Scotland tourism news summary

Scotland and TripAdvisor

VisitScotland has joined forces with TripAdvisor in a collaboration to target key inbound markets for Scotland – the USA, UK, France and Germany.

The tourism organisation is providing the online content for TripAdvisor’s Scotland destination page until March 2016.

TripAdvisor predicts that this content will drive many more visitors to the site’s destination hub, with the potential to send thousands of additional referrals to tourism businesses in Scotland.

Scotland is the first European destination to develop this kind of collaboration with the travel review website.

Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing said: “This partnership will raise Scotland’s profile and help market all that Scotland has to offer to millions more people in the years to come.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “In a digital age, it is crucial that we extend the message about all the amazing things there are to see and do in Scotland through a range of channels. This means working in cooperation with travel websites that will help us extend our reach.

“Our website,, currently attracts around 20 million users a year – with TripAdvisor’s reach, we will be able to bring our message to millions more. TripAdvisor is the biggest travel website in the world, so the opportunity for Scottish businesses through this collaboration is massive.”

Martin Verdon-Roe, Global Vice-President, TripAdvisor, said: “With over 350 million visitors to the site each month, TripAdvisor provides a unique platform for destinations to showcase themselves to potential visitors around the world. 

We’re delighted to be working with such a digitally savvy organisation as VisitScotland to incorporate their content into our new Destination Marketing product, providing TripAdvisor users with enhanced information they can refer to when planning and booking their trips.”

Scotland taste our best 

Five castles, a Georgian mansion house, one of the finest military forts in Europe and a prehistoric settlement, which dates back 5,000 years have all scooped a prestigious industry award this year.

Aberdour Castle is the latest heritage attraction to have its food and drink offering given the seal of approval with a VisitScotland Taste Our Best award; joining Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Fort George in Inverness and Orkney’s iconic Skara Brae.

The initiative seeks to celebrate establishments which include and champion quality, locally sourced seasonal Scottish produce, showcasing the best that Scotland’s food and drink has to offer.

This latest accolade marks a significant achievement in the year that celebrates Scotland’s rich and diverse larder, with all eight of Historic Scotland’s1 properties that offer a food and drink experience – which is operated and delivered by contract catering group Benugo – now holding this special recognition.

All Historic Scotland properties are managed by Historic Environment Scotland. Its catering contracts manager, Elizabeth Strain, said: “It’s wonderful that all eight of our sites which include a food and drink experience have been recognised in these industry awards. They are testament to our on-going commitment to provide the best quality in food and drink and we’ve worked closely with our partner Benugo, who operate all of our cafés, to source and use local produce and products from the surrounding regions for each site, wherever possible.

“This achievement is made doubly special in the ‘Year of Food and Drink’, which celebrates and promotes Scotland’s quality produce.”

Jason Fox, Operations Director in Scotland for Benugo, added: “We’ve worked to create and develop an offer within our cafés at these iconic visitor attractions that showcase and incorporate the very best produce that these areas boast, into our menus. It’s a real honour to have all eight acknowledged as part of this unique awards scheme.”

Taste Our Best is a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government and is supported by Scotland Food and Drink. The scheme, which launched two years ago, is designed to recognise businesses including visitor attractions and cafés that not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote Scottish produce and its provenance on their menus.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “I would like to congratulate all eight Historic Scotland sites on being awarded their Taste Our Best accreditations.  Each boasts a wide range of wonderful local produce, an offer which continues to grow in demand among visitors to Scotland with research showing that three out of four believe eating local cuisine will enhance their visit.

Taste Our Best award winners

  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Stirling Castle
  • Urquhart Castle
  • Caerlaverock Castle
  • Aberdour Castle
  • Skara Brae
  • Duff House
  • Fort George


Ben Nevis on Google Street View

Google Street View goes to new heights in the UK, where anyone can now see the magnificent scenery and panoramic views of the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales using Street View from a phone, tablet or computer.

Hiking enthusiasts, or armchair travellers who just want to take in the impressive views, can use the technology for the first time to hike through the peaks of Snowdonia National Park, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike.

Using the Google Trekker, a backpack that houses Google’s camera system it has been possible to record 360 degree panoramic photography. Volunteers were used to trail the areas surrounding the peaks, then ascending them via a variety of trails and pathways, to capture them on Street View for the world to enjoy.

Those who wish to do the trails themselves can now plan ahead, by visiting the trails to get an idea of the terrain (and which shoes to pack for the hike!), and scope out viewpoints along the way.

Some travellers might want to pick a preferred route in which to ascend, and can do so when navigating their way around the six paths up Snowdon, or choosing one of the two routes covered up Scafell Pike, or seeing up-close the trail that ascends Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis.

Users can also view the pristine natural beauty of Snowdonia National Park, including Cadair Idris, Cwm Idwal, Mawddach Trail, and Lôn Gwyrfa.

Laurian Clemence of Google UK said: “We are delighted to bring these three famous peaks to the world through Street View. These areas of outstanding natural beauty in Wales, England and Scotland can be viewed by anyone who is planning a specific visit, or for those who are simply interested in learning more about each peak, from the terrain and landscape, to the vegetation and views.”

David Buckett of The Highland Mountain Company said: “Looking at the route up will give people a true sense of what they are about to undertake, inspire them to try to get to the summit or be able to see what an achievement friends and family have made. There are not many other iconic mountains in the world that is as documented as Ben Nevis, this can only add to the appeal for people to visit the area.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We’re delighted that the spectacular views from Britain’s highest peak, our very own Ben Nevis, can now be seen on Google Street View. Even those who haven’t climbed the mountain themselves can enjoy the amazing vistas and feel on top of the world!”