Skip to main content

Outstanding success

Press Release   •   Jan 06, 2016 09:50 GMT

A high-profile VisitScotland campaign encouraging millions of Americans to “give in to their kilty pleasures” and explore the country that inspired hit TV show Outlander, and an online partnership aimed at young male travellers “hungry for adventure”, have both scooped top marketing awards.

The national tourism organisation, along with its US public relations partner, Laura Davidson Public Relations (LDPR), has picked up two GOLD Adrian Awards from HSMAI (Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International).

The ‘Partnership with Major Brand’ award recognises the partnership with production company Starz TV on the ‘Kilty Pleasure: Outlander’ campaign during the launch of the popular TV drama last year. Media coverage, including in The New York Times, Entertainment Tonight,, Fodor’s, and Yahoo Travel reached an audience of more than 15 million.

The ‘Feature Placement Online-Consumer Media’ award recognises VisitScotland and LDPR’s team-up with men’s luxury lifestyle website,, on the “Hungry Men of America, Have You Met Scotland? Let us introduce you…” campaign. GearPatrol writers travelled to Scotland last winter (2014) and created 50 individual pieces for their website, including essays, videos, photo essays and recipes, which formed a ‘Scotland Travel Guide’ that has had more than 5 million page views.

VisitScotland’s gold rush continued in the 2016 Distinguished Dozen awards by Courier, the official monthly magazine for members of the National Tour Association (NTA), with GOLD in the Overseas Destination Marketing Organisation Partner category.

The Courier’s Distinguished Dozen program, now in its fifth year, is voted for by NTA members and recognises the distinguished work of tourism organisations which go ‘above and beyond’ in their duty.

All awards are due to be presented at ceremonies taking place in February 2016.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“These three gold awards are testament to the hard work, dedication and creative talents of our North American team and partners. A huge amount of work is carried out by our team which focuses on making sure the right product is developed and delivered via each market’s optimal channels.

“In particular, we are thrilled to be recognised by our colleagues in one of our primary markets within the travel industry, as we look forward to the launch of several new air routes in 2016 which will make it even easier for our Canadian and US friends to come to Scotland.”

Laura Davidson, President of Laura Davidson Public Relations, said:

"It's been an incredibly exciting year for VisitScotland, and we're thrilled to continue collaborating on award-winning work. As the North American media landscape evolves, our work with VisitScotland follows suit – targeting new media, brands and partners to create dynamic campaigns.

“It's always a great honour to be recognised by our fellow colleagues and industry leaders. And it's so nice to see the on-going popularity of Scotland in the US.”

Winners of the 2016 Distinguished Dozen awards will be introduced at a luncheon during Travel Exchange, the NTA’s annual convention in Atlanta on 2 February.

The Adrian Awards had more than 1,300 entries this year and winners were judged by experts in hospitality, travel, tourism and media. The campaigns will be recognised at the Adrian Awards Gala on 16 February where gold winners have the potential to be elevated to Platinum status (the top entries in each category).

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting