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Fair boost for Year of Young People

Press Release   •   Jan 17, 2018 14:04 GMT

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival in Inverness will celebrate the Year of Young People.

With new research finding that more millennials visit Scotland from Spain than anywhere else in Europe, the 2018 Year of Young People could help boost the Spanish visitor market, says VisitScotland.

Scotland’s national tourism organisation will launch the themed year at Spain’s largest international trade fair which begins in Madrid today (17 January).

FITUR is a global meeting point for tourism professionals and considered the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound Ibero American markets. Last year it was attended by a record-breaking 245,000 travel trade professionals and consumers – a rise of 6% on 2016 figures.

VisitScotland will be joined by Viajar por Escosia, Cashel Travel, Interopa, Atlas Travel Solutions and Highland Experience Tours on their stand at the five-day event (17-21 January).

The team will meet key travel trade partners from the Spanish and South American markets to seek to develop new regional and seasonal products for 2018/19.

It comes as a research paper, published by VisitScotland’s Insight Department, found that Spanish visitors surveyed in the International Passenger Survey tended to be younger “with a larger proportion of visitors being under the age of 34 years old”, when compared with other European countries.

The paper notes that Spanish visitors stay on average longer in Scotland – 7.8 nights per visit compared with 7.3 nights for the UK overall – and spend more (£449 per visit), contributing £40 million to the national economy in 2016. They are also more likely than average to visit a cathedral, church or abbey and historical buildings as well as a county park or garden.

The Year of Young People aims to inspire visitors to Scotland through a year-long programme of events and activities co-designed by Scotland’s young people and the events and festivals sector.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“The future of Scottish tourism lies beyond our shores. From Beijing to Banchory, we are inspiring, supporting and encouraging businesses to match their global growth ambitions, and FITUR provides a fantastic platform to promote Scotland to important international travel trade professionals.

“The Year of Young People has a rich programme of events to inspire our international visitors and, with research revealing Spanish millennials showing a particular interest in Scotland, it is the perfect time to engage with the Spanish market.”

The Insight Department: Spanish Visitors to Scotland paper can be viewed here:

For more on FITUR go to


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 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
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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.