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Article published 19/05/2023

Introduction from Victoria Harvey

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. We're focusing on the continued responsible growth of our industry, including the regional and seasonal spread of visitors and attracting higher-value visitors who stay longer and spend more.

Our enthusiasm is, of course, tempered by understandable concerns over the continuing high cost of doing business, which remains a challenging backdrop for many in the industry. We're continuing to support tourism businesses in the challenging times ahead, providing them with advice and guidance to help them in the short term, and to allow them to build a more sustainable future.

The countdown to the UCI Cycling World Championships taking place this summer is on, and we launched a cycling industry toolkit to help support businesses to make the most of the opportunity and further develop Scottish cycling tourism.

 

With the Hebridean Way boasting an unbeatable cycling route, the islands will be featured in our marketing around the event, encouraging visitors to explore Scotland’s incredible cycling experiences.

Here’s a roundup of some of our activity in the Outer Hebrides in recent months. 

Victoria Harvey, Destination Development Manager for the Outer Hebrides

Marketing and campaign activity

  • Spirit of the Highlands and Islands

    The Outer Hebrides 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 adverts
    • dedicated Spirit of the Highlands and Islands enewsletter reached over 1.2 million consumers across a domestic and international audience
    • broadcast campaign in March using voluntourism as a hook to create interest about the Highlands and Islands. – generated 18 items of coverage across Scotland and UK broadcast outlets including BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Somerset
  • 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 the Outer Hebrides.

    Our paid media activity included video content featuring the Outer Hebrides to drive destination awareness to new younger audiences. We supported this by influencer marketing, PR, social media (Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest) and our own channels. It also included intermediary and business-to-business content.  

    Campaign results include:

    • UK audiences across Instagram, TikTok and Teads between February – March 2023: 1.9 million video views and over 12,400 clicks
    • 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:

    • 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
    • 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

Global PR

 

UK

  • Our team pitched the Outer Hebrides as part of a campaign on Wedding Day's around Valentine's Day, and the best locations in Scotland to propose. This included an isolated beach in the Outer Hebrides. 

    The coverage appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Post, which has a reach of more than 135,181 readers.
     
  • Outer Hebrides also featured in The Sunday Post's "In the Isle of the beholder" print article in March. This article focused on the best island trips to take within Scotland, and recommended a visit to the Uist's.