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Bard means business

Press Release   •   Jan 24, 2017 11:42 GMT

Statue of Robert Burns

The great chieftain o the puddin' race will be used to tempt North of England corporate event planners to bring their business to Scotland at a special Burns Supper held by VisitScotland today (Tuesday, 24 January).

Hosted by VisitScotland Business Events, the traditional Burns Supper at The Midland Hotel in Manchester will give 30 buyers a taste of haggis – and Scotland – and provide a networking opportunity for the national tourism organisation and 10 of Scotland’s finest venues and service providers.

The UK market represents 75% of all inbound business events to Scotland.

The Burns Supper is the first to be held by the national tourism body’s Business Events team in Manchester in five years and comes as Scotland delves into its past in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

High profile intermediaries and corporate event planners will enjoy an evening of Scottish hospitality to celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s Bard, Robert Burns, including the address to the haggis and Selkirk grace – and even the opportunity to try out the bagpipes – while learning about the fantastic opportunities Scotland offers to the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) sector.

The 10 Scottish partners joining VisitScotland are:

  • Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events
  • Macdonald Hotels
  • The Balmoral Edinburgh
  • Glasgow Science Centre
  • The Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness
  • Meetings Perthshire
  • Hopetoun House, West Lothian
  • The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire
  • Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel, Glasgow
  • The Westerwood Hotel and Golf Resort, North Lanarkshire

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017 will celebrate Scotland’s tangible and intangible heritage – everything from our buildings and archaeological sites to our diverse stories, traditions and culture.

Theresa Ring, Market Manager – The Midlands & North England at VisitScotland Business Events, said:

“We’re delighted to return to Manchester to host our Burns Supper networking event at The Midland Hotel. As Scotland marks the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology it is fitting that we celebrate one of our cultural icons, Robert Burns, as we encourage buyers to choose Scotland for their business events.

“Networking events such as these are important tools in highlighting the range of high quality venues Scotland has to offer.”

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

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  • 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.
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  • 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)
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    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