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Discovering Moray Speyside's Gems

Press Release   •   Nov 29, 2017 12:22 GMT

The group visited the Speyside Cooperage at Craigellachie, as part of their visit to the region

A number of the UK’s most important inbound tour operators visited Gordon Castle Walled Garden, Johnstons of Elgin and the Speyside Cooperage recently as part of a familiarisation (fam) trip to Moray Speyside.

From 26th to 28th November, the Discover Moray Speyside event showcased the region to around 30 inbound tour operators from across the UK. This was the first UKinbound Discover event ever to be held in the region. In addition to a b2b workshop, buyers enjoyed specially-tailored fam trips around the region as well as a number of networking opportunities, including a welcome reception at Johnstons of Elgin and a networking dinner at Elgin’s Mansefield Hotel.

The aim of the event, which was organised by VisitScotland, Moray Speyside Tourism, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and UKinbound, was to raise awareness of Moray Speyside as a destination to be included in tour programmes as well as offer an opportunity for international buyers to experience the region and meet suppliers who are keen to do business as well as driving internationalisation for these local businesses. With Inverness Airport less than 50 minutes’ drive away, the region can be quickly accessed by visitors.

The group stayed at the Mansefield Hotel in Elgin and the fam trips included visits to Boath House, Johnstons of Elgin, a guided walk of ‘Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere’, Gordon Castle and Walled Garden, Ballindalloch Castle and lunch at Delnasheugh, Glen Grant Distillery, Speyside Cooperage, The Craigellachie Hotel and The Station Hotel in Rothes. They also took part in a Discovery Workshop including one-to-one meetings and presentations and enjoyed a networking lunch.

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “These very successful fam trips offered an ideal way to allow international tour operators to experience this fantastic and unique region and to meet with local businesses and suppliers who are keen to do business with them.

“It all helps to raise awareness of Moray Speyside as visitor destination in its own right with a strong and diverse tourism offering worthy of being included in tour operator programmes. This, in turn, creates additional business for the region.

“These businesses in Moray Speyside have really stepped up to the plate to help produce a fascinating and engaging programme for our visitors, showing they can compete with other popular visitor destinations not only in Scotland but across the UK.”

Laurie Piper, Operations Manager at Moray Speyside Tourism, said: "We were absolutely delighted to have secured this event for Moray Speyside. It is the first time ever that UKinbound have held a Discover event here and the opportunity afforded to the region's tourism businesses is significant.

“The value for the region is not only in terms of potential business, but also in the event's ability to raise Moray Speyside's profile as a world-class destination which offers visitors from across the globe a genuine taste of the very best of Scotland with some of the UK's most influential inbound tour operators.

“In common with much of Moray's Speyside Tourism's activities, the Discover Moray Speyside event is the result of strong and positive partnerships we have built with key stakeholders across and beyond the UK. This event really will make a difference to our tourism industry, and there's much more to come in 2018.”

Deirdre Wells, CEO of UKInbound, said: UKinbound represents nearly 400 tourism businesses all across the UK. One of our key objectives is to help showcase fantastic tourism product to our tour operator members so they, in turn, can keep offering fresh and interesting itineraries to our international visitors.

“Scotland has so much to offer, from great food and drink, unique attractions and stunning countryside and this Discover event has been the perfect opportunity for our members to experience this first hand. We look forward to holding more events like this in Scotland in the coming months and years.”

Anna Miller, Head of Tourism at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: Tourism is a vital sector for Moray Speyside and across the whole of the Highlands and Islands. To ensure that we build on the existing strengths of the sector we must continue to create new business connections and access to market opportunities.

“It is key that we showcase some of the region’s wonderful tourism offering and that’s what this familiarisation event is all about. I am very pleased we have been able to support the event and that it has been so well attended.”

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