The Highland Folk Museum, Achnagairn Castle and Tour Skye Ltd are among 37 of the region’s top tourism businesses who are heading to Scotland’s biggest travel trade event in Glasgow next week.
VisitScotland Expo, which takes place at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) on 26 and 27 April, will be the 38th staging of Scotland’s biggest business-to-business event for the travel trade.
The national tourism organisation’s flagship show will give 276 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 more than 600 tour operators and travel agents from all over the world.
The event is expected to create a net economic impact of £2.5 million for the local economy while, thanks to one-to-one appointments facilitated by VisitScotland, exhibitors are expected to generate an average of £22,000 worth of gross turnover as a result of attending.
These Highland businesses will be promoting their tourism offering alongside other related businesses from the region, including Venture North in Wick, the Balmacara Hotel in Kyle, Muckrach Country House Hotel near Grantown on Spey and Slow Adventure at Fort William – all of whom are exhibiting at Expo for the first time.
A number of Expo-related familiarisation (fam) trips will also visit the Highlands, including a Set in Scotland trip for 12 delegates, during which they will explore Scottish locations that have inspired films and shows which have become famous throughout the world.
This will include a trip on the Nevis Range gondola and lunch at the Snowgoose restaurant and bar, before visiting the Glencoe Visitor Centre. Here, delegates can learn how the Glen was formed and uncover its place in Scotland’s turbulent history. Glen Coe was home to Hagrid’s hut in the early Harry Potter films and Daniel Craig’s James Bond hid out here in the 2012 movie Skyfall.
Another fam trip for 16 pan-market delegates will take them on a Heritage & Culture of the Northern Coast experience, taking in the Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore, dinner and an overnight stay at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort and a trip to Cawdor Castle. A group of 11 Indian buyers is also visiting Culloden and taking a Jacobite Cruise to Urquhart Castle; and a group of seven Brazilian buyers will be visiting Urquhart Castle with Jacobite and also taking the Jacobite Express trip over Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: “I am delighted that these tour operators and travel agents will get the chance to experience the very best attractions in our region on these fam trips.
“It is very encouraging to see so many businesses from the Highlands joining the many others from across Scotland that will be attending VisitScotland Expo to showcase what this fantastic region has to offer.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides a shop window for business activity.
“VisitScotland Expo provides local businesses with a fantastic opportunity to engage with tour operators and suppliers from all over the UK and overseas. It is crucial we work together to grow tourism and I am delighted to see such commitment from related businesses in the Highlands.”
For more information about Expo, visit www.visitscotlandexpo.com
Exhibitors from the Highlands:
Achnagairn Estate Nr Inverness
Armadale Castle & Gardens Skye
Balmacara Hotel Kyle
Cairngorms National Park Highlands
Caledonian Discovery Limited Corpach
Caledonian Sleeper Inverness
Carrbridge Hotel Carrbridge
Castle & Gardens of May/Dunrobin Castle Caithness & Sutherland
Cawdor Castle Inverness
Cawdor Cottages Inverness
Cruise Loch Ness Ltd Loch Ness
Diageo Muir of Ord
Dolphin Spirit Inverness
Dunvegan Castle & Gardens Skye
Highland Folk Museum Newtonmore
Highland Military Tattoo Inverness
Hotel Eilean Larmain Skye
In Your Element Inverness
Inverness Airport Inverness
Inverness Castle Viewpoint Inverness
Inverness Hotels Association Inverness
John O’Groats Ferries to Orkney Caithness
Landmark Press Carrbridge
Loch Ness by Jacobite Loch Ness
Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition Loch Ness
Loch Ness Marathon Loch Ness
Muckrach Country House Hotel Grantown on Spey
Nevis Range Fort William
Royal Highland Hotel Inverness
Scottish Natural Heritage Inverness
Slow Adventure Fort William
Sonas Hospitality Ltd Skye
The Lovat Loch Ness Loch Ness
Tour Skye Ltd Skye
Venture North Wick
Visit Inverness Loch Ness Inverness/Loch Ness
Wilderness Scotland Aviemore