A tearoom designed by a Scottish cultural icon, whisky tasting tours and wild camping guides are just some of the tourism businesses from the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley area attending VisitScotland Expo for the first time this year.
Mackintosh at the Willow, Once Upon a Whisky and The Mountain Men in East Kilbride are exhibiting for the first time at the country’s flagship travel trade show during a significant year for the national tourism organisation as 2019 marks its 50th anniversary and the 40th staging of VisitScotland Expo.
Other exhibitors from the area include the National Piping Centre; Glasgow Music City Tours; Browns Brasserie and Bar; Red Onion; Tennent’s Visitor Centre and Training Academy; Eat Walk Glasgow; Waxy O’Connor’s; Ibis Glasgow; Novotel Glasgow; Mharsanta; Gill’s Drams/The Piper Whisky Bar; Scottish Classic Tours in South Lanarkshire, Native Places; West of Scotland Chauffeur Hire in Renfrewshire; 4x4 Hire (Scotland); Amaris Hospitality; Heli Air Scotland: Inverclyde Council; John Muir Way; RBH Hospitality Management; Turner Hire Drive; the World Men’s Curling Championships 2020 and the World Pipe Band Championships.
VisitScotland Expo, which will be held at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on April 10 and 11, is also hosting the highest number of exhibitors in its history with over 330 businesses attending as it hits the big 4-0. The show began as Scotland’s Travel Trade Fair in 1980 before being re-branded in 2001.
Showcasing the breadth and quality of Glasgow’s tourism industry to tour operators and buyers from across the city’s key international markets is a priority action within the Glasgow Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023, which is being delivered in partnership by Glasgow Life, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise.
At this year’s event, Glasgow Life will be managing The Glasgow Pavilion; a collective exhibition featuring 10 local businesses from across the city’s tourism and hospitality sectors as well as representatives from Glasgow Life’s city marketing; arts; heritage; museums; music and major events teams.
VisitScotland Expo has grown into Scotland’s premier business to business event giving tour operators and travel agents from across the globe the chance to meet Scottish tourism businesses and learn about their products and services – all under one roof.
Last year saw over 300 companies showcased and more than 570 buyers from around the world flocked to Scotland to attend the flagship event with over 9,500 pre-made appointments taking place.
As always Scotland is playing host to world-class events in 2019 outside of Expo with The Solheim Cup – the biggest event in women’s golf – being held at Gleneagles in Perthshire in September and the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships taking place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow in December.
Tourism is one of Scotland’s most important industries, creating job opportunities, sustaining communities and ultimately contributing billions to the Scottish economy. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Development of Tourism Act 1969 which led to the creation of an official Scottish Tourist Board. VisitScotland will be celebrating this important milestone throughout the year, sharing the success with its industry colleagues and partners.
This year also sees VisitScotland Expo gearing up for the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020. Scotland’s diverse coastal scenery, ranging from dramatic cliffs and sea stacks to gleaming white beaches, offers an unparalleled range of experiences. Scotland’s coasts and waters will be showcased and celebrated, with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors, throughout the whole of next year.
Delegates attending VisitScotland Expo will also participate in familiarisation (fam) trips to the region, to give them first-hand experience of the types of holidays they will be able to provide to customers. Local attractions they will visit includethe Clydeside Distillery, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museumand the Scottish Maritime Museum.
Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: "We’re delighted to once again bring the world’s travel industry to Glasgow, and it’s great to see so many local businesses joining those from across Scotland to do business with international buyers.
"VisitScotland Expo allows businesses – including accommodation providers, visitor attractions and activity providers – to showcase their products and services to hundreds of tour operators and travel agents from all over the worldall under one roof.Tourism is more than a holiday experience it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change. We need to encourage the industry to provide world class service, facilities, events and attractions to keep up with ever-changing consumer demands and ensure visitors continue to have memorable experiences."
Susan Deighan, Director of City Marketing and External Relations at Glasgow Life, added: "VisitScotland Expo is an important platform for Glasgow’s tourism businesses to engage directly with major buyers and tour operators working across the city’s key domestic and international markets. It’s a great opportunity for us to work together with our city and national partners to position Glasgow as a world-class visitor destination and the gateway to Scotland, and to showcase the very best of what we have to offer – from our outstanding culture, heritage, attractions and major events to our thriving food and drink, and accommodation sectors.
"Capitalising on and enhancing the knowledge that global buyers have of the city will help to send a clear message to our international markets that Glasgow is open for business."
For more information about VisitScotland Expo, visit www.visitscotlandexpo.com
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