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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 19/05/2023


Welcome to our latest regional update of the year where we look back at our key activity for the first quarter of 2023 between January and March. Recently I've stepped into the role of Regional Director, in which i'll work with stakeholders and partners across the region and to support the growth of the visitor economy. 

It has been almost 20 years since I began my career in tourism and hospitality and as I start in this new role with VisitScotland, I am excited to work with and support the community and tourism industry as we move forward towards recovery.

It was fantastic to be able to celebrate the hard work, passion and commitment within tourism and events at the National Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards in February. And with the countdown to the UCI Cycling World Championships taking place this summer firmly on, we launched a cycling industry toolkit to help support businesses to make the most of the opportunity and further develop Scottish cycling tourism.  

There’s been lots going on, so take a look at our round up of some activity in Ayrshire & Arran in recent months.

Lynsey Eckford

Lynsey Eckford, Regional Director

Corporate press activity

Some of the highlights from our Corporate PR team includes:

  • We supported the Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Conference at the Carlton Hotel Prestwick, issuing a press release and hosting a photocall for partners
  • Regional press releases were sent to media highlighting the businesses and individual winners at the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final, the highest accolade in the Scottish hospitality, tourism and events sector
  • The team promoted VisitScotland Connect 2023, our new workshop-style travel trade event, at the P&J Live in Aberdeen on 19 and 20 April 2023
  • We highlighted four Scottish racecourses that retained their status as excellent venues, including Ayr Racecourse as a 5 Star visitor attraction rating, part of our Quality Assured Scheme
You can see all our press releases at our media centre

Stands at VisitScotland Connect 2023

Businesses attend their appointments at VisitScotland Connect 2023

Global PR update

2023 UCI Cycling World Championships toolkit

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships come to Glasgow and venues across Scotland in August this year.

It will be the single biggest cycling event in history, bringing together for the first time 13 existing UCI World Championships into one mega event. Partners and tourism businesses are encouraged to help promote both the event as well as celebrate the #PowerOfTheBike

We’ve developed a digital toolkit which has been created to help you maximise the opportunity through a range of assets and ready-to-use content.

Download the cycling toolkit

UCI Cycling worlds

Riders at the UCI Cycling Worlds speed round the indoor track

Watch the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championship promo film

Key social media stats (January - March)

1.02 million

Number of times Ayrshire & Arran specific content reached people on their social channels

46, 200

Number of reactions, likes, comments, shares and saves of Ayrshire & Arran posts

193, 900

Top performing post by reach was on Instagram and was an image of Nardini’s Café in Largs

Ayrshire & Arran blogs on

Blogs are a way to reach potential visitors to Ayrshire & Arran through targeted written content. Blogs are one way in which we can really focus on specific topics that we know, from our research, that our visitors are searching for, or interested in.

You can share our blogs which are available on, some blogs which feature Ayrshire & Arran:

Some other new content we've written and published in the last three months:

Kelburn Castle

Kelburn Castle Estate

Scottish Thistle Awards

Businesses and individuals working within the tourism and events industry received recognition at Scotland’s premier tourism and events awards in January. Congratulations to the finalists and winners including Auchrannie Resort on the Isle of Arran, winner of the Best Hotel Experience (over 20 rooms) Award.

A total of 17 businesses and individuals were honoured at the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final, the highest accolade in the Scottish hospitality, tourism and events sector. 

Find out more about the Scottish Thistle Awards

Auchrannie HotelAuchrannie Resort on the Isle of Arran, winner of the Best Hotel Experience (over 20 rooms) Award, sponsored by Fishers

Ayrshire & Arran tourism conference

Businesses and tourism representatives from across Ayrshire & Arran came together for the Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Conference at the Carlton Hotel Prestwick in March. 

The event was hosted by the Ayrshire & Arran Destination Alliance and we supported the event alongside the RAD Hotel Group and Scottish Enterprise.

Delegates heard about the ambition to deliver responsible growth, creating jobs, sustaining communities and contributing significantly to the economy. 

The newly developed Ayrshire & Our Islands Visitor Economy Strategy was also unveiled at the conference.

Read the full story

Ayrshire Arran conference

Delegates and speakers attending the Ayrshire & Arran tourism conference

Related links