EXCLUSIVE: A Taste Of Scotland

Piping in the haggis, a whisky demonstration, poetry by Robert Burns, an audience singalong and the sound of bagpipes all made for a memorable experience as Visit Scotland’s North America Business Development Mission continued in Toronto yesterday (Jan. 23).

In addition to the festive lunch in early celebration of Robbie Burns Day, Scottish supplier partners — Experience Scotland’s Wild, Glasgow Life, Little’s Chauffeur Drive, Love Loch Lomond, Scotbeer Tours, Saltire Executive Golf, Spirit Journey Ltd. and The Lovat Loch Ness — were on hand to meet with travel agents for informative round table sessions, following a day of one-on-one meetings with tour operators.

“We’re introducing our eight Scottish businesses to about 25 key travel agents in the Canadian market and they’re meeting really fresh, new products,” Christina Bruns, Senior Market Manager Americas, for Visit Scotland told PressToday. “One of our partners here is telling the history of Scotland through the story of beer, I think that’s very refreshing. What people want in this market is what’s new, what’s refreshing, what are things that maybe they haven’t thought about before. Another partner is really about the adventures and experiences you can have while in Scotland so he will tell you for your level, what kind of outdoor experiences suit you and what your needs are.”

Positive growth from North America

Crediting in large part the increase of direct lift access to the destination from the likes of Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat, Bruns says the latest stats reveal a positive growth in arrivals from North America.

“It’s fantastic, it’s really good,” she says. “The first three quarters of 2017 versus the same period in the previous year, it was up 7%, from North America to Scotland.”

And what should Canadians not leave the country without eating or drinking? Well, that’s whisky and haggis, of course, she says.

“Scotland is a beautiful culinary destination from seafood to haggis to drinks — with the whisky industry now you’ll see a lot of gin coming up as well so the same distilleries are looking at gin production. We have on our website beautiful gin trails, whisky trails,” she adds. “In terms of food and drink, it’s a beautiful destination.”

For information, resources, toolkits and more, travel agents can access the new Visit Scotland travel trade website at https://traveltrade.visitscotland.org/.

Travel agents who were in attendance are also eligible to win two tickets to either Glasgow or Edinburgh courtesy of Air Canada, by booking clients on the airline along with any tour or services from the suppliers at the event by March 31.

Stay tuned to the February 19th edition of Canadian Travel Press for more on the Scottish suppliers and the destination!

Pictured (at top) at the Toronto trade mission are Visit Scotland’s Nicole Graham, Keith Campbell and Christina Bruns. The trade mission carries on in New York City today.