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The Homecoming Story

Homecoming Scotland 2009 was an inspirational programme of events which ran from Burns Night to St Andrew’s Day and motivated people with Scottish ancestry, as well as those who simply love Scotland, to “Come Home” in 2009.

Marketing and PR

The marketing and PR teams began their work on Homecoming in 2007. In assocation with diaspora groups and assocations, the message was sent out to ancestral Scots to "come home" to Scotland in 2009.  The themes of Homecoming: Burns: Whisky; Golf; Great Minds and Innovations; and Scottish Clans and ancestry formed an early part of this communication. Press familiarisation trips and events continued through 2007 and 2008. The international marketing trade were targetted from 2007 onwards, to build interest in Homecoming. Through events such as VisitScotland Expo 2008 and 2009, the industry were encouraged to develop Homecoming-themed packages and promotions. An online “Homecoming Toolkit” providing imagery and logos, editorial content and downloadable events listings was developed for use by all tourism businesses. Consumer marketing and PR, which started in autumn 2008, ran throughout 2009.


A programme of more than 400 events took place between January and October 2009. All events directly funded by Homecoming Scotland were either existing events that added brand new Homecoming elements to enhance and/or extend their event or were brand new events created especially for the Homecoming celebrations.


Some highlights:

•An increased database of around 200,000 new visitor prospects through our core marketing activity and a further 350,000 names from campaigns where Homecoming is featured.

•The most comprehensive Diaspora and Scots interest group database ever developed with more than 6,500 organisations worldwide

•30 international travel trade partnerships within VisitScotland’s Homecoming marketing campaigns (9 airlines and 21 travel trade companies)

•More than 30 partnerships with key brands and companies - from Coca Cola to Walkers Shortbread, First Bus and Clydesdale Bank

•The international I am a Scot campaign reached 95 million people across the world

•86 international travel companies developed Homecoming themed products and 53 international operators carried Homecoming themed promotions

•71% of tourism businesses say that Homecoming Scotland was a positive initiative for Scotland

•The Caledonia TV advert has been played across the world to millions of viewers as the soundtrack to the initiative, with research showing that 78% of UK viewers felt more positive about Scotland after viewing it (87% in Scotland)

International marketing activity ranged from joint European Promotions with Easyjet, a joint promotion in Russia with Irn Bru, and the ‘I’m a Scot ‘ Homecoming campaign.

The event programme has been heralded as a major success with many of the events breaking audience records. Events such as the StAnza Poetry Festival, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, the Royal Highland Show, and Perthshire Amber all saw increased ticket sales or attendance.


The Story

This is a downloadable document with more details on all the marketing, PR and events activity carried out for Homecoming, including samples of creative content plus more statistics.

pdf Homecoming Scotland 2009: The Story: /Repository/homecoming-effect/homecoming_scotland_2009_-_the_story.pdf  PDF Document 3.9 mb