Scotland's UNESCO Trail
Scotland’s UNESCO Trail is a world first. It consists of some of Scotland’s most iconic, diverse, and culturally significant sites. These are brought together into a single, globally accessible digital space.
This dedicated digital trail features our 13 place-based UNESCO designations, including:
- world heritage sites
- global geoparks
- creative cities
It takes visitors on a cultural journey across the country, allowing visitors to experience:
- archaeology and history
- design, music and literature
- nature and science
The trail was built upon the values of UNESCO and its sustainable development goals. It aimed to leverage tourism as a force for good, maximising collaboration. This encouraged more responsible travel behaviours and spread the benefits of tourism.
Our campaign activity sought to raise the profile of the designations. It encouraged a strong spread of visitors across regions and seasons from primarily key short-haul markets in Europe.
To maximise a return on our investment, we combined high-reach paid posts with in-depth editorial and video content. We delivered these through a variety of carefully selected, trusted partners and influencers. These partners all shared the values of the UNESCO Trail.
We launched a toolkit to get our industry and partners as engaged and enthused about the trail as possible.
Our paid media activities ran in targeted bursts between October 2023 and April 2023. In August 2023, it had a reach of 40 million and 310,000 video views.
Our Insights team are conducting a detailed research project into the economic impact of Scotland’s UNESCO Trail. This will be completed in 2024.
The trail has drew the attention of other countries who are keen to learn from our experiences to create their own UNESCO digital trails.
We want to get further investment and responsible industry development for this project. One way of doing so is around the new UNESCO designation status awarded to Perth as City of Crafts and Folk Art.
Browse our UNESCO Trail page.
Read our UNESCO Trail toolkit.
Great Days Out campaign
On this campaign, we worked with ASVA, Historic Environment Scotland, Scotrail, and the Year of Stories team. Its goal was to boost demand for visitor attractions and outdoor experience operators for the shoulder season.
It particularly targeted families across Scotland and northern England. It also aimed to join the dots between attractions offers and sustainable, low-cost travel.
We created a new landing page for this campaign on visitscotland.com. This showcased and linked to participating businesses who offered discounted tickets and offers.
Following a drop in footfall post pandemic, the campaign set out to reestablish consumer confidence. It also tried to inspire them to explore all the amazing attractions on their doorsteps and across Scotland.
The campaign was multi-layered. We matched activity with ScotRail across publishing and digital ads. This leveraged their "Kids for a Quid" offer and achieved reach of 5 million impressions on Teads and almost 20,000 clicks.
We had a content partnership with DC Thomson. This included the much-loved Dennis and Gnasher characters and secured 249,000 impressions on social media.
We also had a content partnership with the Primary Times. We delivered email marketing to a targeted database of 13,000 subscribers.
Our Year of Stories themed content told the stories of our many visitor attractions using the Reach media platform. This saw an average dwell times of 2 minutes 21 seconds on article features.
Our social media channels saw an extensive PR coverage in regional press, such as:
- the Scottish Sun Travel section
- the Sunday Post
- Breaking Travel News
21,000 people found our custom landing page on visitscotland.com via search engines. Over 39,000 Historic Environment Scotland attractions were viewed on our web listings.
Looking ahead, there are fresh and ongoing challenges facing the attractions sector. We're working with the following partners to deliver a new Days Out campaign for 2023-2024:
- Good Journeys, champions of sustainable travel
- Historic Environment Scotland
- Scotland’s Towns Partnership