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Scotland gets ‘India Ready’

Press Release   •   Feb 24, 2016 13:03 GMT

Scottish tourism businesses will learn how to position Scotland as an ‘India Ready’ destination through a series of industry-led activities by the national tourism organisation.

VisitScotland representatives will meet with key tour operators, leading tourism industry figures and strategic partners at a roundtable event in Mumbai this week.

The forum has been organised by the tourism body and forms part of a five-day India Business Development Mission in partnership with Etihad Airways, taking in Mumbai, Chandigarh and Delhi.

VisitScotland is joined in India by seven industry partners for a series of trade and networking events across the country.

An India market seminar is also planned for VisitScotland Expo, Scotland's premier business to business travel trade event, held on 20 and 21 April in Edinburgh.

All events are set to explore and promote the potential and importance of this key emerging market to Scottish tourism businesses in a bid to get them ‘India Ready’.

Scotland’s appeal within India lies in its dramatic landscapes and natural beauty, its cities, whisky and golf. Film tourism is another key driver, with around 24 Bollywood movies having been filmed in Scotland and whose locations are featured a special online map, Bollywood Scotland, produced by VisitScotland last year.

India is the 14th largest international market for expenditure in Scotland and the ninth for number of nights, according to the latest international passenger figures.

In 2014, Indian visitors spent 474,000 nights in Scotland while over the past three years a third of all trips by visitors were for the purpose of a holiday and each spent an average of 19.1 nights per trip. Edinburgh is the third most visited city in the UK for Indian visitors, with Glasgow and Inverness also top destinations.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“Scotland’s tourism offer is unrivalled. Visitors come here to enjoy our amazing natural scenery, our history and culture, and the multitude of tourism attractions and quality experiences, and to spend in our hotels, shops and restaurants. Home to a host of world class events, including the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, Scotland has something to offer everyone across the generations.

“Scotland has already been the backdrop to a number of successful Bollywood films over the years, and we would welcome the opportunity for more Indian tourists to visit the tremendous locations used. However, we must never become complacent and trade and networking events such as this to develop emerging markets should pay dividends in the future.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

"Our beautiful landscapes, bustling cities, iconic whisky and world-beating golf courses are a potent mix for the Indian market. As the world’s 23rd most valuable source market for international tourism, with 13.6 million outbound visits, there is enormous tourism potential for India and Scotland must ensure it is ready to capitalise.

"We are working with a number of partners to promote Scotland's awe-inspiring landscapes and unique cultural heritage in India and these events will help get tourism businesses ‘India Ready’ so they can be better informed to explore this emerging market.”

To download the Bollywood Scotland map go to

VisitScotland launched its first ever global campaign and social movement – the Spirit of Scotland on 10 February 2016. The campaign is built on extensive research which shows that people think Scotland has a unique spirit – whether it’s the magic of the landscapes or the warmth of the people. Everyone who has shared their #ScotSpirit will become part of a special social movement. To find our more, visit

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Picture caption: The Indian travel trade learn to play the bagpipes during a trade workshop in Mumbai, part of the annual VisitScotland Business Development Mission to India.

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.
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  • 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)
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    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).
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  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
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