RIDE THE WAVE: Surfing at West Merkel, Caithness

Raising spirits

The Spirit of Scotland campaign is helping to boost overseas visitor numbers. Next year, VisitScotland will take it to the next level, reports Samantha Mayling

young people during 2018. The national tourism agency said its Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology during 2017 has helped stimulate interest in Scotland’s past – and now it’s looking to the future with the 2018 Year of Young People, and more activity surrounding its #ScotSpirit campaign. Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland


chief executive, said: “It’s been another remarkable year for Scottish tourism. “Latest statistics – for the

12 months from April 16, 2016 to March 17, 2017 – showed a 3% increase in trips and a 9% increase in spend among our international visitors, showing that our country continues to punch above its weight in a hugely competitive global market and is seen around the world as a ‘must-visit’ destination. “Our Spirit of Scotland campaign has continued to capture the

14 TravelGBI | October 2017

fter a year of looking at its history, VisitScotland is turning its spotlight on

Our country punches above its weight in a hugely competitive global market

imagination of visitors from around the world. “Next year, we will be building on its enormous success by taking it to the next level. Watch this space for more details.”

� YOUNG TALENTS He said the Year of Young People will shine the spotlight on the “amazing young personalities, talents, and achievers that make up Scotland” and will feature special events, festivals and activities across the country. Next month, VisitScotland will be highlighting its 2018 plans at World Travel Market London (November 6-8). It will share its stand with

Blackwatch Museum, Strathmore Hotels, Spirit of Scotland Show, East of Scotland, Royal Highland Hotel, Historic Scotland, New Lanark World Heritage Centre, Diageo, Flybe, Timberbush, Cashel and Classic Britain. Next year’s VisitScotland Expo will be at Glasgow SEC (April 11-12) with more than 250 suppliers and 500-plus buyers from around the world. As well as the key trade shows,

teams from VisitScotland are attending business development missions during autumn 2017, to France, Germany, Netherlands and Italy (September, October and November).

The tourism agency also joins

VisitBritain at events such as Destination Britain North America and Destination Britain China, and in January it will be heading to trade events in India. Also on its calendar are shows

run by Etoa, the European tourism association, and UKinbound.

WHAT’S NEW � Queensferry Crossing – new

bridge over the river Forth

� Loch Tay Safaris boat tour, Perthshire

� Harry Potter walking tour,


� Motorbike tour, North Coast 500


� Almost 14.5m overnight tourism trips were taken in Scotland in 2016.

� GB visitors took 11.5m overnight visits to Scotland.

� International visitors made 2.75m overnight trips and spent £1.9bn in 2016.

� The US is Scotland’s largest international market; England is the largest domestic market.

� International inbound visitor numbers rose 6% in 2016, with spending up 9.1%.

©VisitBritain/ Ben Selway

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