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Press release   •   Apr 12, 2016 12:55 BST

The country’s biggest travel trade show is set to be worth more than £630,000 to the Scottish economy.

VisitScotland expo 2016, which will welcome a large number of international buyers to Edinburgh this month, is expected to see a 40% jump in its economic impact compared to last year’s event.

More than 420 tourism operators from across the globe, including some of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, will be joined by 190 UK buyers at the Royal Highland Centre in just over a week’s time (20-21 April).

Buyers will meet with more than 275 Scottish tourism businesses, showcasing the very best of what Scotland has to offer, including food and drink, accommodation, entertainment, culture, scenery and attractions.

The two-day event is expected to have a direct net economic impact of over £634k on the Scottish economy.

Last year’s expo, held in Aberdeen, saw an estimated £24 million worth of business activity conducted over the course of the event, a figure expected to rise this year due to increase in buyers and exhibitors.

This year will also see more airlines than ever before touch down at expo as Scotland continues to expand its international flight network, which has seen a 78% increase over the last decade.

As the premier trade event for building inbound tourism to Scotland, major airlines including Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Delta Airlines, Air Canada Rouge and Loganair are working with VisitScotland to exhibit and to host their top sales agent at the two day exhibition.

In 2015/16 VisitScotland has been working with more than 20 airlines to support the development of new and expanded air services into Scotland.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“VisitScotland expo is an invaluable opportunity for Scottish businesses to meet face to face with tour operators from across the globe, bringing the opportunity to make new contacts, negotiate new deals and learn new ways of doing business.

“It’s fantastic to see the large numbers of international and UK buyers heading to expo this year. It’s particularly pleasing to see a number of major airlines and other transport providers recognising the event as a great place to do business with Scotland.

“As the country’s biggest travel trade event, this is the chance to see the whole of Scotland under one roof and with just over a week to go, the 37th year of expo is shaping up to be our biggest and best yet.”

John Donnelly, Chief Executive, Marketing Edinburgh said:

“As the host city of VisitScotland Expo 2016, Marketing Edinburgh is proud to be official sponsor of this flagship tourism event. Having recently been voted the fourth most beautiful city in the world by Rough Guide readers and best UK destination outside London in the 2016 Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards, Edinburgh is globally recognised as one of Scotland’s most iconic and appealing destinations.

“Attracting 40% of all overseas visitors, there is a huge opportunity to position Edinburgh as one of the strongest attack brands in driving new visitors to the country. As the gateway to Scotland, raising the city’s international profile brings a wider benefit to the tourism offering in all Scottish regions.”

For more information about VisitScotland expo, visit

For a full list of exhibitors at VisitScotland expo 2016, visit

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

    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting