VISITSCOTLAND hosted a Tartan Day Takeaway event for hundreds of New Yorkers to get a taste of Scotland.
The national tourism organisation treated locals to some Scottish street food served by Scottish TV Chef and restaurateur, Tony Singh.
This is part of the ongoing work to bring international visitors back to the country following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Tartan Day festivities were led by Finlay Wilson, the Kilted Yogi who encouraged passers-by to get involved in the activities that were fuelled by Scottish music.
Tartan events take place this week in Canada and the USA to recognise the strong historical and cultural ties with Scotland.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USA was the largest international market for visitors to Scotland with the highest number of visits (636,000) and expenditure (£717m) in 2019.
Meanwhile Canada was the top international market for visitors visiting multiple regions within Scotland between 2017 and 2019.
This year marks the return of the VisitScotland in-person events at Tartan Week since 2019.
Scottish actress Karen Gillan will be Grand Marshall for the annual Tartan Day parade in New York on Saturday 9 April. A notable event in the busy week.
Other VisitScotland activity as part of Tartan Week includes destination training session for travel advisors, roundtables with partners such as the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, diaspora breakfast.
Building on the momentum of COP26 and Scotland’s ambitions for sustainable recovery, panel discussions on responsible travel with the University of Guelph and travel publisher AFAR will also take place.
Vicki Miller, VisitScotland director of marketing & digital, said:“After a two-year break, VisitScotland is thrilled to be back in North America and part of Tartan Week.
“North America is Scotland’s largest international market, and the return of these visitors is vital for the long-term recovery of our valuable tourism and events industry.
“Tartan Week, and creative events such as the Tartan Day Takeaway, are a key part of our work to keep Scotland top of mind and rebuild international demand.
“It complements our global marketing ‘Scotland is Calling’ campaign – which aims to make Scotland the destination of choice for all visitors in 2022 and beyond – as well as our work with inbound travel trade and airline partners to secure the return of direct routes.
“We know there is pent-up demand for travel and hope North America has enjoyed a flavour of the best Scotland has to offer this week. Scotland is open and our tourism and events industry looks forward to welcoming back visitors.”
Scotland’s history and culture are strong motivators for both USA and Canadian visitors.
An increase in film and TV shows set in Scotland in recent years such as Outlander and the country’s reputation as the ‘Home of Golf’ have also helped attract visitors.
Recent research by VisitBritain found that 80% of USA and 77% of Canadian respondents intend to travel abroad for leisure purposes in the next 12 months.
Scotland was considered a popular destination for travel among all age groups.
Rebuilding international visitor demand and re-engaging with the North American market will help support the recovery of Scotland’s valuable tourism industry from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tartan Week is just one strand of VisitScotland’s international activity which includes Scotland is Calling, a £8.5m global marketing campaign in key markets to inspire visitors to book a trip in Scotland.
This is part of a wider international demand building programme, one of several tourism recovery proposals developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group, funded by the Scottish Government, in response to the pandemic.