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Article published 05/10/2023

Scotland's UNESCO trail marketing activity – the results

Scotland’s UNESCO trail was launched in October 2021 and was designed specifically to support ambitions to showcase Scotland as a world-leading responsible tourism destination.

With dedicated funding made available by the Scottish Government, we launched a marketing campaign in October 2022 which built on the success of previous activity around the launch of the Trail. The campaign has now been completed, and we've pulled together the key highlights.  

The campaign promoted Scotland’s UNESCO Trail to potential visitors from the UK, Germany and France with the aim of encouraging them to discover more about the country’s 13 place-based designations included in the Trail.

The aims of the campaign were to:

  • Raise awareness of Scotland's UNESCO Trail
  • Position Scotland as a sustainable and responsible destination of choice in key target markets
  • Showcase our distinctive history and archaeology alongside our rich cultural, built and natural heritage
  • Encourage geographical and seasonal spread of visitors
  • Keep in mind our visitor management challenges
  • Drive traffic to Trail microsite ​and generate views of the video content 
  • Communicate opportunities for industry providers in Scotland to engage with the Trail

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh: UNESCO World Heritage Site and UNESCO City of Literature

Key markets and strategies

Our insights showed that post-pandemic, visitors increasingly sought sustainable, enriching travel experiences. The campaign promoted the unique and varied nature of Scotland’s 13 UNESCO placed-based designations, encouraging visitors to explore and enjoy them responsibly.

The target markets selected for this campaign were the UK, France, and Germany. Our insights show that visitors from these areas are most likely to explore a wider range of regions and to travel at all times of the year, not just the summer months.

The programme of paid activity targeted socially and environmentally conscious consumers within these target markets. This activity was through promotion via our own channels, maximising awareness of the Trail to audiences warm to Scotland.

UNESCO marketing examples

Examples of our marketing activity through social posts and print

Watch the campaign film – "The Wonders Within"

UNESCO campaign paid marketing activity highlights


views of the campaign video through social media


visits to the Trail micro-site from social media click throughs


combined print circulation through publishing partnerships


key journalists that attended a press trip

4.5 million

combined digital reach through press trip content created


searches for Scotland through our SkyScanner partnership

More about the Trail website

The creation of Scotland's UNESCO Trail microsite was led by us, in collaboration with our partners.​

A world first, Scotland’s UNESCO Trail, brings together some of Scotland’s most iconic, diverse and culturally significant sites into a single, globally accessible digital space. The microsite showcased each UNESCO designation, and included a variety of itineraries to help visitors get the most of their trip.

Content was translated into French, German, Spanish and Italian.


UNESCO website in language

Examples of the UNESCO micro-site in target market languages

Our own channel campaign highlights


social posts created to promote the UNESCO Trail

Over 2 million

interactions with our social media posts

1 million

opened emails though our enewsletters

Approx 407 million

reach of 30 launch pieces from our corporate press team


Green Tourism business sign ups


ministerial events highlighting the Trail supported


sustainable travel awards won


pieces of media coverage generated through our consumer PR team

About Scotland's UNESCO Trail

The world’s first UNESCO Trail was launched to connect the unique sites that include World Heritage Sites, Biospheres, Global Geoparks and Creative Cities to form a dedicated digital trail.

The Trail was designed specifically to support the ambitions of the national strategy to make Scotland a world-leading responsible tourism destination by encouraging visitors to:

  • stay longer
  • visit all year round
  • make sustainable travel choices
  • explore more widely and at the right time of the year

In turn, visitors would contribute to the sustainable quality of life of those communities surrounding the designated sites.

Find out more about the Trail

UNESCO trail image v&A

Dundee: UNESCO City of Design

Related links