Scotland’s tourism businesses are to receive expert advice today (28 July) on how to promote their services both at home and overseas.
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing will join invited guests at Scotland House for the International Travel Trade Rendezvous, an event staged by VisitScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau to capitalise on the unique opportunity presented by the Commonwealth Games.
As the competition enters its fifth day, interest in the country remains high. Around a million spectators have travelled to Glasgow for the Games, with a further billion people tuning in from across the world.
The Games has been described as ‘a golden opportunity for Scotland’s tourism’, helping attract more visitors by promoting the country’s services, facilities and people to a global audience.
Last year, 2.4 million international visitors travelled to Scotland, spending a total £1.6 billion. The USA represents the biggest overseas market in terms of visits with 319,000 visitors spending £280m in 2013, followed by Germany and France. With their strong ancestral links, Australia and Canada are a key focus among the Commonwealth markets.
2013 also saw almost 12.1 million trips made by people across Great Britain, generating a total spend of almost £2.8 billion and highlighting the huge potential for catering to the domestic tourism market.
With this in mind, VisitScotland, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, as well as the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), UK Inbound, Scottish Development International (SDI) and VisitBritain will share their expertise and knowledge of working with key travel markets.
It is hoped today’s event will equip Scottish businesses with a better understanding of how to effectively engage with markets across the world, bringing more visitors to Scotland.
Guests will also be treated to a flavour of Scottish culture and a taste of the country’s food and drink, while they network.
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:
“2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world. Recently voted by Lonely Planet the third best country in the world to visit, our Year of Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and the MTV Europe Awards are all putting our country on the international stage.
“With the Commonwealth Games now in full flow, and Scotland playing host to visitors from around the globe, there has never been a better time to make sure Scottish businesses are properly equipped to engage with international markets.
“Whether it’s our world famous festivals and events attracting thousands of visitors or an inn on the eastern shores of Loch Ness being included in Lonely Planet’s Top 50 European Secret Spots, every tourism business, right across Scotland, can become involved.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:
“2014 is a huge year for Scottish tourism. We have thousands of spectators joining us for major events as well as the world’s media beaming images of Scotland directly into people’s living rooms and we must use this opportunity to convert interest into visits.
“VisitScotland already markets Scotland around the world and we are here to share our skills, knowledge and best practice to help others spread the message, leading to more visitors which in turn creates more jobs and boosts the economy.
“It is imperative we make the most of what 2014 has to offer, creating an exceptional legacy that will enhance Scottish tourism for many years to come.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said:
“2014 is the year of Glasgow and we are living up to our reputation as one of the world’s most vibrant, exciting and welcoming cities. The Commonwealth Games has provided an unprecedented platform through which to celebrate Glasgow’s many economic, cultural and sporting strengths, whilst capitalising on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to connect with a global audience and engage with international markets.
The success of these Games will help provide the fuel from which we will continue to grow and build the appetite for visitors, conferences, exhibitions and major events to come to Glasgow.”
For further information contact:
Corporate Press Officer
Tel: 0131 472 2052
Out of hours media enquiries: 07699 766986
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 has three key roles:
- To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
- To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
- To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
- 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.
- 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to www.visitscotland.com
- The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
- 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
- For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_focus/annual_report.aspx