THERE will be 32 brand new exhibitors at this year’s VisitScotland expo in Aberdeen – and there are only six weeks to go until the event.
In comparison with 2014’s expo in Glasgow at the SECC, there will be at least a 33% increase in new exhibitors.
Annandale Distillery in Dumfries & Galloway, who produce two styles of whisky that honour Robert Burns and Robert The Bruce will be in attendance to market their £10.5 million whisky-making centre and visitor attraction. Other first time exhibitors include Trump International Golf Links, the Inverness & Loch Ness Tourism BID(the first tourism BID in the UK), Peel Farm, one of Scotland’s first bio-diversified farms and Scotland’s Golf Coast.
More than £24m worth of business is likely to be conducted over the two days which takes place at Aberdeen’s AECC 22-23 April 2015. Scotland will be promoted by over 200 businesses from across the country with a Scottish tourism product to highlight. Of the 200, at least 32 businesses from across Scotland will be exhibiting for the very first time.
Last year’s event in Glasgow saw over 6,700 appointments and a recent study conducted in 2012 found that hosting expo could be worth around £1.7 million for the local economy. It is hoped that hosting this year’s expo in the Granite City will provide the same economic boost.
Recently it was announced that Aberdeenshire Council and VisitAberdeen were official destination partners at this year’s VisitScotland expo. The partnership with VisitScotland will offer both Aberdeenshire Council and VisitAberdeen stand space and marketing opportunities to further promote Aberdeen City and Shire to tourism businesses.
Tourism businesses from across Scotland will be there to showcase the very best that Scotland has to offer, including everything from our food and drink and accommodation to entertainment, culture, great outdoors and visitor attractions.
The main event will be attended by almost 380 hosted international buyers and over 200 hand-picked UK based buyers which includes tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and travel media.
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “VisitScotland expo is an invaluable opportunity for Scottish businesses to meet face to face with tour operators from across the globe, bringing the chance to meet new contacts, negotiate new deals and learn new ways of doing business.
“It’s absolutely brilliant news to be welcoming at least 32 new exhibitors who have never been to expo before. As the country’s biggest travel trade event, this is the chance to see the whole of Scotland under one roof. With only six weeks to go now, this year’s event, the 36th staging of expo, at the AECC in the wonderful city of Aberdeen is shaping up to be one of the best ones yet!”
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Since it was first held in 1980, VisitScotland expo, the country’s biggest travel trade event, continues to be a key date in the tourism calendar. This event gives our international visitors a flavour of all Scotland has to offer as well as providing a significant boost to the country’s world-class tourism economy.
“I am confident that this year, the Year of Food and Drink, we will continue to build on the momentum created in 2014 and on the long term benefits brought to Scotland by Homecoming 2014, the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, building a strong, high quality experience that visitors will remember and that will keep them returning to Scotland for many years to come.”