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Article published 19/12/2023

Aberdeenshire Council has announced support grant funding for north-east small and medium-sized enterprises to attend VisitScotland Connect 2024 on 17 - 18 April 2024 at the P&J Live, Aberdeen. 

The grant funding is to enable 10 SMEs to attend next year’s event and to boost the travel trade offering in Aberdeenshire.

VisitScotland Connect aims to grow Scotland's share of global travel in a sustainable way, with tour operators and travel buyers meeting with local tourism businesses and attractions in person.

It’s a unique opportunity to grow the north-east’s share of global travel, providing a platform for local tourism businesses to meet with tour operators and travel buyers in person, under one roof. 

The grant from Aberdeenshire Council will contribute to the cost of one or two-day attendance as a supplier. VisitAberdeenshire and VisitScotland will provide a programme of support for businesses to become travel trade ready before the event.

This programme of support will include ensuring successful awardees will have:

  • a trade-entry on our consumer website,
  • an understanding of the Connect website
  • support on selecting the right buyers to meet
  • help developing their pitch for their at-desk presentations 
  • an attendance at a VisitAberdeenshire travel-trade ready workshop and VisitScotland webinar. This will prepare businesses on what to expect when attending the event.

More than half of international visitors plan and book their travel through the travel trade, with international visitors staying longer and spending more in local communities in every part of Scotland.

International visitors account for approximately a fifth (20%) of total inbound visits but account for 43% of total spending.

Last year's event

Last year was the first time we held a workshop-style event, offering a more targeted opportunity to conduct 1-2-1 meetings between trade-ready Scottish suppliers and international buyers.

More than 250 international buyers representing 23 countries travelled to Aberdeen and over the two days, over 6,000 meetings were held with trade-ready Scottish businesses. 

Find out more about the impact of VisitScotland Connect 2023

Some key stats from our 2023 event include:

  • 91% of Scottish businesses said they anticipated generating sales from attending VisitScotland Connect   

  • 87% of Scottish businesses highlighted the business potential the event provided, stating they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the event 

  • 83% of Scottish businesses said VisitScotland Connect fully met or exceeded their objectives to meet new contacts 

  • 62% of anticipated sales by Scottish businesses would be to international markets

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