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Visit Scotland | Alba

The latest research into our international markets and how COVID-19 is impacting plans to visit Scotland

Explore below feedback from our international marketing teams and insight from the latest social listening. 

In this section:

Latest update:

All arrivals to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must book and pay for managed isolation in quarantine hotels to help protect against the importation of Coronavirus (COVID-19) from 15 February 2021. All arrivals must quarantine for at least 10 days and will be tested twice for the virus – once on day two and once on day eight after arrival. Read Scottish Government guidance on quarantine hotels.

Market intelligence update: Europe

Market intelligence update: Australia, Canada, China, USA, GCC and India

The latest marketing insights from Australia, Canada, China, the USA, GCC and India gathered from our VisitScotland marketing teams. 

International COVID-19 sentiment research

In partnership with VisitBritain, Visit Wales, and London & Partners, research was commissioned to understand international consumer sentiment towards international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second phase of the International Consumer Sentiment Research has now been completed (fieldwork 24 March - 5 April 2021) covering 20 markets. This includes 14 from the first phase: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden and the USA, and then 6 new markets: Brazil, Denmark, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Sweden and the UAE.

  • desire to travel internationally remains very high and has increased in most markets surveyed in both December and March/April
  • Travel plans are getting more concrete, but bookings are still low and destination choice very open in consumers’ minds
  • high expectations focus on summer 2021, either for planning holidays abroad and/or reconnecting with friends and relatives as soon as possible – however, a third of planners envisage 2022 and beyond as the horizon, or just do not know yet when they would go
  • vaccination is confirmed to play a critical role in triggering short term travel intention and booking
  • age continues to be a driver for travel sentiment as younger travellers show the strongest intentions to take a trip abroad this year (especially those interested in England/London).  Those willing to consider Scotland as a destination are from a wider spread of age groups
  • While vaccination (in markets as well as destination) increases positive travel sentiment, other obstacles for travel remain very influential in the decision making process – COVID cases at destination, quarantine policies, refund/cancellation flexibility and the political environment
  • Europe maintains and often amplifies its status of favourite continent to visit in most markets.
  • fuelled by a large improvement of its COVID sanitary image, Britain has gained in popularity and competitiveness, recording the second largest increase in Europe in visit intentions after Spain
  • the gain of popularity for Britain is very high in long-haul markets in particular (China, India) but also in Germany and Ireland, while France is more “at risk” with low travel intentions to Britain
  • in short haul markets, England is the nation at the top of the list for a potential visit to Britain, but Scotland is also well considered, particularly among Spanish, Italians and to a slighter lesser extent the Germans
  • from long-haul prospects, a possible trip to Britain would be England first but not exclusively, showing an open attitude to visit multiple destinations across Britain. China, the US and Canada are the markets most likely to potentially consider Scotland
  • attitudes towards a more responsible and sustainable travel are clearly expressedHowever, it remains to be seen how far these will be converted into effective responsible and sustainable behaviours at destinations

Visit the Visit Britain website for a summary of the research and to download the full report