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Article published 20/12/2023

Take a trip down memory lane with us as we look back on just a few of the highlights from our 2023 activity.  A big shout out to everyone we have worked with across the year to showcase Scotland as a must-visit destination and to showcase the incredible work the tourism industry does year round.


The countdown was on to the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships as the country prepared to host more than 2,000 elite cyclists and para-cyclists from more than 100 countries. Find out more.


We launched our 'refreshed, redeveloped, modernised, new-look', our consumer website, after extensive research into user behaviour. Read the article our Director of Marketing and Digital, Vicki Miller, wrote about the launch. 


We worked with London & Partners, in partnership with Expedia Group Media Solutions and Caledonian Sleeper, to deliver a new campaign positioning Scotland and London as the perfect dual destination trip for US visitors. It was backed by Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) - Glasgow Life, VisitAberdeenshire, Visit Inverness Loch Ness and Forever Edinburgh - to ensure a regional spread and provide additional support through their channels. 

Businesses at VisitScotland Connect


VisitScotland Connect, our flagship travel trade event, took place at P&J Live in Aberdeen. It was the first time we had run a workshop style event, offering a more targeted opportunity to conduct 1-2-1 meetings between trade-ready Scottish suppliers and international buyers. Over 250 international buyers representing 23 countries travelled to the Granite city. Over two days, they held over 6,000 meetings with trade-ready Scottish businesses. Find out more.


We worked with train operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) to encourage London commuters to escape the daily grind and enjoy the magic of a break in Scotland – highlighting the ease of train travel to Edinburgh. Learn more about the campaign. 


We supported the development of three new trails themed around chocolate, cheese and Arbroath Smokies for visitors to access during summer on the Geotourist app. Geotourist worked with over 20 businesses across Scotland that feature within the trails. Find out about the campaign.


We teamed up with Scottish Canals to help top influencers indulge in some Nessie-hunting. Travel vloggers Kinging-It got behind the helm to sail up the Caledonian Canal in search of the elusive Loch Ness Monster. Learn more about our work with Scottish Canals.

2023 UCI Cycling World Championships summary


The inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships were hosted in Glasgow and across Scotland. It was the single biggest cycling event in history, bringing together for the first time 13 existing UCI World Championships into one mega event.  Recap the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.


The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands autumn campaign – the final strand in a two-year project – encouraged visitors to slow down and immerse themselves in the regions’ distinct culture and heritage. Find out about Spirit of the Highlands and Islands campaign. 


The 2023 Scottish Thistle Awards kicked off with the inaugural South of Scotland Thistle Awards. By hosting the first-ever dedicated regional awards event, more South of Scotland businesses than ever before entered the Scotland’s premier tourism and events awards. Check out the South of Scotland regional winners.


The Highland Tourism Conference 2023 at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness saw more than 160 tourism businesses, organisations and stakeholders discussed topics such as climate change, sharing Scotland's stories and visitor insights. Speakers included Jamie Brogan from Edinburgh Institute of Climate Change, Expedia and our own Head of Brand and Global Marketing, Cat Leaver. Learn about the Highland Tourism Conference and download the presentations.

Speakers at the Highland Tourism Conference

Winners at the 2023 Thistle Awards


The National Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards, hosted by TV presenter Jennifer Reoch and broadcaster Gary Innes, saw a total of 18 businesses and individuals honoured at the Glasgow Hilton, in front of 400+ guests. Check out the national winners.

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