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Article published 23/05/2024

Pre-COVID, Australia consistently featured as a top 10 destination for visitors to Scotland. It showed a positive trajectory on number of visits, nights, and spend.

In 2023, post-COVID, once travel was possible again, we saw the market rebound to unprecedented levels. That year, Australia became one of the UK’s most valuable visitor markets, with record visitor numbers, nights, and spend from January – September 2023.

This has been despite demand outstripping seat capacity on flights out and inbound to Australia and, consequently, very high fares.

The average trip duration for the 158,000 Australian visitors to Scotland in 2023 was 16 nights.

The Australian market in numbers


of Australian visitors plan their holiday six months in advance


of Australian visitors use an intermediary to help plan and book their trip


of Australian visitors book their trip in part or wholly as a package

£191 million

was spent by Australian visitors in Scotland during the first three quarters of 2023

Figures are based on the International Passenger statistics for January - September 2023 and the VisitBritain MIDAS (motivations, influences, decisions and sustainability) research.

What are visitors from Australia looking for in Scotland?

Many Australian visitors use tour operators to plan and book their itineraries. They are particularly keen to source:

  • cultural or heritage experiences (especially those which are hands-on and unique or authentic to your location)

  • opportunities to meet the locals 

  • soft adventure activities in nature like hiking or cycling

  • activities or experiences that drive shoulder season travel

Discover how you can work with tour operators and travel agents.

A woman poses with a sword and shield at the Wallace Monument

How we help you do business with the Australian market

One of our core functions is to help grow Scottish tourism by bringing together Scottish tourism businesses and travel intermediaries.

We want to ensure Scotland is bookable and promoted via intermediaries who share and support our vision. Travel intermediaries include:

  • destination management companies (DMCs)
  • wholesalers
  • tour operators
  • travel agents
  • airlines

It’s important that Australian visitors can find the Scotland experience they’re looking for on the booking channels they prefer to use. Travel agencies / advisors remain vital to travel distribution in Australia especially for planning and deciding where to go.

We’re building on the growth seen in 2023 and on increasing airline capacity. We do this by working with the key tour operators programming the UK and Scotland, and their sales and agency networks to target the discretionary traveller opportunity now seeing a resurgence.


In this subsection:

Identifying the opportunity

Creating the right product

Promoting programmes and driving sales

Identifying the opportunity

We gather data and insights on the Australian travel market to understand trends and opportunities for Scottish tourism. We share briefings and webinars for businesses looking to attract international visitors on our website.

Critically, our research extends to identifying those Australian travel intermediaries who present the greatest opportunities for curating the best Scotland offering and taking it to market.

  • We target those operators who

    • cater to our target visitors
    • are open to creating or extending their Scotland programmes
    • are open to developing out-of-season programmes
    • will actively promote their Scotland programmes
  • We target travel agents / advisors who

    • can be encouraged to sell the Scotland programmes developed with our target tour operators
    • actively tailor itineraries and can work directly with Scottish suppliers
    • are interested in learning more about how to sell Scotland through our destination training activity
    • target high yield travellers (like those affiliated to luxury travel consortia “Virtuoso”, with whom we have an active partnership)

Creating the right product

Australian tour operators are looking for accommodation and attractions to help them extend and update their core itineraries. They are also very interested to learn more about what’s new and unique on the Scottish tourism landscape. This includes small businesses, new to the market.

Working with them direct and via our programme of online updates, we raise operators’ awareness of these new products.

At the same time, we work with Scottish businesses, especially those new to working with the travel trade, to help them:

  • become trade-ready
  • shape their product offering
  • shape their pitch

We help them to be ready to engage with Australian tour operators.

Promoting programmes and driving sales

Sales of operators’ new programmes are optimised if their agency and sales teams feel confident about proposing and selling Scotland as a destination. We deliver Scotland destination education webinars and sales training support.

These resources aim to educate and inspire intermediaries and advisors on experiences their clients can have in Scotland and the packages they can book.

We also provide marketing assets including content and imagery. On occasion, we offer specific joint marketing support of target programmes direct to consumers.

Making the right connections

We bring Scottish businesses together with Australian intermediaries. This is done through a programme of activities and events both in person and virtual.

Engaging with intermediaries, who make the contracting decisions for Australian programmes, doesn't have to be an expensive business. We do so in the following ways.


In this subsection:

Keeping operators up-to-date with product and developments

Travel trade events

Reaching the Australian travel consumer-PR and partnerships

Keeping operators up-to-date with product and developments

Our dedicated travel trade website features updates on:

  • new trade-ready experiences in Scotland
  • supplier listings and contact details

We encourage trade-ready businesses to provide their details for the site. We direct our target database of operators and agents to this online resource.

A monthly e-newsletter and our “what’s new” press release is sent to our database of global travel trade subscribers, highlighting:

  • new products and developments
  • news
  • events
  • webinar invites

Browse our dedicated travel trade website.


People pose with an I love Scotland sign in front of a hill on Orkney

Travel trade events

We welcome Australian intermediaries to our own flagship travel trade event VisitScotland Connect. There we connect them with Scottish suppliers through one-to-one meetings.

A programme of familiarisation trips is also offered. It's a great way for participants to experience the Scottish product firsthand.

This is the optimal platform for buyers to:

  • strengthen their connections with suppliers
  • go on thereafter to build and contract the ideal offers for their own client base

We also participate in other trade events taking place in the UK, including:

  • World Travel Market
  • Britain and Ireland Marketplace

There, we update operators from Australia and around the globe.  On occasion, business development missions, solo or in partnership with VisitBritain, provide a platform for Scottish businesses to meet on location with Australian buyers in key gateway cities.

Browse more travel trade events.


Business meetings taking place at VisitScotland Connect 2024

Reaching the Australian travel consumer-PR and partnerships

We build and maintain strong relationships with key consumer and travel trade media contacts that contribute to A-list publications in Australia.

We aim to generate consistent coverage for Scotland. We do so through pitching and press visits, and working with partners (like VisitBritain) in market to shape their messaging.

This underpins Scotland’s profile as a responsible tourism destination. It also supports the bookable product available in market.

Partnering with operators like TourRadar gets our message across to travellers that are more interested in small group and activity experiences.


Two men glide over a white water river in a canoe

Upcoming events

  • VisitBritain Australia Roadshow 2024

    VisitBritain’s Australia Roadshow is a multi-city event where UK suppliers engage with key audiences in market. The event includes one-to-one appointments, agents’ training and networking sessions.

    Location: Sydney / Melbourne / Brisbane

    Date: 8-13 September 2024

    Find out more about the event.

  • World Travel Market (WTM) 2024

    We will again be attending the event where we’ll look to connect with the buyers for the main Australian intermediaries.

    Location: London

    Date: 5-7 November 2024

    Find out more about the event.

  • VisitScotland Connect 2025

    We’ll be inviting Australia and London-based buyers to participate in our flagship travel trade workshop event.

    Location: Aberdeen

    Date: 9-10 April 2025

    Find out more about the event.

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