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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 07/02/2023


Welcome to the first regional update of the year. In this update, we look back at our key activity in the last quarter of 2022. Our industry continues to adjust to tough new financial circumstances and it's clear that these will continue to impact in the year ahead.

But there is much to build on and we remain committed to doing what we can to support the industry, whether that’s bringing people to Scotland, offering support and guidance to businesses, or creating opportunities for growth and investment.  

Our marketing, funding and business support activities are all aimed at building on these shoots of recovery to support the responsible growth of our industry.  

It has been a busy period in Edinburgh and the Lothians. We had the launch of our film guide for example, a 52-page guide featuring more than 150 films which have been shot entirely or partially in Scotland. 

Find out more in this regional update on how all our work is helping to support the ambitions of the national tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030, for Scotland to be a world leader in 21st century tourism. 

Update from Edinburgh iCentre

Visitors at edinburgh icentre

Staff and visitors at Edinburgh iCentre


Edinburgh iCentre had a strong end to the year, thanks in part to the return of the Edinburgh Christmas markets which were a big draw for visitors we spoke to. The end of the year ended with a bang in Edinburgh, 27 December saw one of our busiest days of the year with nearly 600 visitors!

We also took the opportunity to promote the Great Days Out campaign to visitors and encouraged them to get out and try different attractions.

Between November and December, we had a few visitors to the iCentre. First year pupils from Broughton High School who came into the iCentre to learn more about what we do at VisitScotland and practice their Spanish language skills with Ester and Luke, our Spanish-speaking Visitor Services Advisors.

The school pupils are involved in a project to encourage Spanish school pupils to come and study in Edinburgh and have to produce a PowerPoint presentation at the end of term. Great to see young pupils engaged with tourism.

Kim Kjaerside from Dovecot Studios came in to visit us in the iCentre and tell us more about what the Dovecot has to offer visitors. Staff found Kim’s presentation informative and can now pass this information onto visitors.

We were also lucky to attend a couple of events outside of the iCentre. Penny and Lesley attended a networking event at Real Mary Kings Close on 13 October which coincided with the launch of ‘Close Secrets’ by Jayne-Leigh Thomas who previously worked at The Real Mary King’s Close.

It was a great opportunity to network with different organisations and attractions and we were treated to a short reading of the novel in the Close itself!

Lesley and Caitlin also attended an Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) briefing on the St James Quarter at the Everyman Cinema. It was great to hear from Nick Peel, the Managing Director about all the new openings planned for the Quarter and an update on the W Hotel. Lots of exciting things to come for St James Quarter.

It was a busy but enjoyable end to the year. As an iCentre we are just so happy to be able to welcome back visitors properly and show them all that Edinburgh and Scotland have to offer.

Global PR highlights

In the news

Here's an overview of some of latest news stories we've published, which features Edinburgh and the Lothians:

  • The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, taking place from 3 to 13 August, will be the first time 13 World Championships come together in one place at one time to compete. 

    The Cycling World Championships, hosted in Glasgow with events taking place across Scotland, with the men’s and women’s road races taking in Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat. We will see cyclists compete for more than 200 coveted UCI Cycling World Championship rainbow jerseys.


World cycling championships image

World Cycling Championships image


  • In partnership with Visit East Lothian, we hosted the regions tourism industry at an in-person networking event at Glenkinchie Distillery and Visitor Centre in Pencaitland, East Lothian. We welcomed over 30 tourism businesses from across East Lothian to get together to share new developments and innovations.

    Delegates were given the opportunity to network, have a tour of the venue, hear from key speakers. Read on for the full story.



Presentation of 5 star award

A picture of Rob Maxwell, Head of Johnnie Walker Princes Street, Barbara Smith, Managing Director, Johnnie Walker Princes Street and Rob Dickson, Director of Industry and Destination Development, VisitScotland.

Corporate PR latest activity

Year of Stories

Year of Stories

The Year of Stories launch image


The end of 2022 has closed the book on the Year of Stories, however there’s a wealth of resources and information here on to continue the legacy of the Year.

In case you missed it, Edinburgh-based Mercat Tours featured within a story on new initiatives and campaigns created by tour operators and attractions across Scotland.  Take a look.


Regional marketing for Year of Stories

Publishing partnerships with News UK (The Sun) and Reach Media (Daily Record, Edinburgh, Glasgow and and 17 regional titles across Scotland including the West Lothian Courier was part of the Year of Stories supported promotion of the Great Days Out campaign.

It focused on storytelling related attractions, those with a great story to tell and free attractions. The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Rosslyn Chapel and National Museum of Flight all feature.

The final piece of paid promotion activity for the Year of Stories focused on a content partnership with Reach Media (Daily Record, and highlighting the interesting stories behind a number of visitor attractions, hospitality venues and accommodation providers across Scotland. Rosslyn Chapel featured in the Edinburgh article.

Edinburgh and the Lothians on our social media

5.73 million

Social reach for Edinburgh & the Lothians


Number of reactions, likes, comments, shares and saves for Edinburgh


Top performing post by reach on Facebook was a post featuring Edinburgh’s Tolbooth Tavern

Regional marketing


North Berwick Beach scene

Couple at North Berwick beach


Inspire your visitors, refresh your website and social media by sharing our blogs. Our regional marketing team create new blogs regularly which feature on We've included Edinburgh and the Lothians in these latest articles:



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