With the wail of bagpipes and kilts everywhere, the 26th annual
VisitScotland Expo opened its doors April 26 and 27 in Glasgow to
some 1,000 trade buyers from across the globe. Inside the
architecturally striking Scottish Exhibition Center, Scotland
strutted its tourism stuff with more than 200 booths showcasing
products and services to potential buyers from around the
Speaking to the country’s ambition to achieve 50 percent growth
in tourism revenues by 2015, VisitScotland chairman Peter Lederer
said, “Visitors love Scotland’s traditional image. Today, however,
we are spreading the word that Scotland is also a happening place,
a modern place with excellent tourism content attractive to younger
Buyers wandering the aisles found a mix of products and services
fitting neatly within VisitScotland’s slogans for 2006 and beyond:
“Live It. Visit Scotland” and “Welcome to Our Life.”
Among them, adventure tourism emerged as an important trend,
with Wilderness Scotland (www.wildernessscotland.com) showcasing
hiking, sailing, sea kayaking, canoeing, and mountain-biking treks
through the country’s most remote and beautiful areas.
The company’s brochure includes family and tailor-made trips.
Creating the most buzz is mountain biking which builds on the
International Mountain Biking Association giving an “A” grade to
Scotland as “the hottest place on the planet” for the sport.
Culinary tourism (www.eatscotland.com) is cooking up a storm in
the land of haggis and oatmeal. Gastronomically inclined clients
can follow culinary-themed itineraries, attend food-themed
festivals and fairs, improve their cooking technique at culinary
schools inspired by Scotland’s natural larder and choose their
eating and drinking from establishments displaying the Scottish
Thistle Flavour of Scotland award.
Horses run daily at five venues strategically located around the
country. To assist you in organizing clients’ trips, Scottish
Racing (www.scottishracing.co.uk) offers suggested itineraries that
include transport, accommodations and visits to castles, breweries
and whisky distilleries, along with days at the races.
Come December, ancestral search will receive an additional
impetus with the opening of Edinburgh’s Family History Centre
(www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk) a one-stop shop for genealogy
Meanwhile, Scottish Ancestral Trail (www.scottish
ancestral-trail.co.uk), a family-owned company, offers exclusive
packages based on your client’s Scottish ancestry with
individualized itineraries, site-appropriate accommodations and
chauffeured, driver/guide transport.
Golf, with more than 540 courses, continues to entice a record
number of players to the birthplace of the game.
The official guide, “Golf in Scotland,” is available free
through www.golf.visitscotland.com. The Web site offers information
needed to put together a perfect holiday for your golfing clients
including course descriptions, availability of golf passes,
itinerary and accommodation ideas, suggested special golf breaks
and packages, information on upcoming golf tournaments and a
listing of golf tour operators.
Finally, for your most discriminating clients, there’s no need
to look farther than Connoisseurs Scotland,
Seventeen of the country’s finest accommodations make up
Connoisseur’s core, coupled with suggestions for the very best to
do and see along with suggested itineraries designed to inspire
your clients to come and explore Scotland.
Scottish Tourism Board