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Hot on the trail


SOME of Scotland’s most iconic, diverse and culturally significant sites are being promoted to domestic and international visitors with the launch of a dedicated VisitScotland marketing campaign, developed in collaboration with UNESCO and designation partners.

The campaign will promote <strong>Scotland’s UNESCO Trail</strong> to potential visitors from the UK, Germany and France with the aim of encouraging them to discover more about the country’s 13 place-based designations included in the trail.

The world’s first UNESCO Trail was launched last year to connect the unique sites that include World Heritage Sites, Biospheres, Global Geoparks and Creative Cities to form a dedicated digital trail. 

The trail was designed specifically to support the ambitions of the national strategy to make Scotland a world-leading responsible tourism destination by encouraging visitors to stay longer, visit all year round, make sustainable travel choices, explore more widely and at the right time of the year, and in turn, contribute to the sustainable quality of life of those communities surrounding the designated sites.

The marketing campaign will run across social media channels and display advertising in the UK, with EU marketing starting in October and a publishing partnership with Wanderlust in Novemner. It aims to ensure Scotland is front of mind, taking visitors on a cultural journey across the country experiencing everything from history to science, music, design and literature to nature and cityscapes.

It will build on the success of ongoing organic activity to promote the trail. Since its launch last year, posts featuring locations throughout the trail on VisitScotland’s global social media channels have reached potential visitors 16.69 million times. 

Research suggests overseas visitors stay longer and spend more, with their continued return seen as critical to the recovery of Scotland’s valuable tourism and events industry.  

In 2019, Scotland welcomed 3.5 million overnight international visitors, which generated 43% of the total tourism spend that year. 

Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said“I welcome the next phase of the trail and the opportunity to promote our unique UNESCO designations within the UK and Europe, to invite visitors on a cultural journey across the country to experience everything from history to science, music, design and literature to nature and cityscapes.  “The trail helps visitors make responsible and sustainable choices through environmentally friendly travel and partnership with green accredited businesses. This will help support sustainable recovery and achieve our mission to grow the value and enhance the benefits of tourism across Scotland as set out in our tourism Strategy Scotland 2030.”VisitScotland Head of Brand and Content Cat Leaver said“This next phase will help build deeper connections with potential visitors in the UK and Europe to inspire them to take a once-in-a-lifetime experience across the country, delving into its history and heritage and experiencing the wonder of its natural assets and the magic that inspires, art, music and literature. “We want to encourage visitors to stay longer, explore more widely and spend in the local supply chain, contributing to the sustainable quality of these communities. “VisitScotland is committed to championing change to shape the responsible growth of Scotland’s valuable tourism and events industry in a way that respects people and places. Tourism is a force for good. It creates jobs, sustains communities and contributes significantly to the economy.”Francesca Osowska, CEO of NatureScot and Chair of Scotland’s UNESCO Trail Steering Group, said:

The full list of designations included in Scotland’s UNESCO Trail are the Galloway &amp; Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere, Dundee UNESCO City of Design, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark, North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark, the Forth Bridge UNESCO World Heritage Site, Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Antonine Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site, New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site, Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old and New Towns of Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage Site, St Kilda World Heritage Site. 

For more information, visit


Hot on the trail

Campaign to promote World’s First UNESCO Trail

Asset type post
ID 111488
Word count 862 words


Licence 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.
Expiry No expiry date
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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.