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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 29/01/2024

Welcome to the latest regional update for Ayrshire & Arran. Covering July - December 2023. Find out how we've been supporting and promoting tourism in the area. 

Introduction from Regional Director, Lynsey Eckford

My role as VisitScotland’s Regional Director for Ayrshire and Arran began at the beginning of the summer. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting passionate people in the tourism industry and witnessing first-hand the region's vibrant spirit.  

A few key highlights for me have included the Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Link’s and, Arran’s Food and Drink Festival where the community united to showcase and celebrate their world-class local produce to visitors. The International Festival of Flight also returned to our shores for the first time since the pandemic with tremendous success.  

It was also great to see the recognition garnered at the Regional Scottish Thistle Awards for Ayrshire with many finalists and winners, which reflects the region's commitment to providing exceptional experiences. 

Looking ahead into 2024, The Open Championship will come home to Ayrshire, at Royal Troon in July, as we anticipate drawing the world's gaze to the beauty and warmth of Ayrshire. 

Lynsey with VisitScotland iCentre staff in Brodick

Marketing Ayrshire & Arran to the world

  • Spirit of the Highlands and Islands campaign

    Our Spirit of the Highlands and Islands campaign, in partnership with High Life Island and High Council, came to an end after two years of a wide-scale multi-channel marketing campaign targeting both UK and international audiences. 

    The Isle of Arran was prominently promoted in the recent autumn 2023 activity, including:

    • In 3 new Autumn videos
    • On the campaign website. The autumn landing page included community stories, inspirational video and audio content, alongside 10 themed itineraries.
    • In the campaign's autumn paid marketing activity. This £185,000 campaign ran from late August until November and through paid social media and publishing partnerships, the campaign reached millions in the UK and EU. 
  • What's new on

  • Partnership with ScotRail & Beano

    With a captured family audience in the summer holidays, we partnered with ScotRail again for another phase of our Beano themed family-focused promotions. 

    Largs and Ayr featured in both press releases on Scottish Daily Express and Daily Record and both Ayr and Largs featured in Glasgow Live article. Largs was also the location featured for the competition run as part of the campaign.  

Ayrshire & Arran on social media

2.38 million reach

Number of times Ayrshire & Arran content reached people on social media

207,110 engagements

Reactions, likes and comments, shares and saves of Ayrshire & Arran posts

325,000 reached

Top performing post by reach was an Instagram image of Glen Rosa on the Isle of Arran

Ayrshire & Arran in the media

Our Global PR team works to both promote Ayrshire & Arran and Scotland across key travel and lifestyle media. In the last six months, the team have shared information and press releases to more than 2,500 media contacts in the UK, North America, Germany, France, China, Australia, and the UAE.

The team pitch ideas to media contacts throughout the year, handle enquiries and requests from global media, and attend events such as the World Travel Market in London. 

The team also host press visits across Scotland to generate coverage that truly reflects all the country has to offer. Use the tabs below to find out how they have promoted Ayrshire & Arran to different markets as well as how our Corporate PR team has supported industry with regional and national press activity. 

Talking tourism with our Industry relationship manager

In November, our regional Industry Relationship Manager, Craig Lawless, joined the team at Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere for a pop-up event in Maybole. The aim of the event was to raise awareness on the new Biosphere signage arounds local towns and communities as well as engage with local businesses and offer advice on business growth.

Thank you to the businesses who dropped into the clinic and we look forward to working with you in 2024. 


Stone cairn at Cornish Hill looking out over Cornish Loch, South Ayrshire. Credit: Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

Travel trade - what's new?

In December, our Intermediary Marketing team held a travel trade workshop to facilitate engagement between Scottish suppliers and buyers. 

Bellevue Farm, Kilmacolm Farm Tours and Craufurdland Estate were selected to attend due to their sustainable product offerings and businesses practices. The workshop was for businesses at the early stages of their travel trade readiness journey and an opportunity for them to develop this part of their business.

To find out more about working with travel trade, and to contact the team, visit our travel trade website.

Travel Trade Website

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