Distilleries and castles are amongst the tourism businesses from across Dumfries and Galloway attending Scotland’s biggest travel trade show VisitScotland Expo as it marks 40th event.
The Crafty Distillery in Newton Stewart – which was recently named Scottish Gin Destination of the Year- is 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.
Stranraer Development Trust, is also making its debut at the event along with returning exhibitors including Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate, Annandale Distillery, Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop and The Devil’s Porridge Museum.
VisitScotland Expo, 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 and for decades it has been creating job opportunities, sustaining communities and ultimately contributing billions to the Scottish economy. VisitScotland will be celebrating this important 50-year milestone throughout the year, sharing the success with their 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 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 will visit include Castle Kennedy Gardens, Station House Cookery School and Mostly Ghostly Tours.
Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Leadership 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.
“There is a prime opportunity for Dumfries and Galloway to be firmly placed on the travel trade’s radar at this brilliant event and it is wonderful to see local businesses joining the many others from across Scotland attending.
“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 www.visitscotlandexpo.com