Expo-sing the wonders of Dumfries & Galloway

A NEW visitor centre in Dumfries, inspired by the legendary story of Peter Pan, is among the tourism businesses in the region set to be promoted to the world at this year’s VisitScotland Expo in April.


The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, which opens its National Centre for Children’s Literature in Dumfries at the birthplace of Peter Pan in 2019, is one of seven businesses and organisations from the region working together to showcase their products and services within a dedicated ‘Dumfries & Galloway’ area of the exhibition.


Alongside Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, the group includes Visit South West Scotland and the Devil’s Porridge, who are all taking part for the first time. They will be joined by the Annandale Distillery, McMillan Hotels, Drumlanrig Castle, the Cairndale Hotel and Gretna Green.


VisitScotland Expo is Scotland’s only business-to-business event for the travel trade that is entirely Scottish. This year’s event – on 11 and 12 April at the SECC in Glasgow – offers the ideal opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their products and services to tour operators from around the world.


The national tourism organisation’s flagship show over 300 Scottish tourism businesses – including accommodation providers, visitor attractions and activity providers – from every corner of the country the chance to showcase their products and services to around 600 tour operators and travel agents from all over the world. This is the highest number of exhibitors since 1998 – 76 of these are exhibiting for the first time.


Some delegates attending the event – including a group of 15 from China, a ‘Cultural & Heritage’ tour, one focussing on Year of Young People and another ‘Food and Drink’ tour – 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.


Locations on fam trip itineraries include: Crafty Gin Distillery, Newton Stewart; Laggan Outdoors, Gatehouse of Fleet; Threave Gardens, Castle Douglas; Gretna Hall Hotel, Gretna; Castle of St John, Stranraer and Caste Kennedy, Stranraer.

Sue Hughes, Centre Manager at Moat Brae said “We are looking forward to being part of this year’s Expo which we see as a vital event in establishing Moat Brae as a National and International visitor attraction.  The legendary story of Peter Pan is known and loved across the world and Expo provides a great opportunity for us to reach out to a critical mass of tour operators in one go. 
“Moat Brae will be a unique new attraction and we are sure they will want to include visits here on their itineraries and future plans. Tour operators often plan a number of years ahead and this is an important part of our sustainability strategy to establish our brand, increase awareness and attract future visitors to the region”.
Lynda McDairmant of Visit South West Scotland said: “VisitScotland Expo is for many tourism business a must go event in their calendar of marketing activity. It’s their chance to showcase to the world of the travel trade professional. This will be my 21st VisitScotland Expo and I am delighted to be going along this year, with a new hat, supporting the whole of the region representing Visit South West Scotland. A first for them, it’s a great opportunity to showcase this corner of Scotland for its beauty and all that we offer, including the South West Scotland Coastal 300 touring route which is a key part of our promotion this year.”
Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “VisitScotland Expo is one of the most important dates in Scotland’s tourism calendar. It allows us to showcase this must-visit region to UK and international buyers.
“I am delighted that businesses and groups such as Visit South West Scotland, Moat Brae and the Devil’s Porridge Museum are taking the opportunity to capitalise on this important event for the first time. By working together, it reinforces to the tourism industry in the rest of Scotland that Dumfries & Galloway is a destination of choice for quality, value and memorable experiences delivered by skilled and passionate hosts.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides an international shop window for Scotland. Last year we proved that Scotland was the perfect stage for sporting, cultural and business events and, at Expo 2018, VisitScotland will continue to deliver economic success by showcasing Scotland to the world.” 


For more information about VisitScotland Expo, visit www.visitscotlandexpo.com

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