Letters to the Editor

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Tourism

Welcoming nation

As 2014 came to a close, I wondered how long it would be until Scotland felt a draught. No, I’m not talking about the whistling of Storm Abigail through your door, I’m talking about the tumbleweed silence that comes after a country hosts a major sporting events and media attention moves on.

At the start of 2015, the outlook was worrying. Global exchange rates moved radically against us, the spring/summer weather was disappointing and many across the tourism industry were fearing the worst.

However, with true Scottish determination our industry worked hard to achieve success. The results speak for themselves with latest figures noting an increase in visits and spend for the first six months of the year, more direct air routes to Scotland than ever before, literally billions of pounds in investment rolling out across the country and success in securing a stellar line up of global events and conferences for the next five years. Most importantly, we proved that when we pull together and work hard in this industry that we all know and love – we can stop that icy draft developing into a cold for Scottish tourism.

For me, it’s the Scottish people that have made the ultimate difference with our warmth, passion and spirit. Scotland is seen across the world as a welcoming nation and visitors come to us knowing that every region plays a part in this. I would like to pay tribute to

everyone in Edinburgh and the Lothians for their role in turning 2015 into a tourism success, from making warm pots of soup (it was the Year of Food and Drink after all!) for cold sightseers to giving directions to organising interesting and exciting events and activities for our visitors.

Next year, we welcome the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design - a world first - and with that a host of new ideas and events within Scottish tourism.

I wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Mike Cantley

Chairman

VisitScotland

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