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Expo-sing Scotland's tourism offering

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-04-11 20:02

VisitScotland Expo, Scotland's premier business to business travel trade event, returns to Glasgow, 11-12 April.

Now in its 39th year, VisitScotland Expo, Scottish tourism's flagship event, looks set to be another great occasion.

The travel trade show will see the highest number of exhibitors since 1998, with over 300 tourism businesses from across the country showcasing what they have to offer to almost 600 tour operators from all over the world at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow.

Expo gives all Scottish tourism businesses the chance to promote their products and services to tour operators and travel agents across the globe – all under one roof. It's also an invaluable opportunity for making new international contacts and learning new ways of doing business.

The V&A Dundee, opening in September, will be one of the exhibitors coming for the first time. Celebrating Scotland's design heritage, inspiring contemporary talent, and encouraging design innovation for the future, this new attraction will be a huge boost for the country. 2018 also marks the Year of Young People. A global first, it is a platform for young people aged 8 to 26 years old to have their voices heard on social issues and their talents celebrated.

According to Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, almost 80 businesses will be new to Expo this year. "Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth," he said.

Over 30 countries will be represented this year with buyers from the US, Brazil and China among those who are travelling to Scotland to learn more about its tourism offering. Many of these buyers will get to enjoy familiarization trips which are planned each year as part of Expo. Working in partnership with Scottish tourism businesses, these trips allow buyers to experience what the country has to offer and first hand at locations across the country.

China is emerging as an important market for the Scottish tourism sector with Edinburgh being the most popular UK destination after London.

Total spend by Chinese visitors to Scotland has increased by 414% from £7 million to £36 million since 2007. Over the same period, the number of visitors from China has increased by 192%, with 41,000 visits in 2016. They explored majestic castles, Scotch whisky, the world’s most famous golf courses and delicious food.

The number is expected to grow as the first direct air route between Edinburgh and China, run by Hainan Airlines, is scheduled to open in June. The flight will run a twice-weekly service between Edinburgh and Beijing.

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