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VisitScotland's £2 million drive

Press Release   •   Sep 22, 2014 12:46 BST

On the eve of The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, VisitScotland has today (Monday 22 September) revealed details of a worldwide £2m marketing campaign which will reinforce Scotland as the Home of Golf and reach millions of potential visitors.

The campaign which has been building over the last year, includes a major welcome to visitors coming to the event, international and UK & Ireland marketing and promotional activity and TV partnerships which will be seen across the globe.

The activity includes the national tourism organisation’s single largest outdoor marketing campaign to date (£220k) reaching spectators across the UK at all parts of their journey from airports to stations, roads to trains and on golf courses – ensuring the estimated 250,000 spectators will have the best visitor experience possible.

Media and sales promotion partnerships amounting to £500k in spend has reached in excess of 10million people in the UK and Ireland, and a record breaking number of golf fans (over 130,000) have entered once in a lifetime competitions to win a trip to The 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland, the Home of Golf.

Internationally, over £250k has been spent on golf marketing in the key markets of North America, Sweden and Germany, with the biggest spend in the last few months to coincide with the screening of The 2014 Ryder Cup, reaching 22 million people worldwide.

With a potential to reach television audiences of over half a billion, stunning images of Scotland being beamed worldwide will also provide the equivalent of £40m in direct marketing benefit.

This news comes as it was revealed that fans will be able to soak up some of the excitement, drama and atmosphere of The 2014 Ryder Cup in a number of city centres in special, interactive ‘fan zones’.

Open to members of the public from Tuesday 23 - Sunday 28 September, 10am to 6:30pm, the free-of-charge innovative attraction in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh is set to be a hit with young and old alike.

A giant screen will relay live coverage to people gathered in the popular hub while a host of other activities will be on offer, for free, from various partners.

Working alongside Ryder Cup Europe, VisitScotland will host a unique ‘Eight iconic holes from Scotland’ challenge, which will see the public tackle greens that include some of Scotland’s most famous golfing features, including the Turnberry Point Lighthouse and Castle Stuart’s clubhouse.

Following the success of the XX Commonwealth Games Live Zones in Glasgow, which attracted hundreds of thousands of people, people can soak up the action at the official Ryder Cup fan zones in Glasgow (Merchant Square), Edinburgh (St Andrew Square) and Perth (Concert Hall) alongside the country’s 550+ golf clubs. The fan zones will provide that all important warm Scottish welcome, alongside everything from live coverage of one of the world’s biggest sporting events to photo booths, putting greens and golf simulators.

VisitScotland Chairman Mike Cantlay said: “Golf tourism is worth over £220million to the Scottish economy, so is always a big priority for our marketing teams, but in the 12-month build up to The Ryder Cup, this activity has been intensified.  With the biggest outdoor advertising campaign in our history and an ambitious worldwide marketing strategy, The Ryder Cup has enabled us to firmly cement Scotland as THE Home of Golf.

“It’s great to see that those who are unable to attend the event will be able to sample the excitement, drama and atmosphere at one of the fan zones. With thousands of ticket holders and media staying across Scotland during the week, this will provide that all important warm Scottish welcome. The buzz of the fan zone will reflect the excitement felt right across the country as we prepare to host the best ever Ryder Cup!”

Richard Hills, Director of Ryder Cup Europe, said: “The response to the arrival of The Ryder Cup in Scotland has been amazing with more people than ever set to see one of the world’s biggest sporting challenges live at Gleneagles. However, for those not able to get a ticket this has to be the next best thing with a real taste of the tented village and atmosphere all for free thanks to the generosity of our partners, VisitScotland, Standard Life and EY.”

Also within the fan zone in Edinburgh, people can come together in an attempt to hit a golf ball from Gleneagles, where The 2014 Ryder Cup is being staged, to Wentworth, home of the European Tour, via previous Ryder Cup courses such as The Belfry in Warwickshire. Hosted by EY, each person who strikes the ball will take it a little bit closer to the final destination. The hope is the activity will begin on Tuesday with the last drive taking place on Sunday.

Standard Life will provide the opportunity to play the 18th hole of The PGA Centenary Course and help out either the European or US team. Visitors will be invited by the Captain to score as many points as possible to help their team claim The Ryder Cup with a virtual representation of the climactic last hole. Points will be awarded for the quality of shot and number of strokes with all scores being logged as part of a rolling total.

The attraction welcomes all ages abilities and of course interests. It is hoped that non-golf fans will be drawn into the electric excitement of the competition and pick up a club for a virtual game or simply enjoy a rest on one of the many red or blue deckchairs in front of the big screen.

A fan zone will also be hosted in Glasgow’s Merchant Square from September 26-28, which will feature live coverage of the tournament shown on a big screen alongside an interactive golf zone.

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 has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • 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.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry 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.
  • 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 tourism in Scotland go to
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to