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Article published 17/07/2023

David Adams McGilp, Regional Director

Welcome to the April to June 2023 quarterly edition of our regional industry update for Argyll & Isles, with an overview of some of the ways we’ve been promoting and supporting tourism in the area over the last few months.

Cathy Craig, of Argyll And The Isles Tourism Co-Operative and I, were pleased to get the opportunity to update the Argyll & Bute Council’s Community Planning Partnership Management Committee on our marketing activity, strategic support and the national development priorities.

With the season almost in full swing, we're hearing encouraging signs from tourism and events businesses about the season ahead. We know that challenges certainly remain for you all, however as the schools break up for the summer holidays, the appetite for holidaying in Scotland is strong, from both the domestic and international markets.

Argyll & the Isles on social (April – June)

4.53 million reach

Number of times Argyll & the Isles content reached people on their social channels

252,000+ engagements

Reactions, likes, comments, shares and saves of Argyll & the Isles posts

Reach of 449,000+

Top performing post by reach on Instagram was a short video of Highland Cows on the Isle of Mull

Consumer PR featuring Argyll & the Isles

China and Asia Pacific

  • An eight-page whisky-themed feature of Islay was published in U Magazine, in May. This is a publication from Hong Kong with a circulation of 100,000. The coverage featured Bowmore Distillery, Bruichladdich Distillery, Lagavulin Distillery and Laphroaig Distillery.

North America

  • The North America team hosted a journalist commissioned by Maxim on a feature exploring Scotland’s whisky regions. The journalist visited Islay, Speyside, Port Appin and Edinburgh. The online coverage features various Islay distilleries, The Machrie, and a section on Oban and Port Appin, featuring The Pierhouse. 
  • The Hebrides featured in a round-up of “15 best shark dives in the world” in Outside Magazine. This publication is aimed at the enthusiast of various outdoor activities.
  • Islay featured in a round-up of top vacation spots for July in the Thrillist. Take a look at the online coverage.


  • The UK consumer team hosted a press trip for The Press and Journal focusing  on family and outdoor activities in Coll and Tiree. Coverage from the trip is pending.


  • French newspaper, Paris Normandie featured a series of articles of the Thalassa ship sailing to Islay, Jura and a few other islands. This was on the lead up to an international ship festival taking place in Normandy in June. The series of articles included one dedicated to the Islay Whisky Festival.

Corporate PR for Argyll & the Isles

Some of the activity from our Corporate PR team includes:

  • broadcast audio featuring Regional Director David Adams McGilp to commercial radio stations discussing the prospects for tourism in the region for the summer

  • press release focusing on the Argyll businesses and familiarisation trip at B2B travel trade event VisitScotland Connect which was picked up by the Helensburgh Advertiser
  • an opinion editorial from Regional Director David Adams McGilp
  • a press release encouraging local businesses to enter the Scottish Thistle Awards which was published in the Helensburgh Advertiser and Dunoon Observer & Argyllshire Standard
View our media toolkit for all press releases

Hear from our iCentre

We've had a positive update from the Bowmore iCentre team who have reported an increase in visitor footfall as a benefit of the Feis Ile or Islay Festival which ran from Friday 26 May - Saturday 3 June. This nine-day festival of whisky and Islay fans from across the globe, saw a large number of visitors travel to the island.

Similarly,  Craignure iCentre saw an increase in footfall as a result of the The Clan McLean International Gathering, in Mull at Castle Duart, last month.   

Opening hours reminder

Just a reminder that our opening hours for our iCentres in Bowmore, Craignure, Rothesay and Oban, will now open from 9:30am to 5.00pm, seven days a week.

As always, pop in and say hello to our iCentre teams – they'd all love to hear from you.

Three people, all wearing blue t-shirts, standing smiling to a camera behind a desk

Our welcoming team at the Craignure iCentre. 

UCI Cycling World Championships | get ready

Businesses are being encouraged to get ready and plan ahead as anticipation builds for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships that takes place across the city and Scotland in just over three weeks’ time.

Business Guide

Check out this handy business guide including information on how businesses can prepared and get involved in the Championships as well as advice and guidance on travel and transport. Check out their Business Guide.

Get into gear | UCI Cycling World Championships

The UCI Cycling World Championships is the first event of its kind ever created with some 13 world championships events taking place from 3 - 13 August this year across Glasgow and Scotland. 

We've pulled together a handy guide for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

Find out about the events happening across Scotland and in your local area to keep your visitors "on track."

Read the article

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Scotland's Year of Stories evaluation

Find out more about the full impact of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 with key insights, learnings and results.

Read the full evaluation

Future Themed Year

We're asking for your help to scope out options for a future Themed Year. Our Themed Years celebrate the very best of Scotland and its people. Take part in our survey – it’s open until Thursday 20 July 2023.

Complete the survey

Taking Scotland to the trade

Our intermediary marketing teams undertake an extensive annual programme of activity. This allows us to take Scotland to the world in collaboration with our network of global tour operators and travel agents. We work with this network to promote Scottish experiences and products that are relevant to their clients.

Our platforms include enewsletters, webinars, trade events and market relevant social media channels. Some recent activity has included:

  • Cruise Loch Lomond featured within our May e-newsletter
  • Mount Stuart featured in our UK and Europe quarterly e-newsletter
  • Loch Lomond and The Trossachs images featured in a Weibo post in May
  • Knipoch Hotel featured in our market webinar to the North America market

VisitScotland Connect 2023

Argyll & Isles Tourism Cooperative, Mount Stuart Trust, Cruise Loch Lomond and The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links were among tourism businesses that represented Argyll & Isles at Scotland’s biggest business-to-business event for the travel trade, VisitScotland Connect. This major travel trade event took place at the P&J Live in Aberdeen on 19 and 20 April.

The international tour operators and travel agents attending this event also spent time travelling, while in Scotland, to sample in-person the scenery, hospitality, produce and attractions, through a series of familiarisation trips, which included a visit to Argyll & Isles.

Event success in numbers:

  • around 175 tourism businesses in attendance
  • more than 250 global tour operators, guides and travel agents attended
  • buyers represented from 23 countries, including the UK, US, Canada, Europe, China, and Asia Pacific
  • over 6,000 meetings held

room of people sitting around separate tables discussing business

VisitScotland Connect 2023

Business funding and support available

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) supports businesses, communities and social enterprises of all sizes and within all sectors across the Highlands and Islands.

They have new funding and support available, including the fair work support programme, new product development programme and Green Grant Fund. 

Find out more on HIE's website

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