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Visitors crave tour guide tales


New research by VisitScotland for the Year of Stories has revealed that visitors still yearn for that human connection while visiting an attraction, taking part in a tour, or exploring a destination in Scotland.

Virtual and online experiences became the norm during two-years of lockdowns, but the national tourism organisation has found that in person experiences are top choice when it comes to storytelling.

New YouGov* research commissioned by VisitScotland, as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, found that almost half (49%) of UK adults feel a tour with a guide or storyteller to share our stories would appeal to them.

The research also indicated other popular forms of storytelling including, exhibitions (44%), theatre and live performances (36%). TV and film were also noted (33%) as were books, comedy and music (30%, 27% and 23%).

Marie Christie, VisitScotland Head of Events Development, said:

“The Year of Stories is a prime opportunity for the country to show off the best we have to offer visitors and locals and clearly nothing beats hearing tales being told in person. 

“As we move into the Autumn and Winter, there is still a packed programme of Year of Stories events on the horizon with so many talented people sharing our stories in all sorts of inventive and exciting ways across the country.”

Lyn Brown, Chairperson, Scottish Tourist Guides Association, said:

“I was delighted to see that people prefer in-person storytelling, and our own experiences concur with the findings of the research – it has been one of our busiest seasons; every day there are emails from people looking for guides; many of our members are fully-booked; and already there are requests for guides in 2023.

“We believe that only a real, live person telling a story face-to-face can bring that story to life, make sense of it in relation to other stories, and of course answer questions – and it is clear that this is what both domestic and international visitors want.

Gillian MacDonald, Head of Sales and Marketing at Historic Environment Scotland (HES), said:

“Through projects such as our If These Walls Could Talk competition, we are also engaging young people with the past through stories, using Scotland’s historic sites as inspiration for the next generation of storytellers.”

Donald Smith, Director, Scottish International Storytelling Festival, said:

 To find out more about the Year of Stories 2022 and upcoming events visit:*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2343 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13-14 July 2022.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

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Visitors crave tour guide tales

VisitScotland reveals Year of Stories visitor insights

Asset type post
ID 111137
Word count 602 words


Licence Rights Managed - VS Editorial A Licence to use assets for editorial purposes, which is, to illustrate an event or story in an article but not commercially such as marketing a product or print ad. An Editorial asset may show a brand, a trademarked logo or product, a public personality, or recognisable people, without a signed release or with limited releases. When you use VisitScotland Editorial content you do so to illustrate Scottish tourism in a positive way.
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Usage Editorial content can be published in a variety of formats ranging from print or digital to online. In print content can be featured in *newspapers *magazines *brochures. Online content can be published in a *blog *website *article or *social media. Regardless of the format this content should always promote Scotland’s tourism in a positive way.