New North East marketing campaign for Scotland

VisitScotland and CrossCountry trains have launched an online, press and radio campaign aiming to get people living in England's North East to head to Scotland this winter.

It began in November and will continue until the end of next month.

VisitScotland says it is encouraging people living in this part of England to go to the Scottish cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh on "a winter wonderland short break" using a CrossCountry train. It comes in the wake of a busy year for major events north of the border.

The tourism organisation says that close to one million visitors head to Scotland from England's North East annually, where they spend some £206 million.

In a competition linked to the new campaign, a winner is set to get a two night stay in Glasgow or Edinburgh with a friend.

They will be greeted by people in hospitality jobs at either Blythswood Square Hotel and Spa (if they pick the Glasgow option) or The Bonham Hotel (in Edinburgh), as well as getting much more besides.

"As train journeys are so short from the North East of England to Edinburgh and Glasgow, people are just a couple of hours from a special Scottish winter wonderland," commented VisitScotland chief executive, Malcolm Roughead.

“With the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup, countless Homecoming events and the recent MTV Europe Music Awards, 2014 has been a year like no other for Scotland. But with so much going on across the country this winter, the tourist season is far but over."

VisitScotland says that figures from last year show that the Great Britain market makes up 82 per cent of tourism visits to Scotland, given that close to 15 million overnight tourism visits took place in Scotland during 2013, and 12.12 million of these were made by people representing the British market.

Both Glasgow and Edinburgh have seasonal festive activities underway at the moment.