Tourism businesses join biggest expo yet

Pictured at this year's expo in Glasgow are Simon Beattie (left) and Ian Gardner from Rosslyn Chapel with Lord Thurso, VisitScotland chairman.
Pictured at this year's expo in Glasgow are Simon Beattie (left) and Ian Gardner from Rosslyn Chapel with Lord Thurso, VisitScotland chairman.

Rosslyn Chapel was one of the attractions represented at this year’s VisitScotland Expo, which has been hailed as one of the biggest in its 40-year history.

Businesses from across the region joined more than 300 others at the event, held at Glasgow’s SEC on April 10 and 11.

The national tourism organisation’s annual tourism showcase attracted the highest number of exhibitors ever, including more than 100 attending for the first time.

Staff from the medieval chapel, renowned worldwide for its architecture and intricately carved stonework, had access through the expo to more than 550 tour operators, travel agents, wholesalers and airline vacation brands from 28 countries around the world.

VisitScotland facilitated a record 10,000 appointments between exhibitors and buyers and worked with airline partners, Delta, Hainan, Finnair and Jet2 to provide flights for international buyers from key markets.

In 2017/18 Scottish tourism businesses promoting their products and services experienced additional sales of £14.3 million as a direct result of attending VisitiScotland Expo.

To give global tour operators the opportunity to experience what Scotland has to offer at first hand, VisitScotland organised familiarisation trips – from Dumfries and Galloway up to Orkney.

The show also saw the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 announce the first round of supported events and marked the 50th anniversary of VisitScotland.

Next year will see the event move to The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) which will open later this year. The new venue will feature 48,000 square metres of multi-purpose event space and world-class conference and exhibition halls.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland chief executive, said: “Without doubt, VisitScotland Expo 2019 was one of the best since the event began life as Scotland’s Travel Trade Fair back in 1980.

“The event had a great vibe and it was a unique opportunity for tourism businesses to meet face-to-face with hundreds of tour operators from all over the world – all under one roof.”