VisitScotland documentary named best Lifestyle Program at the 60th annual New York Emmy Awards

Alan Cumming and George Oliphant explore Tay Forest Park in

EDINBURGH, Scotland, 2017-May-17 — /Travel PR News/ — A documentary facilitated by VisitScotland and hosted by Alan Cumming has scooped one of the most prestigious prizes in American television.

NBC’s 1st Look: Scotland, which saw the award-winning Scottish actor take host George Oliphant on a whistle-top tour of his home nation, was named best Lifestyle Program (Program/Special) at the recent 60th annual New York Emmy Awards.

1st Look is a popular lifestyle magazine show which broadcasts across America immediately after Saturday Night Live. The episode, which was planned and developed by VisitScotland’s US Global Brand Team, saw Alan and George travel to Scotland for a week-long shoot, which took in Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, Perthshire, Angus, Glasgow and Loch Lomond.

Filmed through Alan’s eyes, the aim of the programme was to inspire US visitors to follow in his footsteps and plan their own visit to Scotland. Working closely with Scottish tourism businesses, VisitScotland created the show’s filming itinerary, which saw the hosts enjoy everything from a traditional ceilidh in Glasgow to a dram by the fireside at Glamis Castle, where Alan recited lines from “The Scottish Play” – Macbeth.

Edinburgh Castle, Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre Alan’s home town of Aberfeldy in Perthshire all feature in the documentary, first broadcast in the United States in February, while Alan and George are also given a tour of the National Portrait Gallery by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Ahead of its broadcast, VisitScotland organised a private screening of the episode for US media in New York, leading to large pieces of media coverage in the likes of Conde Nast Traveler US.

At the awards ceremony at New York’s Marriott Marquis’ Broadway Ballroom, NBC Producer Brian Mait gave VisitScotland a special mention in his acceptance speech, also telling attendees that they “should go visit Scotland”.

Helen Campbell, Head of Global Brand and Marketing Communications at VisitScotland, said: “Winning an Emmy Award is fantastic recognition for a programme that showed the Spirit of Scotland at its very best. We were delighted to work so closely with NBC and with Alan Cumming on this very special production and we hope it inspires more visitors from the United States to come here and discover exactly what Scotland has to offer.”

Alan Cumming said: “Considering I define myself as Scottish before everything else, it seems fitting that after five nominations for acting, I win an Emmy for expressing love and wandering around my homeland!”

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
  • 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)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to

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

SOURCE: VisitScotland


Tom Maxwell

Corporate Press Officer – National
Film Tourism, International Initiatives, Travel Trade, Growth Fund, Accessibility, Expo
0131 472 2409
Out of hours – 0131 472 2324