SCOTTISH tourism businesses experienced in working with the travel trade can get together face-to-face again with more than 200 global tour operators, travel advisors and destination management companies (DMCs) this Spring.
The first ever VisitScotland Connect travel trade workshoptakes placeat P&J Live in Aberdeen on 19 and 20 April and brings representatives of 23 countries to Scotland, including the UK, USA, Canada, Europe, China and Asia Pacific.
It’s the national tourism organisation’s first in-person, industry-wide, travel trade event for four years, exclusively promoting Scotland as a leisure destination.
Nearly 180 trade-ready Scottish businesses and destination management organisations (DMOs) have already registered to attend but extra spaces have been made available and trade-ready businesses can still apply to attend via the VisitScotland Connect online portal.
The event is open to Scottish tourism businesses that are offering a tourism product that can be contracted at trade rates and based in Scotland or have a Scottish office. They will also need to have staff experienced in working with UK and international trade buyers, and have a listing on VisitScotland’s travel trade website.
Engaging with the travel trade has become even more important since the pandemic as visitors seek reassurance and guidance offered by intermediaries like tour operators and travel advisors.
International visitors typically stay longer and spend more than domestic visitors, and more than half of international consumers use a travel intermediary to plan and book.
VisitScotland Connect replaces VisitScotland Expo, the previous annual travel trade exhibition event, and will provide a more targeted opportunity for key buyers and suppliers.
The workshop format is used successfully across the global travel trade industry, to connect buyers and suppliers, and focuses on 1-2-1 meetings, networking and familiarisation trips.
The event focuses on responsible tourism ranging from the venue, which is the most sustainable of its kind in the UK, to the buyers which are aligning with Scotland’s ambition as a responsible destination.
VisitScotland is working with the industry to develop Scotland as one of the most economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable destinations in the world, supporting the ambitions of the national tourism strategy Scotland Outlook 2030, for Scotland to be a world leader in 21st century tourism.
VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead said: “The challenges of the pandemic have given us the opportunity to reconsider the way we deliver events.
We’re committed to making it as easy as possible for businesses to do business in the current economic climate and have designed VisitScotland Connect with direct input from industry.
“VisitScotland Connect gives Scottish tourism businesses the chance to showcase their products and services to tour operators and travel agents from all over the world – all under one roof.”
VisitScotland Connect is a closed event, trade-ready businesses must pre-register in advance via VisitScotland Connect 2023 (eventsair.com) and no registrations will be available on the day.
Businesses looking to grow their business internationally and via the travel trade should speak to their local Industry Relationship Manager