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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 17/10/2023

North America, in particular the US, has driven the international tourism recovery for Scotland. There were more visitors from US in 2022 than before the pandemic. Compared to 2019, they spent 67% more in 2022.

This is partly because visitors who were already keen to visit could take advantage of favourable exchange rates.

Their appetite shows no signs of waning. Tour operators report strong sales for 2024 and enquiries for 2025. Many aim to get their Scotland 2025 offerings on sale from January 2024.

How our team supports travel intermediaries

We work with the North American market to ensure we continue to build on previous efforts to promote Scotland to visitors.

We added extra people to our team to support tour operators and travel advisors looking to help people visit Scotland. We connect these operators with Scottish tourism businesses looking to attract international businesses.

One of the most important functions of our team is key account management. We identify travel intermediaries with the greatest potential for growth in the coming years. In particular we look for those we can work with to:

  • encourage out-of-season visits
  • increase visitors exploring every corner of Scotland
  • create new and different experiences for their clients

Our work with the North American market

  • We have regular calls with tour operators to offer support and help shape their offerings for holidays to Scotland
  • We share insights and information on trends to help tour operators make decisions
  • We send product updates via email to our database of contacts that work with tourism businesses
  • We use social media (LinkedIn and our North American Facebook channel) to promote Scottish experiences


  • We raise the profile of responsible tourism experiences, and our goal as a net zero destination
  • We host destination training sessions (either in person or as a webinar) for sales and reservation agents. These people can influence where a client goes in Scotland and how long they stay
  • We share Scotland product updates at key events, such as VisitBritain’s Destination North America
  • We set up one-to-one talks between tour operators and similar, and Scottish tourism businesses

What we do at key events

  • Destination North America

    VisitBritain held its Destination North America in San Francisco in September. There, we met with 46 travel intermediaries, some of whom are long established contacts, whereas others were new ones.

    In our discussions, we learned about their plans for the coming years. Simultaneously, we also made recommendations regarding Scottish tourism products and experiences.

    There were follow-up meetings planned, where our buyers can meet Scottish businesses in person. These follow-up meetings include our London business development mission and VisitScotland Connect events.

  • Delta Vacations University

    The Delta Vacations University event was held in Minneapolis last month. Our focus was on raising awareness of Scotland among agents selling Delta vacations tours (there were 800 agents at this event).

    We also wanted to introduce them to the different experiences visitors can enjoy in Scotland. Doing so, allows them to confidently speak to potential clients about their Scottish holiday plans. This will, in turn, increase bookings.

Our travel trade website

At every stage, our ambition is to connect tour operators and similar, with Scottish tourism businesses.

These businesses will have to be ready cater to the needs of visitors from North America. It's also recommended that they have knowledge of how travel intermediaries work.

This includes offering experiences or products that are of interest to visitors from this market.

On our travel trade website, you can see some of our sample itineraries and which Scottish businesses we're already working with.

Visit our travel trade website

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