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Mission to strengthen European visitor markets for Scottish tourism

Press Release   •   Oct 18, 2018 11:57 BST

Scott's View, overlooking the valley of the River Tweed and the Eildon Hills, in the Scottish Borders

Scottish tourism businesses will seek to strengthen Scotland’s position in European visitor markets at the national tourism organisation’s  first ever pan-European travel trade mission.

The Scotland workshop, organised by VisitScotland, will bring together 40 Scottish suppliers and up to 40 representatives of key travel organisations from different European markets.

Taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from 23 – 24 October, it will incorporate market awareness sessions, networking opportunities and one-to-one appointments between Scottish suppliers and European travel trade representatives – in a bid to build relationships and strengthen Scotland’s tourism development in the European market.

Europe remains an important international market for Scotland, and accounts for 1.9 million visits to Scotland, a 17% increase from 2016, with spending rising by 36% to 1.1 billion in 2017.

The workshop will allow Scottish businesses to travel in-market to gain greater visibility for their companies and expand their market reach.

They are given an opportunity of receiving first-hand feedback from the European travel trade which will help shape their offers to better match European visitor expectations and develop sought-after tourism products in Scotland.

A range of tour operators, accommodation and transport providers, attractions, activities and destination marketing organisations from across Scotland will join VisitScotland in delivering the workshop in market.

Representatives from key European travel trade organisations from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark will comprise of group operators as well as independent travel specialists.

In order to support inbound tourism even further, VisitScotland is also collaborating with easyJet to highlight the British low-cost carrier airline’s network of direct as well as indirect access routes from Europe into Scotland.

Most recent figures from the International Passenger Survey rank Germany and the Netherlands as the biggest inbound markets to Scotland in terms of spend, followed by Italy, Switzerland and France. Germany tops the most visits to Scotland, followed by France, Italy and Netherlands.

Riddell Graham, VisitScotland Director of Industry and Destination Development, said: “Our first pan-European travel trade mission will give Scottish suppliers an ideal opportunity to engage one-to-one with Scotland’s key European markets all at the same time. With Europe accounting for 1.9 million trips to Scotland, and many of them repeat visitors from countries such as France, Germany and the Netherlands, it is an incredibly important international market for Scottish tourism.

“Everything we do is about creating a passion for Scotland – building an army of advocates through innovative marketing, partnership, events and business excellence to create a destination and customer experience worth talking about. Innovative new approaches such as this workshop will help to strengthen our tourism development in Europe.”

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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
  • 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

2018 Year of Young People

  • 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:
  • Participation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • Education – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • Health and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • Equality 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.
  • Enterprise 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
  • Culture – 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 www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.