Reconnecting the south of Scotland with vital overseas markets

Around 25 tourism businesses from Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders took part in an online travel event earlier this month.

By Brian Yule
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 10:53 am
Discover Scotland: Reconnect 2022 is part of VisitScotland’s activity to rebuild international tourism demand

The businesses engaged directly with tour operators, travel advisors and destination management companies representing key global markets to drive bookings from visitors from abroad once again. 

Discover Scotland: Reconnect 2022 is part of VisitScotland’s activity to rebuild international tourism demand, as well as supporting the country’s ambitions to be a leading destination for responsible tourism. 

In total, 324 Scottish businesses engaged with 298 international tour operators and travel agents from 21 global markets at the three-day online event.

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A wide range of tourism businesses from the south of Scotland were represented, covering culture and heritage, visitor attractions, agri-tourism and accommodation, reflecting the variety on offer In this region.

They included the South of Scotland Destination Alliance, Beirhope Alpacas, Thirlestane Castle, Annandale Distillery, Moat Brae and Kitchen Coos & Ewes.

In all, 4,455 meetings were facilitated on the virtual platform through 1-2-1 meetings, highlighting the best of Scotland’s responsible tourism products.

While inbound travel accounts for a fifth of all visitors to Scotland, it provides more than 40 per cent of the overall spending.

According to 2019 International Passenger Survey data, Scotland’s key international markets pre-pandemic were USA, Germany, Australia, China and France.

Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland’s interim Regional Director, said: “Domestic visitors have been driving the recovery following the impact of Covid-19, but the return of our international visitors is a major step towards the responsible recovery of Scottish tourism.  

“Discover Scotland 2022 enabled tourism businesses from the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway to connect with key buyers from around the globe to help attract visitors, from near and far, to help rebuild our valuable tourism industry.

"We look forward to sharing our stunning landscapes, history, culture and warm welcome with visitors this summer and beyond.”