The Sound of Scotland – VisitScotland launches its first-ever podcast


SCOTLAND’s unique stories and people take centre stage as VisitScotland launches its first-ever podcast, 100,000 Welcomes, today on International Podcast Day (30 Sep).

Host Neil Robertson with Jenni Steele, Gillian Barrie, and Alison O’Donnell at The Hippodrome in Bo’ness, Image supplied

Taking the English translation of the Scottish Gaelic phrase, Ceud Mìle Fàilte, the podcast offers listeners the chance to experience an authentic Scotland as told by its people.

From Alison O’Donnell (aka DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh in TV series, Shetland) and wild swimmers in Cairngorms National Park, to foraging in Dumfries and Galloway and street art in Aberdeenshire, the podcast aims to inform educate and entertain listeners, targeting visitors in the US and UK.

It comes as more than 7 million people in the UK  listen to podcasts every week and an estimated 62 million listen to podcasts weekly in the US.

A total of five 25-minute episodes, hosted by Scottish travel writer and blogger, Neil Robertson (Travels with a Kilt), focus on five different themes: adventure and wellness; food and drink; nature, scenery and landscape; culture; and Scotland on screen.

100,000 Welcomes, created in partnership with Bauer Media’s in-house team of digital audio experts, will be hosted on online platforms, iTunes and SoundCloud, from today.

Podcast highlights include:

  • Wild swimmers in bikinis and bobble hats take a splash in Loch Morlich in Cairngorms National Park.
  • Mark Williams, passionate forager, talks about the “best larder in the world”, Dumfries & Galloway.
  • Jak O’Donnell of The Sisters restaurant in Glasgow tells listeners how she reinvented one of her granny’s favourite recipes.
  • Angela Joss of Aberdeen Inspired accompanies Neil to explore the colourful art that covers Aberdeen’s walls thanks to the NuArt Street Art festival.
  • Outlaw King film producer, Gillian Barrie, and Shetland TV series actor, Alison O’Donnell, talk about their filming experiences in Scotland.
Gillian Barrie is an Outlaw King film producer; and Alison O’Donnell plays DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh in TV series, Shetland

The podcast forms part of the activity to celebrate the national tourism organisation’s 50th anniversary, and major tourism milestones over the past five decades.

In July 1969, the Development of Tourism Act was enacted by the UK Government, allowing for the establishment of an official Scottish Tourist Board.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “Scotland has a wealth of stories and it’s the people and their warmth of welcome that sees visitors return time and again to explore our wonderful shores.

“100,000 Welcomes paints an immersive picture for listeners, taking them on an audio journey across Scotland, revealing our dynamic history, culture and character. Having heard the sounds of Scotland, we hope the podcast will inspire listeners to take the next step and give the rest of their senses a memorable experience by exploring the country for themselves.

“Everything we do is about showcasing a destination and visitor experience worth talking about through innovative marketing, partnerships and events to inspire visitors to spend more time and money across the country.”

Neil Robertson, travel blogger and host of 100,000 Welcomes, said: “Podcasts allow you to delve deeper and really capture the personal side of local stories.

“Scotland has such a huge range of sights, sounds and personalities which we sought to capture in these episodes, darting between some of our most beautiful rural spots to what makes our cities really tick.

“It’s the absolute silence of Galloway Forest Park in the dead of night and the renewed cultural vibrancy on display in the Granite City. The constantly inspiring role the outdoors has on our lives and the countless passion-fuelled conversations with locals who share my love of Scotland. They are just some aspects of the project I loved, and I hope make this a truly rewarding experience for the listener.”