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Article published 17/01/2023

Introduction from David Jackson

David Jackson, Regional Director for Moray Speyside

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's much to build on and how we remain committed to doing what we can to support the industry, whether that’s bringing people to Scotland and our region, 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 the region – from the launch of our film guide to a winter marketing campaign with Visit Moray Speyside – and much more.  

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. 

Marketing activity

Let's take a look at some of the regional marketing activity that's taken place between October – December 2022 for Moray Speyside:

  • Spirit of the Highlands and Islands

    Spirit of the Highlands and Islands £1.6 million project funded by the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund under NatureScot, and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project aims to promoting and protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands in the following ways:

    • encouraging people to visit more rural areas
    • grow capacity by encouraging seasonal and geographical spread, and
    • inspiring deeper engagement with the region's distinctive heritage and authentic connections with rural communities.
  • Partnership with The Guardian

    We worked with the Guardian on a £60,000 publishing partnership in October - November  to promote the hidden gems and unique heritage of the Highlands and Islands in the autumn and winter. Moray Speyside was showcased in some rich content articles covering winter experiences, slow adventures / wildlife, history and ancient kings / wildlife as well as display adverts. 

    The campaign delivered 28,605 unique user views (114% of our target) with the users spending an average of  2 minutes and 52 seconds on the article (achieving almost double of our benchmark).

  • Influencer Marketing

    As part of our Spirit of the Highlands and Islands marketing project, we worked with Hayley Phillips of Hays for Days, who has 72,000 followers on TikTok, to promote the natural and cultural heritage of Moray Speyside to their audience through a series of videos published in December.

    As part of the partnership she created three videos, one for each day of her visit. Have a watch of the videos for day one, day two and day three. This activity generated 34,812 video views, 2,032 likes and 186 comments. 

    As added value, Hayley also created another three videos focusing on the food she enjoyed in Moray Speyside during the visit. These videos performed extremely well and generated more than 393,000 views collectively, promoting the range and provenance of food and drink across the region.



  • Highland Winter Campaign

    From 26 October - 29 November, we delivered an £18,000 collaborative campaign between 7 destination management organisations (DMO's) across the Highlands. This campaign raised awareness of the Highlands as a winter destination and engaged with potential visitors through a dedicated campaign video. It also included locations and content for Moray Speyside.

    The activity generated great visibility and achieved: 

    • A total of 3,047,581 ad impressions reaching 1,029,249 unique users 

    • Video adverts reached 288,000 views (exceeding our forecast by 135%) and achieved a great return on investment with a Cost-Per-View (CPV) of £0.04 for 15 seconds

    • 7,255 clicks to our Highland Winter landing page.

Global and national marketing and PR

Through a range of activity, including our Scotland is Calling campaign, we've promoted Moray Speyside to a global audience. Here's a breakdown of some of our activity across a variety of global markets:

National and Global Marketing

UK Activity 

  • Our Expedia Partnership launched on 2 September and will remain until the middle of January 2023. The campaign was briefly paused between 15-21 September in respect for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. 

  • Paid social (Instagram Pinterest, TikTok) & Digital (Teads) activity which launched on the 22 September and ran until end of November.  

US Activity 

  • Paid social (Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat) which launched on 17 October. We have Snapchat Lens production underway for the launch of quarter four.

  • Connected TV activity which launched on 17 October 22 

  • Phase one of our Expedia US Partnership launched on 15 October 22 and ran until December 22. 

  • Content Partnership with Matador Network underway for delivery in quarter four. 

Global PR


  • Macbeth’s Hillock was included in in Scotland’s Witch Trail, and was   included in linked coverage in the Sunday Mail.  

  • We also arranged a press trip for a writer from the Dundee Courier to stay at the Hideaway Under the Stars in the region.  


North America 

  • The Speyside Malt Whisky Trail featured in Food & Wine. This article was the result of the writer visiting Scotland in June 2022 as part of a Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) familiarisation, assisted by the North visit  North America PR team who worked alongside the Scotch Whisky Association and DISCUS. Take a look at the article. 

Corporate Press Activity

Our corporate PR team work closely with Scottish and UK media to raise awareness of our work to promote Scotland - and Moray Speyside - to visitors and support for industry.    

Highlights include:    

  • An opinion editorial from David Jackson was sent to Moray Speyside media, regarding the tourism industry’s resilience in challenging operating times. 

  • A press release about the launch of VisitScotland‘s Set in Scotland film guide, including North-east locations, featured here 

  • A press release was issued to local media about a marketing campaign with Highland Destination Management Organisations, including Visit Moray Speyside, promoting the region as a winter destination and inspiring visitors to responsibly explore the region. Coverage in the Inverness Courier 

  • We launched our Great Days Out in Scotland campaign with Historic Environment Scotland, Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions and ScotRail offering discounted entry to boost visitor numbers at attractions during the winter months, including Elgin Cathedral and Cullen Sea School. 

Year of Stories 2022

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

Recent Year of Stories paid campaign activity between 1 October and 31 December included: 

Year of Stories

  • Year of Stories Community Stories Fund with Reach PLC and Mediaforce

    • events supported were promoted in September and October via two media partnerships.
    • the campaigns included display ads, social media posts and online articles. The partnership with Reach PLC included four articles in the Daily Record
    •  the partnership with Mediaforce published content on the websites of The Scotsman, The Herald, The Aberdeen P&J, The Dundee Courier and Inverness Courier
    • events that were showcased in October included Dark Sky Storywalk in Moray Speyside. 
  • Year of Stories Influencer Campaign

    We worked in partnership with influencer Megan Beaudry took place across October and November through a series of videos promoted through Megan’s Instagram (@megbeaudry) and Tiktok (@megbeaudry) accounts.

    Her activity included a Findhorn Bay Arts video which received 9,000 views. article

Here's an overview of some of the new and updated content on our consumer website,, which features Moray Speyside.

Seen on Social Media

Across our consumer social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook and TikTok) content featuring Moray Speyside engaged more than 60,000 users and reached 697,430 users. 

Our top performing Instagram post featuring Cullen Book Shop in Moray Speyside was a post celebrating locations which celebrate culture, history and heritage to mark the end of the Year of Stories 2022. Take a look at that Instagram post.


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