Homecoming – Success and the future

Businesses across Scotland came together to help promote Homecoming Scotland 2009 and reaped the benefits of being associated with this breakthrough campaign.

Homecoming Scotland was a 10 month programme featuring over 400 events and festivals celebrating some of Scotland’s great contributions to the world including Burns, Golf, Whisky, Great Scottish minds and innovations and its rich ancestry, culture and heritage. 

It captured the imaginations of Scottish residents and those abroad of Scottish descent or who simply love Scotland – come ‘home’ to celebrate!

The initiative raised Scotland’s profile in a competitive global marketplace. It influenced 95,000 visitors to come to Scotland and generated £53.7 million of additional tourism revenue. 2014 will build on this success and tourism businesses should start thinking now about how to get involved.

The big picture

A core aim of the initiative was to deliver additional tourism visits and revenue for Scotland. It delivered 22 per cent above the revenue target at £53.7 million.

In 2009 Scotland outperformed Europe and the world in terms of trips and was the only part of the UK to show positive growth in international trips compared to 2008.

71 per cent of tourism businesses stated that Homecoming Scotland 2009 was a positive initiative for Scotland.

The next Homecoming is planned for 2014, when Scotland will be under the spotlight hosting the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup. 

Knowing the market

There were a total of 1.78 million visits to the Homecoming funded events – 69 per cent day visitors and 31 per cent overnight visitors.

A total of 19 per cent of visits were from outwith Scotland – 10.5 per cent were from elsewhere in the UK and 8.6 per cent from overseas.

The average length of stay of visitors from Scotland was three days, elsewhere in the UK was four days, and from overseas was one week.

The average daily spend of visitors was over £70.00.

Thoughts for the future

Accommodation providers, visitor attractions and retailers all created special products and packages for Homecoming visitors in 2009. In the build-up to 2014, think about what your business can offer in relation to the Homecoming themes.

92 per cent of people in Scotland were aware of Homecoming 2009, so think of themed packages that will appeal to locals too.

VisitScotland hosted 400 press trips in the run up to and during 2009. Contact them to see if your business can provide services for their PR plans.

Tour Operators and tourism businesses used VisitScotland’s online toolkit for 2009, with access to images, logos and event listings. Look out for materials to help promote Homecoming 2014 through your website and marketing materials.

82 per cent of event organisers said that working with local partners was a key benefit from taking part in Homecoming. Get in touch with local event organisers and see how you can work with them in 2014.

VisitScotland created more than three million brochures and Where to Stay Guides for Homecoming, so there will be opportunities for tourism businesses to feature in their 2014 marketing materials.

If you remember one thing

Grouping products or services under one banner, like Homecoming Scotland, creates a strong brand that visitors recognise and adds value to the individual services. Get in touch with EventScotland and VisitScotland and find out how to get involved with Homecoming Scotland 2014.


  • ‘Homecoming Scotland 2009: Economic Impact’ by EKOS Ltd for Homecoming Scotland, March 2010
  • ‘Homecoming Scotland 2009: A Year of Celebration’ by EventScotland, 2010 
  • ‘Inspirational Year of Celebration Delivers for Scotland’, press release from Homecoming Scotland, May 2010
  • ‘Homecoming Scotland 2009 & VisitScotland’s Marketing Campaign Evaluation’ by TNS Research International, February 2010
  • ‘EventScotland - Homecoming Scotland 2009 Media Evaluation’ by Media Measurement, January 2010