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Millennial pound opportunity

Press release   •   Sep 11, 2017 07:51 BST

Scotland has the potential to become a magnet for the billion pound millennial market, according to VisitScotland.

With the launch of its new TV campaign targeting millennials airing tonight on E4 (Monday 11 September), the national tourism organisation believes the country’s growing reputation for outdoor experiences, its award-winning beauty and its warm and welcoming people could position it as a must-visit destination for Generation Y.

Recent figures show that visitors aged 16-34 year old are worth an average of £1.1bn to the Scottish economy, generating an average of 4.3 million trips every year. Scotland has proved particularly popular with young Americans and Germans who represented 15% and 11% of the millennial visits to the country in 2016.

As one of the largest generations in history, millennials - those aged between 16-34 years old - represents a lucrative market for the global tourism industry. From adventure activities and off-the-beaten track exploring, to quirky accommodation and local food, the generation is best known for its love of unique and authentic experiences.

Last month, VisitScotland announced a new partnership with Channel 4 on an interactive TV campaign which invites viewers to take part in and direct a series of ads across a week.

Starting tonight (Monday 11 Sept), a cast of six young travelers will experience a range of exciting activities across Scotland with E4 viewers voting via Twitter, using bespoke hashtags linked to #ScotE4, on what the group will do the following day.

The 60 second spots will be broadcast at the same time from Monday 11 Sept to Friday 15 Sept, during the first ad break of matchmaking show Celebs Go Dating.

The exclusive campaign comes ahead of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 and supports VisitScotland’s desire to position Scotland as an inspirational destination for millennials. The national tourism organisation is also working with TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, to capitalise on interest generating by the project by making it quick and easy for viewers to book their own Scottish experience via the TripAdvisor website.

From the adrenaline-inducing 7stanes mountain biking trails at Glentress Forest, Peebles to the pitch perfect beat of Glasgow’s music scene, the ads are set to show why Scotland is the ultimate playground for the young and adventurous.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “Scotland is more than haggis, tartan and Nessie, it’s an exciting, contemporary destination filled with unmissable experiences and rich culture.

“We want to make millennials here in the UK aware of all the amazing adventures they can have in Scotland. From camping under a blanket of stars in the Dark Skies Park in Dumfries and Galloway to road-tripping on the North Coast 500, or from relishing delicious vegan food in Glasgow to feeling the adrenaline-rush of canyoning in Perthshire - there is something for everyone.

“With the Year of Young People 2018 just around the corner, there is no better time to inspire this young generation to place Scotland at the top of their travel wish-lists.”

Jane Hector-Jones, Group Partnerships Manager, 4Sales added: “We are delighted to be working with VisitScotland to deliver this exciting and innovative first. E4’s key demographic of 16-34 year olds aligns perfectly with VisitScotland’s millennial target market for this unique campaign that will showcase the charms of beautiful Scotland whilst entertaining and engaging viewers.”

Off air, viewers will be able to find extra footage and a viewer competition by visiting

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
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • 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.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit or follow @scotgovESIF
  • 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)
  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017