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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 23/01/2024

Introduction from David Jackson

It’s been a busy time for Moray Speyside over recent months with campaigns and initiatives underway to support tourism growth in the region.

It was great to see the region feature once again in our Spirit of the Highlands and Islands campaign (more details in this update). The launch of Visit Moray Speyside’s new Taste of Moray Speyside food and drink trail and series of new immersive experiences was another notable highlight.

We continue to work closely with Visit Moray Speyside, most recently with the hosting of our travel trade workshop in Elgin which was well attended.

This forms part of our wider support of the region and the major investment through the Moray Growth Deal which will see the transformation of both the Town Hall and Grant Lodge at the heart of a new cultural quarter for Elgin

Back in October, I was delighted to accompany Tourism Minister, Richard Lochhead MSP on a visit to Findhorn Bay Holiday Park, who are leading the way in putting sustainability at the heart of their business.

We’ve seen a number of our RTIF (Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund) supported projects reach completion, including a new motorhome stopover facility in Cullen and improved car parking and footpath access at Bow Fiddle Rock in Portknockie.

I look forward to attending and speaking at the Visit Moray Speyside Conference in March and to our flagship travel trade event, VisitScotland Connect, in April. We have a record number of businesses from Moray Speyside attending.

Read on for more information on our activity to support tourism and events in Moray Speyside.

David Jackson (third right), Regional Director for Moray Speyside at Findhorn Bay Holiday Park with Richard Lochhead, Tourism Minister
David Jackson (third right), Regional Director for Moray Speyside at Findhorn Bay Holiday Park with Richard Lochhead, Tourism Minister

Scotland and UK press activity

Our corporate PR team work closely with Scottish and UK media to raise awareness of our work to promote Moray Speyside to visitors and how we offer support for the industry.

Some of the most recent highlights include:

In August, we contributed a quote to a story in the P&J's Weekend Edition about the growth of whisky tourism. Read the article on

In September, we announced the return of our successful travel trade event, VisitScotland Connect. in April 2024 and issued a regional media release encouraging businesses from Moray Speyside to sign up. 

We announced, as part of the Scottish Thistle Awards programme for 2023, businesses shortlisted in the Highlands and Islands Thistle Awards. Read our news item about the winners of the regional final in November.

In October, we issued a release to local media about the latest part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project, a seasonal marketing campaign. The project highlighted the natural and cultural heritage of the region during the autumn. Read our news item promoting the Highlands and islands.

In November, we provided a quote to the i newspaper about how dark skies tourism has grown in recent years, referencing the dark sky parks at Tomintoul and Glenlivet in the Cairngorms.

We compiled an opinion editorial from Regional Director David Jackson. This featured the autumn and winter marketing activity to drive visitors throughout the year, reflecting on the current climate for tourism.

Key statistics on social media

Over 1.2 million

reached through Moray Speyside content across all channels

Over 1,900

engagements, likes, comments, and shares and saves

Over 10,000

video views of Moray Speyside content

338,000 users

reached by top Instagram post of a young highland cow from Fogwatt on #CoosDay

Regional marketing

  • Multimedia

    We created three new autumn videos and a wider suite of imagery to showcase the region’s distinctive heritage and authentic connections with rural communities.

    Watch the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands playlist on

    Watch SurfAble's Spirit of the Highlands and Islands video on

  • Spirit of the Highlands and Islands

    We worked with this project, which included the creation of a new, immersive website. The autumn landing page immersed readers in community stories, inspirational video and audio content, and 10 themed itineraries.

    Browse all pages on

  • Influencer marketing

    We worked with Hays for Days, who have 72,000 followers, on a campaign which promoted Moray Speyside as a winter destination.

    They created three videos for Tik Tok, which were viewed by 35,000 engaged followers and achieved great engagement rates.

    Check out their page on

  • Paid Marketing

    Our £185,000 autumn 2023 campaign ran from late August until November. It included social and digital media and partnerships with The Guardian and Die  Zeit.

    Campaign results include:

    • In the UK; 17 million impressions, reach of 5 million, 60,000 clicks to the campaign page, 1.4 million video views
    • Our page on The Guardian; 62,000 visits, average time on page was 3 minutes 47 seconds
    • The Dutch campaign; 12 million impressions, reach of 2 million, 42,000 clicks to the campaign page, 408,000 video views
    • Our page in Die Zeit; 1.5 million ad impressions, 5,800 page impressions, average time on page was 2 minutes 56 seconds

Global PR activity

Our Global PR team works to promote Scotland across key media outlets which have been identified through years of work and relationship building. The team can place the right story, at the right time, in-front of the right audience.

Working primarily with media in the travel and lifestyle space, it can take anything from one week to one year, or more, to see the results of the team’s always on activity aligning with our seasonal messaging, organisation priorities, and editorial calendars.

In the period July to September, the team delivered:

  • 11 proactive communication bundles and press releases received in multiple languages by 2,500 media contacts
  • releases and communications, covering themes that included cycling, outdoor adventure, cities, agritourism, responsible travel, festivals, Barbiecore, and much more
  • more than 150 tailored pitches to a range of media titles
  • 1000 individual engagements with contacts from across the world
  • attending in person events, including Destination Britain China, St Andrew’s Day receptions in Paris and Berlin, and WTM in London
  • hosting for 76 media in various locations across Scotland

Travel trade activity

Two Moray Speyside businesses took part in our travel trade workshop on 5 December, held at the Waterloo Place Hotel in Edinburgh. This was a new event format created to facilitate engagement between Scottish suppliers and buyers from Destination Management Companies (DMCs).

The event allowed Scottish businesses in the early stages of their development to begin familiarising with the requirements of the travel trade and aid with their business development.

Businesses were selected because of their sustainable product offering and business practices, as well as representing a wide regional spread.

This allowed us to influence responsible programme development among the Destination Management Companies that are selling Scotland tours to tour operators and travel agents around the world.

Thank you to The Stotfield Hotel and Byres Farm for joining us.

Read more about The Stotfield Hotel on

Read more about Byres Farm on

Visit Moray Speyside travel trade workshop

On Tuesday 24 October we partnered with Visit Moray Speyside to deliver a workshop for local businesses looking to deepen their understanding of working with travel trade at The Mansefield Hotel.

This was followed by an advanced session on how to create new bookable tourism products to encourage higher yield and longer dwell times in the afternoon.

The introductory workshop was attended by 11 accommodation providers, attractions, and experiences from the region. It covered an entry level guide to working with UK domestic and international tour operators, travel agents and Destination Management Companies (DMCs).

The advanced session focused on elevating a business’ work with travel trade to increase sustainable growth through intermediary channels. 17 businesses from Moray Speyside attended the event, hearing:

  • up-to-date insights and trends from international markets
  • a refresh of the travel trade distribution landscape
  • tips for cross-business work on new bookable product to increase higher visitor spend at quieter times of the year

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