National tourism body joined by Scottish businesses on travel trade mission

Scottish tourism businesses will seek to forge new networks in China when they join the Scotland’s national tourism organisation for its biggest travel trade mission to date.

VisitScotland will host the business development mission in Guangzhou, Beijing and Xi’An from 22 to 30 November, on its first travel trade mission since making China a priority market for Scotland.

Since 2007, there has been a 192% increase in visitor numbers from China to Scotland with VisitBritain – the tourism body for the UK – predicting Chinese visitor numbers across the whole of the UK to rise by almost half over the next five years.

This year has already seen increased engagement in the Chinese market, with the new direct Hainan Airlines flight from Beijing to Edinburgh, the first ever direct flight from China to Scotland, more than 30 Chinese buyers welcomed at VisitScotland’s Expo, Scotland’s premier B2B travel trade event, and the launch of social media channels in China by VisitScotland.

Whisky tourism continues to be popular with Chinese visitors with Diageo reporting a 147% increase in Chinese visitors across all distillery visitor centres in 2017, resulting in a 210% increase in overall spend. The firm has estimated an increase in spend of 143% in 2018.

The Chinese business development mission will give Scottish suppliers the opportunity to engage with Chinese buyers face-to-face which will help them to shape future products for the Chinese market.

The national tourism body will be joined by:

• Go2Scotland

• Trump Turnberry

• David Urquhart Travel

• Diageo

• Glasshouse

• Hamilton & Inches

• Johnston of Elgin

• Kingsmills Hotel Group

• Nevis Range Mountain Experience

• Premiership Experience

• Rabbie’s

• Radisson Hotels

• Cobbs

• Belmond Royal Scotsman

• Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh Caledonian

• JacTravel

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We have seen a steady rise in the Chinese visitor market in Scotland and with increased air routes making it even easier for visitors to reach our shores, visitor numbers are only expected to rise further.”

“VisitScotland has been working closely with businesses across Scotland to help them to access this important opportunity and trade missions such as this allow the sector to engage with the market directly to forge new networks and help them grow their business on the international stage.”

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