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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 20/07/2022

Caroline Warbuton, Regional Leadership Director, VisitScotland 

Caroline Warburton, Regional Leadership Director, VisitScotlandTourism businesses and operators across Perthshire are experiencing their first full season without restrictions since 2019.   

It has been fantastic to see businesses fully open once more, new businesses opening, visitors returning across the region and on a personal note getting out and about visiting partners and businesses in person, unthinkable only six months ago.  

Despite new challenges, the outlook is looking more positive than it has been and we remain committed to working closely with partners and industry to rebuild this vital part of Perth & Kinross economy.  

One of our key priorities over the last year has been to rebuild international demand. In March we launched phase two of our global marketing campaign Scotland is Calling which featured Perthshire. Meanwhile in April several businesses across the region joined us at our Discover Scotland travel trade event which attracted over 300 international buyers.  

Closer to home, we have included Perthshire within our promotions with UK media partnerships, such as the magazine Stylist, and launched a new two year "Kids for a Quid" campaign with Beano and ScotRail promoting family day trips to Scotland’s cities which of course includes Perth.  

The return of events across the region has been a welcome sight, providing that buzz and social interaction we have all missed so much. From events celebrating Scotland’s Year of Stories including The Legend of Kinnoull Dragon and Wire Women Project honouring inspirational women from Perth and Kinross to the return of local favourites Crieff Highland Gathering, Otherlands and Solas Festival supported by EventScotland funding.  

Meanwhile this week, major golf tournament The Senior Open Presented by Rolex arrives at Gleneagles providing another welcome boost for tourism businesses and the local economy. With views of Auchterarder and the surrounding area broadcast worldwide, it's hoped this global exposure will inspire future trips to Perthshire.  

However, it is important to us that this recovery is sustainable. From encouraging both locals and visitors to enjoy Scotland responsibly through our "Keep Scotland Unspoiled" visitor management campaign on issues such as litter, wild camping and fire safety to promoting regional and seasonal spread, responsible tourism is now at the heart of everything we do. This includes supporting investment in rural tourism infrastructure through our Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Recent projects in Perth and Kinross include at RSPB Loch Leven and Grandtully on the River Tay.  

All our activity is delivered hand-in-hand with our partners. We continue to work closely with Perth & Kinross Council, the network of local tourism associations and other key partners through the Perthshire Tourism Partnership, which included the delivery of a series of Perthshire Talks Tourism sessions. We have supported local businesses and events with the launch of new products and experiences, such as Loch Tay Safaris and Scottish Crannog Centre special cruises celebrating Scotland’s Year of Stories and The Royal National Mod. It’s all part of ensuring Perthshire offers the best tourism experience it can to visitors.  

The impact of tourism and events spreads far beyond the industry itself – it benefits our economy, our community and our wellbeing.   

Here’s to a successful summer season across Big Tree Country. Do remember that there is a wealth of information available to support your business on this website and do get in touch with our local VisitScotland team if you need advice. We would love to hear from you.   

Summer of Golf

It’s all about golf this summer, with five international golf events in as many weeks, including The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at Gleneagles from 21 – 24 July. The event will draw 20,000 spectators and we're supporting the activity as part of our "Home of Golf" campaign.

Last week we had a team of volunteers from across VisitScotland working at our Scotland Home of Golf stand at The 150th Open in St Andrews. This provided us with the perfect opportunity to speak to golf fans from across the world and share our enthusiasm for the many things to see and do across Scotland. 

Read my blog on LinkedIn, where I share my thoughts on the importance of this summer of golf to the region and the importance of golf tourism more widely to Scotland’s visitor economy. 

Perthshire marketing activity

VisitScotland email marketing 

Our email marketing team continues to issue a programme of email activity to our global customer database across multiple languages. Most recently, these have included a section on Pitlochry in Perthshire, "last minute city getaways" and "43 new city spots" both featuring Perth. 

Screenshot of direct emails featuring Perth

Joint family campaign with ScotRail and Beano

In April 2022, we teamed up with ScotRail and Beano for the first time to promote family holidays and day trips across the country. This two-year campaign aims to use the cross-generational appeal of one of the UK’s best-loved comics and ScotRail’s Kids for a Quid deal, to promote sustainable travel as part of Scottish tourism’s recovery. A special landing page – visitscotland.com/beano – has been created with Dennis, Gnasher and Minnie highlighting places to visit in each of Scotland’s seven cities - including Perth and dog-friendly days out. 

The campaign will target UK families through digital and print marketing to promote attractions across Scotland. Find out more.

Scotland is Calling

In March 2022, we launched the second phase of our global marketing campaign, Scotland Is Calling. This £8.5 million campaign has been designed to support Scotland's tourism sector recovery, by increasing the momentum to ensure that Scotland is front of mind for visitors as a destination of choice. We re-designed this new activity in response to consumer research, and made emotional drivers a key focus of our content. 

Take a look at these two fantastic articles with The Times and Sunday Times - "Power of Scotland: wonders await north of the border" and Stylist digital article- “This is how a springtime trip to Scotland became my absolute dream holiday” both featuring Perthshire.

Find out more about the campaign in our industry guide.

Scotland is Calling

What's on VisitScotland.com?

Perthshire PR coverage

Corporate press

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

Highlights during this period include

  • Start of season interviews with Caroline Warburton with The Courier and Tay FM on the importance of tourism to the local economy and appeal for residents to continue to support local businesses this summer as they recover from COVID-19. 
     
  • Our activity to rebuild international visitor demand in Perthshire at our DiscoverScotland travel trade event in April attended by several local businesses including Willowgate Activity Centre, The Black Watch Castle & Museum, Glenturret Distillery, Perthshire Treks, Fishers Hotel and Errichel & Thyme B&B.
     
  • Announcement of our two-year marketing campaign with ScotRail and Beano to promote ScotRail ‘Kids for a Quid’ train tickets and family friendly days out across Scotland’s cities including Perth.
     
  • EventScotland funding announcements to support the return of Perthshire events including Blair Castle Trail Weekender, Crieff Highland Gathering and Solas Festival in May.
     
  • Launch of our annual agritourism census in partnership with Scottish Agritourism to help build a better understanding of what support is required to grow this important sector in the region.

 

  • Promoting Perthshire’s appeal as a year-round golf destination in the lead up to The Senior Open and benefits of the tournament for tourism businesses and the wider economy in an op-ed in The Courier from Caroline Warburton. 

Consumer PR

Our Consumer PR team work closely with publications across the globe to share all that Scotland and Perthshire has to offer. Here's a few examples of coverage over the past few months.

  • UK

    • The Falls of Bruar in Perthshire featured in a round-up of beautiful walks in the Times (print and online coverage, reach of 38 million)
    • Coverage on a new luxury tourism trail with the Glenturret Distillery in Perthshire, connected to Year of Stories, in the Daily Record online (reach: 1.9 million)
    • Muiredge in Perthshire featured in a round-up of campsites in the Observer newspaper (reach: 105,000)
    • Birnam Wood in Perthshire mentioned in the Daily Records feature on "Terrifying good breaks" with the anniversary of the publication of Dracula (with Birnam Wood being connected to Macbeth). Reach 73,000. 
  • North America

    • Coverage in AFAR on how Scotland is poised to become the world’s first “Rewilding Nation” – mentions Banff Wildland in Perthshire. Reach 1,111,617.

An update from Perth and Pitlochry iCentres


We’ve made a few changes at our Perth and Pitlochry iCentres recently.  

In Perth we’ve refreshed some of the graphics and updated the exterior signage with a welcome sign in four languages at our iCentre. We’ve also added a new Perthshire lightbox graphic, which features Perthshire hot spots and hidden gems and has a prominent position in the window creating a real impact. 

In Pitlochry, we’ve updated the imagery within the space, added new racking space, updated exterior signage and added a stunning new adventure sports lightbox of images. 

We’d love to work with you, and our iCentres can offer a platform for your business to connect directly with visitors.

Discover Scotland: Reconnect 2022

In April, 19 Perthshire tourism businesses joined us for Discover Scotland: Reconnect 2022 to engage with tour operators, travel advisors and Destination Management Companies representing key global markets, to drive bookings from international visitors once again. 

The event, part of our activity to rebuild international tourism demand and support the country's ambition to be a leading destination for responsible tourism, saw over 324 Scottish businesses engaged with 298 international tour operators and travel agents from 21 global markets. 

If you're interested in joining us at next year’s event, make sure you are signed up to our Tourism Insider newsletter.

Scotland's Year of Stories 2022

Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF)

Managed by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, the RTIF was created to improve the quality of the visitor experience in rural parts of Scotland that have faced pressure on their infrastructure due to an increase in visitor numbers.

It aims to reduce the impact of visitor numbers on local communities and facilities and create a more collaborative and sustainable approach to infrastructure provision and long-term maintenance of local facilities for the benefit of communities.

In Round 4, the Grandtully Visitor Management Project was awarded £375,000 to tackle the severe visitor management pressures that have been experienced on the River Tay in the last few years by:

  • Adding 40 car park spaces with 17 toilets and showers including six accessible toilets and a ‘changing places’ facility
  • Provision of new changing rooms and showers 
  • Improved visitor information on-arrival with interpretation signage and picnic area
  • Improving and increasing camping facilities for those staying on-site - increasing tent pitch capacity and assist in the reduction of inappropriate / illegal camping
  • Installation of six EV plus e-bike charging points, a bike shelter, bike wash and maintenance point for visitors

For more information, take a look at the RTIF of our website.

VisitScotland Destination & Sector Marketing fund

  • Perth & Kinross Council

    Managed by Perth & Kinross Council, £70,000 of funding was secured to create a new campaign for the region - "Think Big". Find out more.

  • Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association

    A new-look website and social media marketing campaign to encourage visitors to Blairgowrie and East Perthshire was made possible with help from the Sector & Destination Marketing Fund delivered by VisitScotland. Find out more.

Perth partner news