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Expo excels

Press release   •   Apr 16, 2019 11:03 BST

VisitScotland Expo 2019

VisitScotland Expo has hailed this year’s event as one of the biggest in its 40-year history and announced it is heading north in 2020 to the most sustainable event venue in the UK.

Scotland’s biggest travel trade show will be held at The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) next year following a stand-out 2019 event.

Held at Glasgow’s SEC on 10 and 11 April, the national tourism organisation’s annual tourism showcase saw 340 businesses exhibiting – the highest number ever including over 100 first-time exhibitors - to more than 550 tour operators, travel agents, wholesalers and airline vacation brands from 28 countries around the world.

VisitScotland facilitated a record 10,000 appointments between exhibitors and buyers and worked with airline partners, Delta, Hainan, Finnair and Jet2 to provide flights for international buyers from key markets.

In 2017/18 Scottish tourism businesses promoting their products and services experienced additional sales of £14.3million as a direct result of attending VisitiScotland Expo.

To give global tour operators the opportunity to experience what Scotland has to offer at first hand, VisitScotland organised familiarisation (fam) trips – from Dumfries and Galloway up to Orkney – before, during and after VisitScotland Expo. The show also saw the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 announce the first round of supported events and marked the 50th anniversary of VisitScotland.

Next year sees the event move to the £333 million TECA which opens later this year. The new venue will replace the Aberdeen Exhibition Conference and Centre (AECC) with 48,000 square metres of multi-purpose event space, and will boast world-class conference and exhibition halls, an arena, spacious hospitality boxes and a high-end restaurant.

Nick Waight, Managing Director at TECA, said: “Both TECA and the Convention & Events Bureau teams are thrilled to secure such a prestigious event. I have no doubt that the venue will be highly complementary to the VisitScotland Expo as they both showcase the best in Scottish innovation and visitor experience.

“TECA will be the most sustainable event venue in the UK upon opening, which is a fitting tribute to Scotland’s dedication and commitment to sustainable development throughout the country.”

Chris Foy, CEO of VisitAberdeenshire, said: “We look forward to welcoming travel trade buyers from across the world to Aberdeen - and to our brand-new events complex TECA - in 2020. As demand to visit Scotland grows, the international travel trade will see first-hand that the North-east is a high-quality destination with great capacity for profitable growth within their programmes.

“The team at TECA alongside our Convention & Events Bureau put together an exceptional bid for this flagship event. Any major business event win for TECA among the region’s key sectors is a cause for celebration, but to secure Scotland’s premier event in our own tourism sector is especially pleasing”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Without doubt, VisitScotland Expo 2019 was one of the best since the event began life as Scotland’s Travel Trade Fair back in 1980.

“The event had a great vibe and it was a unique opportunity for tourism businesses to meet face-to-face with hundreds of tour operators from all over the world – all under one roof.

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making this year’s event such a success and I look forward to welcoming buyers and exhibitors to the brand new TECA at VisitScotland Expo 2020.”

For more information, go to www.visitscotlandexpo.com

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 five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • 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
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • 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 www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com

Scotland’s Themed Years

  • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
  • 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
  • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
  • A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
  • Join the conversation using #YCW2020
  • 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.