Follow VisitScotland

VisitScotland wheelie ready for Expo

Press release   •   Apr 10, 2018 08:06 BST

Scottish BMX champions joined forces with VisitScotland Modern Apprentices, to help launch VisitScotland's Expo 2018 during the Year of Young People and ahead of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. Credit: Ian Watson

VisitScotland is gearing up for this year’s Expo with help from some of Scotland’s rising BMX stars.

The national tourism organisation is exporting Scotland to the world with the flagship event which will see around 600 tour operators and travel agents from over 30 countries – including the USA, Japan, Brazil, Russia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Germany – meeting over 300 Scottish tourism businesses.

VisitScotland Expo is also celebrating the Year of Young People this year with the premiere business to business event being held in Glasgow ahead of the European Championships taking over the city and venues across Scotland later this year.Youngsters Harrison Bell, 10 and Elijah Shearer, 11, and Molly Shearer, 16, joined forces with Modern Apprentices from the organisation to launch the country’s biggest travel trade show.

VisitScotland Expo – which kicks off tomorrow [WED 11 APR] at the SEC - will welcome hundreds of exhibitors, including accommodation providers, visitor attractions and activity providers, from every corner of the country, showcasing their products and services to buyers from the UK and across the globe. Enthusiasm amongst businesses is high with the event hosting the largest number of exhibitors in 20 years - up from 276 last year and welcoming around 80 new businesses.

The show is marking YOYP2018 by putting the power in young people’s hands with Modern Apprentices and Graduates from VisitScotland judging the shortlist for VisitScotland Expo’s Stand Awards which will then be handed out to exhibitors with the best stands over the two-day travel extravaganza.

A global first, Year of Young People 2018 is a platform for young people aged eight to 26 years old to have their voices heard on social issues, their talents showcased and their contribution to communities celebrated.

Glasgow 2018, which includes BMX racing as part of its cycling events as well as Aquatics, Golf, Gymnastics, Rowing and Triathlon, expects attendances at venues of around 250,000 this August - bringing a welcome boost to the local economy. Riders Harrison, Elijah and Molly, from Western Titans BMX club in Clydebank, Glasgow, who will train at the new £3.7 million Olympic standard BMX facility at Knightswood following the Championships, are already scoring top titles at a young age and the trio dream of qualifying for the European Championships in the future.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “It’s wonderful to see young people at the forefront of Expo and the Glasgow 2018 celebrations.

“Glasgow is the perfect setting this year for VisitScotland Expo, as the city alone acts as a gateway to the rest of the country and I am sure many of the buyers here will be impressed to see Scotland punching above its weight on the world stage when it comes to tourism and events.

“We need to leverage this reputation to bring new investments, new events, new airlines and new visitors and Expo gives all Scottish tourism businesses the chance to promote their products and services to tour operators and travel agents across the globe – all under one roof.

“Glasgow 2018 promises to be an incredible event, perfectly placed to show off what Scotland has to offer in terms of sports, events and tourism.”

Glasgow 2018 Championships Director Colin Hartley said: “Glasgow is set to make sporting history later this year when we stage the first ever combined European Championships, using our proven excellence, expertise and warm welcome to create a must-attend and memorable experience for tens of thousands of visitors, athletes, media, spectators, officials and residents.

“We are set to deliver a world class event of which Scotland will be proud, further strengthening Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for major events.”

This year’s VisitScotland Expo will be the 39th staging of the event which began as the Scottish Travel Fair in 1980 before being rebranded in 2002.

The 2018 event welcomes some of the world’s biggest tour operators, including online, niche, accessible, active and adventure providers. VisitScotland Expo helps businesses achieve international growth and has a net economic impact of £2.5 million on the local economy.

For more details about VisitScotland Expo 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 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, 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 tourism in Scotland go to

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • 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:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality 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.
  • oEnterprise 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
  • oCulture – 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 or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.