Big year for VisitScotland Expo

A prison museum, whisky tour company, and one of Aberdeenshire’s most historic hotels, are amongst tourism businesses from across Scotland attending VisitScotland Expo for the first-time.

Peterhead Prison Museum, High Spirits Tours and Maryculter House Hotel, Braemar Highland Experience, Granite City Tour Company, Sandman Signature Aberdeen Hotel, and Scotland Unveiled are all making their VisitScotland Expo debut next week during a significant year for the national tourism organisation as 2019 marks its 50th anniversary and the 40th staging of VisitScotland Expo.

VisitAberdeenshire, the Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) for the region, will lead the representation from the area, which also includes Dalriada Luxury Lodges, Skene House Hotel and Golf Aberdeenshire.

The event, which will be held at the SEC (Scottish Event Campus) 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 the Scotland’s Travel Trade Fair in 1980 before being rebranded in 2001.

It 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.

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 a real-life first-hand experience of the types of holidays they will be able to provide to customers. Some attractions buyers are visiting include: Lochnagar Distillery, Aberdeenshire Highland Beef, and the Linn O’Dee.

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland regional director, said: “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 world – all under one roof.

“This brilliant annual event really is a key opportunity to firmly place Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on the travel trade’s radar and it is wonderful to see so many local businesses joining others attending from across Scotland.

“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.”

For more information about VisitScotland Expo, visit

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