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Visit Scotland | Alba


  • With such a diverse offering as a destination, Scotland is a natural choice for a varied range of visitors.
  • The "millennial" generation are typically people born from anywhere from the early 1980’s right up to the 2000s. To understand what makes the millennial market tick, we commissioned research to explore their travel motivations and behaviours. Read our topic paper on young travellers.
  • To find out what children really think of Scotland, we spoke to over 300 UK children aged 8 to 12 years old to find out what makes a great family holiday. Read out topic paper on family holidays.

1. Young travellers

The "millennial generation" is one of the largest demographic groupings in history. Most researchers regard Millennials or Generation Y as people born anywhere from the early 1980’s up to the early 2000’s.

From a tourism marketing perspective, it’s important to remember that age alone does not create a uniform group with a single, common set of values and behaviours. Within this relatively wide age range we find an equally wide cross section of life and career stages, levels of disposable income, amounts of free time, personal interests and attitudes.

In 2018, we commissioned research to explore the travel motivations and behaviours of this younger generation. The work was carried out by Kubi Kalloo.

A fresh perspective - exploring Scotland through younger eyes

Published August 2020

Critical factors for younger people’s travel journeys are

  • New

    Originality for young travellers means providing new opportunities, or reviving and refreshing existing traditions and brands so that young travellers feel they are discovering them for the first time.

  • Value for money

    Affordability is key, particularly when income may not match the desire for new experiences. Young travellers are adept at seeking out deals and signing up to offers that keep them ‘in the know’. Those without children can be agile and spontaneous, able to take advantage of last-minute opportunities.

  • Braggable

    Being seen as "ahead of the curve" is important to young travellers, allowing them to feel like a leader rather than a follower. Reframing an experience (staying in a log cabin rather than a hotel for example) means ‘bragging rights’ are rooted in a genuinely differentiated experience rather than simply ticking off a destination.

  • Unique

    Younger people want a deeper level of involvement when they travel, often seeking out experiences that may not be particularly unusual, but are different to normal behaviour and different from previous (and future) holidays because they are unique to the destination.

2. Family holidays

Scotland is perfectly positioned to deliver an ideal family holiday. Holidays and short breaks offer families the much-needed opportunity to put the brakes on their busy schedules and escape for a while, reconnecting with each other and making memories together.

In 2018 we commissioned research with over 300 UK children aged between 8 and 12 years (and over 300 parents too). We explored what makes a great family holiday and Scotland’s strengths and weaknesses as a family destination. Boxclever conducted the research.

What are parents looking for from a family holiday experience?

  • togetherness
  • whole family shared activities, not just 'kids only' activities
  • sharing an exciting adventure
  • access to the outdoors and opportunities to explore 
  • new activities as well as a chance to share everyday activities
  • independence and opportunities for exploration for children
  • experiences and activities that reflect children's passions

Source: Hearing from children and their parents, Boxclever 2018

Key points to consider when marketing to potential family visitors:

  • dialling up the benefits of a family holiday – “togetherness”, spending quality time together, sharing new and familiar experiences, supporting exploration and self-discovery for young people, making memories to last a lifetime 
  • considering Scotland’s key strengths: wildlife, nature and the great outdoors, castles, ruins and iconic landmarks (all loved by those who have visited Scotland) with a clear message about freedom, revitalisation and adventure
  • focusing on imagery and experience that appeals to young people, firing their imaginations and encouraging them to engage with exciting locations, new experiences and novelty accommodation. Static landscape or scenery imagery appeals less
  • tapping into the school curriculum and considering its influence on young people’s interests and passions

Summary - Exploring Scotland’s appeal as a family holiday destination

Published November 2019

Exploring Scotland’s appeal as a family holiday destination

Published November 2019

3. Domestic sentiment tracker

The domestic sentiment tracker has been running since May 2020. It explores the likelihood of UK residents to travel both within the UK (and abroad) and when and where they plan to go. Variations by life stage are explored in relation to domestic trip behaviour. Insights are identified for pre-nesters, families, older independents and retirees.

Read the latest report from the domestic sentiment tracker

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