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VisitScotland is linking Ayrshire and Arran tourism businesses with global tour operators and travel agents through a new virtual event entitled Scotland Reconnect 2020.
The first of its kind to be delivered by the national tourism organisation, Scotland Reconnect 2020 takes place from November 23 to 25 and offers international travel agents and tour operators, or ‘buyers’, the opportunity to connect and do business with Scottish suppliers online.
Events, including VisitScotland’s annual Expo travel trade showcase and programmes of business development missions, have long been critical platforms for facilitating these connections, but rendered impossible by Covid restrictions this year, new digital platforms like Reconnect have been developed and will see 200 buyers undertake virtual meetings with around 200 Scottish tourism businesses.
Arran will be represented by VisitArran and will be joined by the multi-route promotion The Coig as well as mainland Ayrshire businesses The Marine Hotel in Troon, Strike Golf Tours, Trump Turnberry, Simpsinns and Primal Adventures.
Buyers from the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Scandinavia, Australia and Brazil are attending Scotland Reconnect 2020, as well as London-based inbound operators representing the Japanese and Chinese markets.
In addition to facilitating 4,000 business meetings, there will also be live webinars, round table discussions and breakout sessions, an online presentation hub and virtual experiences demonstrating what Scotland can offer buyers’ clients, including trad music sessions with Gary Innes from top trad band Manran, whisky tasting experiences with Glengoyne Distillery and The Whisky Experience and storytelling with Mercat Tours.
Gordon Smith, VisitScotland regional director, said: ‘This year has been extremely challenging for tourism businesses throughout Ayrshire and Arran and across Scotland.
‘Ayrshire and Arran have always been a popular destination for visitors and Covid-19 will not change that. Demand is building and the region remains a priority for our key markets.
‘I am delighted Scotland Reconnect 2020 has been created using our new online platform to ensure businesses can continue to engage and convert that continuing interest into visits. We look forward to reconnecting international buyers with our amazing Ayrshire and Arran tourism businesses, to demonstrate the strong tourism product this region has to offer, to secure business for the future and to ensure the recovery of our international markets in 2021 and beyond.’