VisitScotland celebrates positive travel trade event

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An inaugural virtual event pilot to link Scottish tourism businesses with global tour operators and travel agents has been hailed a success.

The Scotland Reconnect 2020 event, which took place at the end of November, saw a total of 264 buyers from 23 countries connecting with 240 Scottish suppliers.

Scotland Reconnect 2020 was also the first of its kind to be delivered by the national tourism organisation.

It gave tour operators and travel agents the opportunity to rebook visits and tweak programmes that had had to be cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

First virtual trade show hosted for Scottish business - Business News Scotland
Copyright: Scotch Whisky Experience.

Buyers from the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Scandinavia, Australia and Brazil all attended the virtual event, as well as London-based inbound operators representing the Japanese and Chinese markets.

In addition to facilitating more than 5,000 business meetings, there were also live webinars, round table discussions and breakout sessions and an online presentation hub.

Virtual experiences also demonstrated what Scotland can offer buyers’ clients, and there were trade music sessions with Gary Innes from top trad band Manran, whisky tasting experiences with Glengoyne Distillery and The Scotch Whisky Experience, as well as storytelling with Mercat Tours.

John Thurso, VisitScotland Chairman, said: “It was encouraging to hear that despite this terrible year, so many buyers and suppliers had signed up to the event and were keen to continue their great relationships in the future.

“This event has started us on the road to recovery as we look forward to the time when we can welcome international visitors back to our shores.”