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Article published 12/05/2023

Introduction from David Jackson, Regional Director

Welcome to our latest regional update where we look back at our key activity for the first quarter of 2023 between January and March. There are many challenges still facing our industry but at the start of our traditional tourism season in Scotland, we want to remind those in tourism and events of how far we have come, and the opportunities that lie ahead.  

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.  

Scottish Tourism Month in March presented the opportunity to celebrate our achievements and for the industry to come together at events throughout the region to share learnings, best practice, and ideas for future collaboration.  

Here’s a round-up of some of our activity in Moray Speyside in recent months. 

Regional Director, David Jackson

VisitScotland Connect

A very successful VisitScotland Connect was held in Aberdeen last month during our first in-person international travel trade event since the pandemic. Regional tourism businesses from Moray Speyside attended to promote the area, including:

  • Blervie House
  • Innes House
  • Johnstons of Elgin
  • Visit Moray Speyside

Held at P&J Live, this was the country’s biggest business-to-business event for the travel trade and gave Scottish businesses and destination management companies the chance to connect with key buyers from around the globe to help attract visitors and grow Scotland’s valuable tourism and events industry sustainably.   

Representatives of the 175 tourism businesses who attended met with more than the 250 global tour operators, guides and travel agents who attended from 23 countries, including the UK, US, Canada, Europe, China, and Asia Pacific. More than 6,000 meetings took place as well as a programme of day and evening networking opportunities.

While in Scotland, these international buyers also sampled some of our country’s famous hospitality, produce and attractions through a series of familiarisation (fam) trips.  

Since the pandemic, visitors have been seeking extra reassurance and guidance offered by agents or businesses that facilitate connections between tourism suppliers and consumers, such as tour operators, travel agents and destination marketing organisations. More than half of international visitors use such travel intermediaries to plan and book.    

VisitScotland Connect forms a key part of the national tourism organisation’s strategy with travel intermediaries to bring visitors to Scotland throughout the year.  

Marketing and global PR

  • Spirit of the Highlands and Islands

    Moray Speyside was included in all global campaigns, including:

    • UK paid social media campaign for spring 2023 generated 35.3 million impressions, 5.1 million video views and over 79,400 clicks from content promoted across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and video ads. 
      Take a look at our video content, used as part of these advertisements, which features Lossiemouth.
    • 18 pieces of content coverage from a broadcast campaign which focused on voluntourism. This coverage came from across the UK and Scotland, including outlets such as BBC Scotland and BBC Somerset.
    • An e-newsetter dedicated to the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands campaign, which reaches over 1.2 million consumers across a domestic and international audience.
    • A dedicated familiarisation (fam) trip focused on this campaign as part of our ibusiness-to-business travel-trade event, VisitScotland Connect. This trip showcased Moray Speyside to 10 high profile international tour operators, and included visits to Lossiemouth, Elgin, Johnston of Elgin and Blervie House. 
  • Scotland is Calling phase four

    Scotland is Calling is our international, multi-million pound global marketing campaign. It aims to bolster the recovery of Scotland’s valuable tourism and events industry by encouraging younger visitors to make Scotland their top travel choice.

    Phase four activity took place between September 2022 – March 2023, and included content from Moray Speyside.

    Our paid media activity included a video featuring Moray Speyside, to drive destination awareness to new younger audience. We supported this by influencer marketing, PR, social media (Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest) and VisitScotland channels. It also included intermediary and business-to-business content.  

    Campaign results include:

    • For UK audiences across Instagram, TikTok and Teads between February - March 2023: 1.9 million video views and over 12,400 clicks
    • For US audiences across Instagram, TikTok, SnapChat and Connected TV between January - March 2023: 8.1 million video views and 58,000 clicks.

    Part of this campaign also included a partnership with Expedia. This resulted in:

    • For the UK audience between September 2022 - January 2023: 1.5 million impressions, 37,700 room nights booked, 587 air tickets booked, $5 million in gross bookings
    • For the US audience between October 2022 - March 2023: 3.5 million impressions, 5,459 room nights booked, 796 air tickets booked, $2.1 million in gross bookings.

Key stats for social media

31 posts

on our channels for Moray Speyside

3.9 million

reached through Moray Speyside content across all channels


engagements with Moray Speyside content

Scotland and UK media

We work closely with Scottish and UK media to raise awareness of our work to promote Moray Speyside to visitors, and how we offer support for the industry. Some of the most recent highlights include:

Scotland. Made for Cycling.

Time to gear up!

To help industry prepare for the upcoming UCI Cycling World Championships 2023, we've created an industry guide full of information and resources to help businesses get up to speed on all things cycling.  

This will be the single biggest cycling event in history, bringing together for the first time 13 existing UCI World Championships into one mega-event. We're encouraging our partners, and tourism businesses across Scotland, to help promote the event as well as celebrate the #PowerOfTheBike.

We want to help you make the most of Scotland's cycling product, and help Scotland further grow its cycling tourism market and establish itself as a world-class cycling destination. 

Take a look at our new industry guide. 

Find out more

Moray Speyside on

Blogs are a way to reach potential visitors to Moray Speyside through a range of targeted online content, which matches experiences visitors are searching for. 

Here's some of the new content featuring the region:


Close up of four hands toasting whisky glasses

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