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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 22/10/2018

Mission to strengthen European visitor markets

Europe remains an important international market for Scotland and accounts for 1.9 million visits. We’ve held successful sales trips to Lyon and Paris in France which included a collaboration with DFDS, in which we provided a gin and whisky tasting sponsored by the Borders Distillery. And most recently, businesses joined us on our first ever pan-European travel trade mission to Amsterdam.

First pan-European travel trade mission

Scottish tourism businesses have been strengthening Scotland’s position in European visitor markets during our first pan-European travel trade mission.

We organised a Scotland workshop that brought together 40 Scottish suppliers and up to 40 representatives of key travel organisations from different European markets.

Taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands this week (23 – 24 October), it incorporated market awareness sessions, networking opportunities and one-to-one appointments between Scottish suppliers and European travel trade representatives – in a bid to build relationships and strengthen Scotland’s tourism development in the European market.

The workshop provides the participating Scottish businesses with the opportunity to receive first-hand feedback from the European travel trade that will help shape their offers to better match European visitor expectations and develop sought-after tourism products in Scotland.

Key European travel trade organisations from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark were represented.

Our first pan-European travel trade mission will give Scottish suppliers an ideal opportunity to engage one-to-one with Scotland’s key European markets all at the same time.

With Europe accounting for 1.9 million trips to Scotland, and many of them repeat visitors from countries such as France, Germany and the Netherlands, it is an incredibly important international market for Scottish tourism.

Everything we do is about creating a passion for Scotland – building an army of advocates through innovative marketing, partnership, events and business excellence to create a destination and customer experience worth talking about. Innovative new approaches such as this workshop will help to strengthen our tourism development in Europe.”

Riddell Graham, VisitScotland Director of Industry and Destination Development

Product development in France

September was an exciting month for product development in the French market. Managing not one, but two sales trips to Lyon and Paris, the team was able to reach out to a range of key partners and new businesses.

In market, the team met with more than 30 tour operators, five Destination Management Companies and 60 travel agents. Besides managing more than 200 business engagements, the team identified promising contacts for future Business to Business to Customer activity.

Highlights include a workshop with 58 travel agents in Lyon organised by leading tour operator Visiteurs. Following this, the team attended an introductory meeting with new influential contacts at Havas Voyages, a travel agent network consisting of 560 businesses.

Finally, we participated at France’s flagship trade show for the travel industry – Top Résa, an event visited by more than 34,000 business to business contacts. Although not appearing as exhibitors, we worked with DFDS (world leading ferry operator), to provide a gin and whisky tasting sponsored by the Borders Distillery.

Most recent figures from the International Passenger Survey rank Germany and the Netherlands as the biggest inbound markets to Scotland in terms of spend, followed by Italy, Switzerland and France. Germany tops the most visits to Scotland, followed by France, Italy and Netherlands.