At least 20 tourism and events businesses from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will connect with tour operators and travel agents from around the world at a brand-new travel trade event this month.
Discover Scotland 2022 will for the first time this year combine an online business-to-business event known as Discover Scotland: Reconnect 2022, taking place on April 5-7, with five regional showcases, known as Discover Scotland: Live Showcase to then be held in May and September 2022, promoting trade-ready Scottish tourism businesses to key buyers from 21 international markets.
Exhibitors from the region include Aberdeen Archives, Gallery and Museums; the Gordon Highlanders Museum; the Aberdeen Altens Hotel; Candacraig; Braemar Highland Games Visitor Centre; Peterhead Prison Museum; Deetour – the Northern Highlights Pass; Aberdeenshire Highland Cattle; VisitAberdeenshire and Grampian Escapes and Tours Limited.
It is the only travel trade series that exclusively promotes Scotland as a visitor destination and enables Scottish businesses to connect with key buyers from around the globe to help attract visitors, from near and far, to Scotland and help rebuild Scotland’s valuable tourism industry.
A total of 336 tourism and events operators from across Scotland are due to attend the virtual event in April, to connect with 320 international delegates through one to one meetings, panel sessions and virtual networking.
65 businesses from Scotland have not previously attended a VisitScotland trade event.
Among the countries and territories represented are Scotland’s key markets; UK, Canada, USA, Germany, France, Spain and Italy; other short haul markets in Europe; Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium; as well as emerging markets Republic of Korea, China, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, South Africa, Israel, Australia, Brazil and Mexico.
VisitScotland is committed to working with the industry to create a long-lasting sustainable tourism destination, supporting the ambition of Outlook 2030, for Scotland to be recognised globally as a leader in responsible tourism, which will protect the natural and cultural environment and benefit visitors and residents alike.
Discover Scotland 2022 will support this aspiration by showcasing responsible tourism products to key international buyers.
VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Caroline Warburton said: “The last two years have been extremely challenging for tourism businesses not just in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire but across the globe.
“It is encouraging to see so many tourism businesses from the region signed up to Discover Scotland 2022, and I am especially pleased to see so many new businesses signing up to this event.
“Discover Scotland 2022 is part of VisitScotland’s activity to rebuild international tourism demand and support the country’s ambitions to be a leading destination for responsible tourism.
“The Scottish tourism industry has shown strength, resilience and innovation as it strives to navigate an unprecedented and ever-changing situation and we are looking forward to connecting with colleagues new and old.
“VisitScotland supports the tourism industry in its aspirations to internationalise and to attract business and revenues back from international markets in 2022 and beyond.”
Director of Grampian Escapes and Tours Jacqueline van der Akker said: “We decided to join Discover Scotland 2022, as a way to promote the north-east of Scotland and the tours and services that Grampian Escapes and Tours offer.
“The opportunity to join this business event with VisitScotland means we can meet with an international audience of buyers we cannot easily access.
“It is a chance to find out what buyers and visitors to Scotland are looking for and to showcase Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire through our experiences.
“Although this is our first time at Discover Scotland, we are enthusiastic and confident that new connections will lead to more visitors and tours in the future.”