Scotland’s biggest travel trade show marks 40th event

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Tourism businesses from Arran will be showcased to the world at VisitScotland Expo later this month

VisitArran, Auchrannie Resort and island based The Gin School Scotland are taking part in 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. Ayrshire wide organisations, including Ayrshire and Arran Tourism and Ayrshire Golf Scotland, are also attending.

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.

Tourism is one of Scotland’s most important industries, creating job opportunities, sustaining communities and ultimately contributing billions to the Scottish economy. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Development of Tourism Act 1969 which led to the creation of an official Scottish Tourist Board. VisitScotland will be celebrating this important milestone throughout the year, sharing the success with its 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.

Gordon Smith, VisitScotland regional 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.

‘With some exciting projects on the horizon, Ayrshire and Arran has a prime opportunity to be firmly placed on the travel trade’s radar at this brilliant event and it is wonderful to see so many local businesses joining the many others from across Scotland attending.’