Follow VisitScotland

VisitScotland pedals joy of cycling in Highlands

Press release   •   Sep 26, 2017 11:28 BST

VisitScotland is heading to the most bike-friendly capital city in the world to extol the virtues of cycling in the Highlands, as well as promoting the country as a top-quality, year-round destination.

The national tourism organisation is leading a Business Development Mission (BDM) to Amsterdam tomorrow (Wednesday), where Scottish tourism businesses will get the chance to hold a series of face-fo-face meetings with key Dutch tour operators.

Last year, Scotland welcomed 115,000 visitors from the Netherlands, who generated an additional £62 million for the economy.

Among the ten Scottish partners joining VisitScotland in Amsterdam, which boasts almost 900,000 bicycles and 500 miles of cycle networks, is Ticket to Ride.

Owner Lindsay Mackinnon, who set up the Inverness-based bike hire company in 2007, said: “We already know how much the Dutch love cycling and how much they love Scotland. I hope we can work together with tour operators from the Netherlands to encourage even more Dutch visitors to explore the Highlands by bike.”

With Dutch holidaymakers known for their love of outdoor adventure, Splash White Water Rafting Scotland is also hoping to further strengthen its ties in the Netherlands.

Peter Syme, Managing Director of the company, which operates in Aberfeldy and at Pinkston Watersports in Glasgow, said: “Our Scotland businesses have seen a large increase in European visitors this year, especially from the Netherlands. At the weekend, we had another group of eight to add to the several hundred Dutch guests we have helped introduce to adventure and Scotland. We are looking forward to working with VisitScotland on the development mission to Amsterdam this week to further strengthen our ties with the Dutch marketplace to continually develop this important market for ourselves and Scottish tourism.”

Judy Mariens, Senior Market Manager for Europe at VisitScotland, said: “VisitScotland inspires, supports and encourages Scottish tourism businesses to match their global growth ambitions and this BDM gives our partners an excellent opportunity to expand their market reach in the Netherlands. We are placing a particular emphasis on promoting Scotland as a year-round destination.

“We want our Dutch tour operators to be inspired by suppliers they meet at the event and eventually create new products which will enable them to send even more visitors to Scotland. At the same time, we want to give a chance for Scottish SMEs to internationalise, grow their businesses and gain better knowledge and understanding of the Dutch market.”

The Scottish businesses attending the VisitScotland BDM to Amsterdam are:

  • Cowal Way (“Scotland in 57 Miles”) – Argyll
  • Spirit Journeys – Inverness, Highlands
  • The Lovat Hotel – Loch Ness, Highlands
  • Ticket to Ride – Inverness, Highlands
  • Cala Hotels and Hebridean Hopscotch Holidays – Lewis, Outer Hebrides
  • Traquair House – Innerleithen, Peeblesshire
  • Blair Castle – Pitlochry, Perthshire
  • Castle Collection (Fisher’s Hotel and Atholl Palace Hotel) – Perthshire
  • Splash White Water Rafting – Aberfeldy, Perthshire, and Glasgow
  • Errichel House and Cottages – Aberfeldy, Perthshire
  • There are now a total of seven services that fly direct from Amsterdam into Scotland all-year round: Edinburgh (two), Glasgow (two), Inverness (two) and Aberdeen (one).

    To find out more about Dutch visitors to Scotland, go to

    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
    • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
    • 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)
    • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
    • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
    • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
    • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
    • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
    • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
    • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017