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Article published 06/02/2024

Our digital owned channels play a vital role throughout the travel planning cycle of prospective visitors. These channels include visitscotland.com, email marketing, and our social media channels.

We ensure people engage with our owned channels during the quieter months (October until May) with seasonal content. This content aims to inspire travel both in the short (within weeks) and longer term (within months).

Users follow seasonal trends on each individual channel. The combined result is a sustained level of engagement during the quieter half of the year equal in size to what we see during the busier summer months.

Autumn and winter 2023

As we approached the tail end of 2023 the curated content on our owned channels began to change. We positioned Scotland as an inclusive, year-round destination for powerfully enriching personal experiences.

We prioritised key markets and audiences to grow Scotland's share of global travel in a sustainable way. This also increased the value per visit.

To achieve this during the autumn and winter months, our owned channels shone a spotlight on the following key areas.

  • Landscapes, nature, and outdoor adventures

    During the autumn and winter, we promoted quieter, alternative destinations. We also highlighted some spectacular landscapes on our social channels.

    We featured the influencer Chris Lawlor’s personal account of a scenic winter trip to the Cairngorms National Park.

    Browse Chris Lawlor's video of the Cairngorms on instagram.com.

  • Coorie, cosy stays, and tranquil retreats

    The influencer Slow Traveler visited the Scottish Borders. There, she highlighted many local businesses and enjoyed a farm-to-table meal at Wilson’s Farm and Kitchen.

    Check out Slow Traveler's post about her visit to the Scottish Borders on instagram.com.

    We shared user-generated content (UGC) imagery from visitors and businesses of cosy places to eat and stay. We also further promoted our articles on visitscotland.com around places to stay in cities, and quirky farm stays.

  • Seasonal foodie experiences

    We promoted 10 independent coffee spots across nine regions of Scotland in a reel on our social channels. For this, we were building on a trend for saveable guides on social media. Pumpkin picking and even afternoon tea with sheep featured on our channels too.

    We also began sharing an easy-to-read guide with small businesses. In these, we outlined how they can feature in similar upcoming promotions.

    Discover more information about how we choose content to share on social media.

  • Dark skies, stargazing, and the northern lights

    Dark skies footage featured on our social media and email marketing. It featured footage from Shetland, Fife, Angus, Dumfries & Galloway, and the Cairngorms National Park. The footage targeted both UK and international audiences.

    View our dark skies footage on instagram.com.

  • Festive spirit, cultural, and winter festivals

    As the festive season rolled in, we highlighted:

    • Paisley’s Halloween Festival

    • the Enchanted Forest in Perthshire

    • Christmas in Aberdeen

    • a variety of other fun things to do in Scotland in December

    View our post on Paisley's Halloween Festival on instagram.com.

    At the end of December, we live-streamed the Edinburgh Hogmanay Torchlight procession. We asked the influencer traveltwo_ to create a summary of the past 12 months to showcase Scotland throughout the year.

    Browse traveltwo_'s content on linktr.ee.

  • Magical days out

    Early in the autumn, we highlighted the ease of visiting places near Inverness without a car. We also promoted city rail journeys to our international audiences.

    More recently, we created a saveable social guide of 10 Things to See & Do in Glasgow. We also asked the influencer Lavena Back to share her family trip to V&A Dundee. Indoor winter attractions and low-cost attractions featured on our social and email channels.

    Browse Lavena Back's post about Dundee on instagram.com.

Winter and spring 2024

As 2024 extends, our owned channels will begin to shift focus. We'll highlight Scotland’s attractions, picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and rich heritage.

The following experiences will find themselves in the spotlight on our channels over the coming months.

  • Outdoor adventures

    • new "beginners guide to wildlife" article on visitscotland.com
    • email promotion of skiing and snowboarding destinations
    • influencer trip to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
    • promotion of wild swimming locations, paddleboarding and boat trips on our social media channels
    • featuring bike hires, cafés to visit by bike, and top cycling routes on our social media channels
    • "stargazing and the northern lights" content
    • YouTube video showcasing dark skies in Dumfries & Galloway and the Cairngorms National Park
  • Coorie and foodie delights

    • new article showcasing walks with pubs nearby in all available languages on visitscotland.com
    • coorie themed email to UK and European markets, promoting:
      • last-minute winter breaks
      • northern lights and dark sky stays
      • off-season island destinations
      • indoor activities, attractions, and days out
    • email to all markets, promoting
      • Robert Burns
      • the Scots language
      • whisky
      • traditional music bars in Glasgow
      • bookable experiences
    • influencer experience of Burns Supper (incorporating Gaelic) featured on Instagram and TikTok
    • influencer trip, highlighting:
      • coorie-themed content of local produce
      • cosy accommodation
      • whisky and gin
      • winter walks
  • Island hopping

    • addition of more unique experiences to the islands pages on visitscotland.com
    • email marketing, focusing on lesser-known islands and early spring holiday inspiration
  • Winter and cultural festivals

    • SPECTRA Aberdeen (8 - 11 February)
    • Snow Drop Festival (25 January - 11 March)
    • Celtic Connections (18 January - 4 February)
    • Gaelic Week (19 - 25 February)
  • Great Days Out

    • winter walks and wildlife, things to do in the winter, and indoor attractions
    • Burns Supper, places to go for a good mug of hot chocolate, cosy pubs and cafés, featured on our social media channels
    • Scotland Loves Local, highlighting local businesses such as gift shops, crafts, and farm shops
  • Farm retreats

    • first-person guest blog, showcasing a farm experience
    • influencer trip to experience the tranquillity of Scottish countryside
    • email promotion of content about farm stays and country stays as well as highlighting day trips and Taste our Best

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