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North tourism businesses attend major virtual international trade event as Scotland prepares to re-open to visitors

By Calum MacLeod

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VisitScotland's delegation at the ITB Berlin trade show shared news about how the country is working to re-open safely for tourism.
VisitScotland's delegation at the ITB Berlin trade show shared news about how the country is working to re-open safely for tourism.

Businesses and tourism organisations from across the Highlands, Islands and Moray joined others from throughout the country to fly the flag for Scotland at the world’s leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin, which took place online for the first time.

Part of the overall VisitBritain delegation at ITB Berlin NOW, the representatives of the Scottish tourism industry were able to connect and engage with travel agents and tour operators from around the world, to promote their products, services and experiences.

North representatives included Cairngorms Business Partnership and VisitCairngorms, Visit Moray Speyside, Highland Experience Tours, Skye's Sonas Collection hotel group and bespoke tour guide The Tartan Road.

Organisers say 65,700 users visited the online platform over the five days of the event held last month, with 3513 exhibitors from 120 countries, while over 1000 media and travel bloggers from 54 countries covered the event.

A digital marketing campaign to raise awareness of the National Tourism Organisation and partners’ presence at ITB Berlin NOW using LinkedIn and Germany’s dedicated travel industry portals generated almost 900,000 digital views.

VisitScotland hosted a press conference updating delegates on the focus for tourism reopening in Scotland with responsible tourism and a focus on tourism as a force for good at the heart of recovery planning.

The audience heard how the industry was working towards a safe return to operations with many businesses and operators signing up to the We’re Good to Go industry standard scheme with the international Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) an addition for the new season.

Judy Mariëns, VisitScotland's senior market manager Europe, said: “Although we don’t know exactly when non-essential international travel can resume, we continue to engage with our international partners on a ‘dream now, travel later’ basis so that, when the situation allows, we can move quickly to take advantage of any opportunities.

“VisitScotland is continuing to work with businesses and organisations across the country to ensure this vital part of Scotland’s economy is ready and in the best possible position to welcome international visitors back when it is safe to do so.”

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