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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 16/10/2023

Taking Scotland to the trade

Our intermediary marketing teams are always busy with travel trade activities. This allows us to take Scotland to the world with the help of tour operators and travel agents from around the globe.

You can read about our recent activity, and check out events coming up later in 2023 and 2024.

In doing so, you'll also be able to see some opportunities for your business to get involved in the travel trade.

Coach Tourism Association Summer Networking (23 - 24 July)

We attended the UK Coach Tourism Association Summer Networking event in Elstree, Hertfordshire.

The event included a seminar on zero emission coaches. This highlighted the latest options available on the market for coach operators.

The seminar also dealt with the implications of such coaches for hotels, venues and attractions. This was followed by a supplier showcase providing an opportunity for informal networking.

A short presentation was given with mention of VisitScotland’s commitment to net zero and responsible tourism. This was followed by presentation of Scottish tourism products.

One important topic was the transition to greener and zero emission vehicles and programmes. The event provided a great platform to assess where the coach tourism operators and association's members are in relation to this.

A presenter poses next to their presentation on a white screen

Our Assistant Market Development Manager poses next to her presentation

While challenges remain, there was a strong engagement from attendees. They understand that addressing the sector’s transition will need cooperation.

UK coach operators are important to the Scottish tourism economy. They bring a consistent volume of visitors to Scotland year-round.

We have been a member of the Coach Tourism Association since 2017. They are a key partner in the UK market and offer great networking opportunities with coach operators across the UK.

Destination Britain North America (7 - 10 September)

We participated in this event in San Francisco, bringing together over 120 suppliers and buyers from across the UK and North America.

We continue to support the recovery of the tourism industry post-COVID. And this important event focused on one-to-one connections in a workshop format.

There were also networking opportunities to help further cement relationships. 

We met with both established Scotland selling tour operators and operators new to the destination.

In doing so, we not only gathered market insights and performance. We also shared programme development ideas to ensure we continue to build support for all year-round visits to Scotland.

Keith Campbell, our Market Development Manager – North America, spoke during one of the seminar sessions that:

  • provided further inspirational content
  • showcased new responsible tourism products from across Scotland

A presenter talks to a room filled with people sitting on small round tables

Our Market Development Manager addresses the audience at Destination Britain North America

UKinbound Annual Convention (20 - 21 September)

We attended the annual UKinbound conference in Belfast. This was a two-day programme of pre-scheduled business-to-business meetings and networking. The event also contained a series of industry sessions, including:

  • a panel discussion on the importance of sustainability
  • an insights session discussing what the future holds for UK tourism

There were 15 meetings with people from across Europe, Asia, and North America. These represented Destination Management Companies, wholesalers, online travel agents, and VisitScotland.

Further connections were made during the additional networking opportunities. The buyers were a mix of CEOs, directors, sales contractors, product contractors, and UK suppliers. 26 Scottish suppliers attended in total, consisting of:

  • 14 Scottish suppliers (hotels, attractions, and experiences)
  • 3 Destination Management Organisations
  • 9 Destination Management Companies

Feedback confirmed trends such as a high demand from North America will continue to extend into November.

Buyers were still looking to bolster programmes with experiences for 2023. They were also contracting during the event for 2024 and 2025.

Two women pose in front of a banner of event sponsors

Our Senior Manager Intermediary Marketing and Intermediary Partnerships Manager pose at a banner

Upcoming travel trade events in 2023 and 2024

The following is a selection of events that our representatives will be attending later in 2023 and early 2024.

You can also browse a longer list of upcoming travel trade events or get in touch with us about any events at

Browse all upcoming travel trade events

  • ETOA Global European Marketplace (2 - 3 November)

    Global tour operators and travel buyers meet the best European products during this event in London.

  • World Travel Market (6 - 8 November)

    This leading travel trade event brings together domestic and international buyers and sellers.

    Over the course of three days in London, we'll meet with over 100 key travel trade, media, and marketing contacts.

    Key points on our agenda are market insights, intelligence, and product development for 2024 and beyond. This includes responsible travel as a priority topic.

  • Destination Britain China (22 - 24 November)

    This is an opportunity for businesses that are ready to trade with China. Meet with buyers in Shanghai across a programme of workshop meetings, seminars and networking.

  • Business Development Mission - North America (28 November)

    This is a networking and workshop style event in London. Meet with agents and Destination Management Companies for the North American market.

  • USTOA’s Annual Conference (2 - 6 December)

    USTOA members are invited to attend their annual conference in Los Angeles. As a member, we'll be attending to meet with buyers from across North America.

  • ETOA Britain & Ireland Marketplace (26 January)

    A business-to-business workshop in London with a full agenda of pre-scheduled appointments.

    Read more about the event.

  • ITB Berlin (5 - 7 March)

    Taking place in Berlin, this is the world’s largest travel trade show. It offers opportunities for meetings with German and international travel trade.

    It's ideal for businesses already established or wanting to expand their offering in the German market.

    Read more about the event.

  • Scottish Golf Tourism Week (19 - 21 March)

    A unique platform for businesses in Scotland to engage with international inbound golf tour operators.

    It consists of face-to-face appointments, familiarisation trips, and nightly networking sessions. The event takes place in Inverness.

    Read more about the event.

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