celebrating Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 in Stornoway. 

As we enter 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 ensuring Scotland and the Outer Hebrides remain front of mind for potential visitors.  

We’re prioritising activities that will stimulate demand and new bookings for the industry to support its long-term recovery with more details in the update below.  

We know that many businesses are facing difficult decisions and are having to consider how they adapt their operations to manage the cost 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 is 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 Lewis Longhouse – nominated in the Best Self-Catering Accommodation Experience category and wish everyone involved the best of luck. 

Marketing the Outer Hebrides to visitors 


Something witchy this way comes

In 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 can be found on alongside a blog taking a deeper dive on the subject and offering even more witch-craft themed visitor experiences.

Experiences on the map include the Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis, spotlighted for their rich culture of magical folklore.

Download the Witch Trail Map

  • 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. St. Kilda on the Isle of Lewis is one of the 13 designations included in the Trail.

  • Inspiring visitors with new content on is our website for visitors to find inspiration for their next trip to Scotland. Check out some of the newest content featuring the Outer Hebrides:

  • Outer Hebrides in the press

    Between July and September, our consumer PR team promoted the Outer Hebrides to audiences in the UK, Europe and North America: 

    • In UK media, the region was includes in a number of publications on Scotland's beaches, with the Telegraph placing a spotlight on the Outer Hebrides; and Uist was featured within The Telegraph as an off the beaten track destination. 
    • In European coverage, a TV crew from France 2 filmed in Harris and Lewis to showcase the islands as a lesser known tourist destination and the our team hosted a journalist from German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau in Uist to highlight these islands as hidden gems for visitors in Scotland with the coverage due shortly.
    • For the North American audience, Skye and the Hebrides were included in the Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards, based on a survey of its readers best experiences from around the world; and as a result of ongoing conversations with our team, Luskentyre Sands on Harris was included in a round-up of the 25 best beaches in Europe in CondeNast Traveler.

Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 


Celebrating Scotland's rich and diverse oral storytelling heritage

In September, Map of Stories was announced as a unique celebration of Scotland's rich and diverse oral storytelling hertitage as part of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022. Supported by EventScotland, a series of live 'film ceileih' performances have been planned as well as the launch of a brand new, interactive website. One of the five regional 'film ceilidh' events will take place in Lochmaddy in Uist in the Outer Hebrides. The event in October will be led by Hebridean storyteller and poet Ian Stephen with music from Kenneth Linklater.

Learn more about the new Map of Stories project.


The Brilliant and Forever at An Lanntair 

As part of Seanachas, the Outer Hebrides event for our themed year, the annual Brilliant and Forever short story festival took place in August in the Lews Castle Grounds on Stornoway. This year, the festival was brought to life with a short-story writing competition where 13 shortlisted writers presented their stories.

Watch our Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 video and visit the An Lanntair website for their full Seanachas schedule.



Catch up with our Stornoway iCentre team

In case you missed it... 

Some other new activity and updates from across the region include:

  • Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar received funding from the latest round of the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to develop motorhome sites around the main village or ferry port at Tarbert on Harris. 
  • Funding was awarded to six islands local authorities including Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar to assist critical projects on climate change, population retention and tourism. The funding will support two projects on Lewis and Eriskay. 
  • HebCelt returned in July, enjoying a record attendance to the music festival and bring a £4.2 million boost to the Lewis economy according to the festival website.

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