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Article published 19/01/2023

Introduction from Cheryl Chapman

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 is 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's been a busy period in Orkney – from supporting the Orkney Tourism Conference to the launch of our film guide - 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. 

Spirit of the Highlands and Islands Regional Marketing

  • Spirit of the Highlands and Islands

    Spirit of the Highlands and Islands is a £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 promote and protect the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands in the following ways:

    • encourage people to visit more rural areas
    • grow capacity by encouraging seasonal and geographical spread
    • inspire 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. Orkney 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).

  • Broadcast PR campaign

    We launched a sucessful broadcast campaign, alongside High Life Highland, in October as part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project. The activity aired on 10 radio stations, reaching more than 2.3 million listeners, and one television station, reaching more than 300,000 viewers. 
     

    The activity achieved 11 items of broadcast coverage and two pieces of UK national coverasge. This included BBC regionals, Matt Chorley on Times Radio, and one piece of TV coverage which had a potential audience reach of 2.6 million. We also had inclusion of messaging around off beaten track, off season Highlands & Islands including Orkney. 

Corporate Press activity

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

Some of the highlights include:    

  •  An opinion editorial from Orkney Development Manager Cheryl Chapman, regarding the tourism industry’s resilience during challenging operating times, which appeared in The Orcadian. 
  • The launch of 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 Skara Brae Prehistoric Village and Maeshowe Chambered Cairn.   

  • A press release about the launch of our Set in Scotland film guide, which was issued to Orkney media. 

  • The inclusion of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site in a story in the Herald Scotland about the world’s first UNESCO Trail winning a European sustainability award. 

Consumer PR

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

UK 

  • Kirkwall Witchy Walk featured in Scotland’s Witch Trail. Orkney, including St Magnus Cathedral, was also mentioned in linked coverage in the Guardian (print and online) alongside coverage in the Sunday Mail.

  • Orkney stories pitched to 15 key media outlets to include Orkney’s Viking links (including the burial mound of Maeshowe in Orkney) focused around the Norsemen. 

 

Europe 

  • Article on North Ronaldsay and it’s seaweed-eating sheep in Germany’s largest travel magazine, Geo Saison in December 2022.
    This comes on the back of a pre-pandemic press trip for one of our long-standing media contacts, Olaf Tarmas.  

  • Special interest magazine, Segeln, published a multi-page feature about Orkney as a sailing destination. 
     

North America

Orkney was included on the Witch Trail which launched at the end of September and pitching continued into October and beyond. Coverage was seen across a wide variety of trade news outlets such as:

  • Insider Travel Report
  • Travel Agent Central
  • Love Exploring
  • Recommend
  • Travel Daily Online
     

Emerging markets 

  • We had an Australian journalist visit in September. Following this trip to Orkney, we're expecting articles on Orkney to be published in January / February 2023.  

 

As seen on social media

More than 3 million

users on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok were reached by Orkney focused posts

1.3 million users

engaged with stunning Orca pod video footage from the Isle of Hoy on our TikTok

569,000 users

engaged with the Instagram Reel with Orca footage from the Isle of Hoy

Between 1 October - 31 December on social media we've reported:

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 VisitScotland.org to continue the legacy of the Year.

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

  • Campaigns and Content

    We created a round-up featuring some of the organisations who took the opportunity to use Year of Stories as a hook for their own campaign activity or to create new content. This includes Orkney Folklore and Storytelling Centre. Read the article.

  • Year of Stories Days Out Campaign

    To promote attractions across the country that were storytelling attractions or tours, had provided a Days Out offer or had good stories to tell, we partnered with publishing partners News UK (The Scottish Sun) and Reach PLC (Daily Record and regional print titles) to undertake a campaign showcasing a range of these attractions across national print, regional print and online articles.

    For Orkney, this included coverage in an article with the Daily Record on 26 October which included Orkney Folklore and Storytelling Centre. 

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