Rebuilding international demand is crucial to helping Scotland’s tourism and events industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week see’s Scotland Week back in full this year, with events across the US and Canada. It celebrates Scotland’s enduring cultural, historical, educational, and economic links between our countries.
Thousands of people across the US and Canada unite every year to celebrate Scotland Week (also known as Tartan Week).
For the last 20 years, VisitScotland, Scottish Government and many other organisations have participated in a weeklong programme of consumer, stakeholder and partner events to create an authentic Scottish experience for everyone taking part.
After a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VisitScotland’s in-person events return for 2022.
North America is Scotland’s largest international market
North America is Scotland’s largest international market, and the return of these visitors is vital for the long-term recovery of our valuable tourism and events industry.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US was the largest international market for visitors to Scotland with the highest number of visits (636,000) and expenditure (£717 million) in 2019.
Meanwhile Canada was the top international market for visitors visiting multiple regions of within Scotland between 2017 and 2019.
Scotland’s rich history and diverse culture are a strong motivator for both US and Canadian visitors. An increase in film and TV shows set in Scotland in recent years such as Outlander and the country’s reputation as the ‘Home of Golf’ have also helped attract visitors.
Recent research by VisitBritain into consumer sentiment towards international travel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has found 80% of US and 77% of Canadian respondents intend to travel abroad for leisure purposes within the next 12 months with consideration for Scotland increasing among all age groups.
Vicki Miller, VisitScotland Director of Marketing & Digital says, “Tartan Week, and creative events such as the Tartan Day Takeaway, are a key part of our work to keep Scotland top of mind and rebuild international demand.
“It complements our global marketing ‘Scotland is Calling’ campaign – which aims to make Scotland the destination of choice for all visitors in 2022 and beyond – as well as our work with inbound travel trade and airline partners to secure the return of direct routes.
“We know there is pent-up demand for travel and hope North America has enjoyed a flavour of the best Scotland has to offer this week. Scotland is open and our tourism and events industry looks forward to welcoming back visitors.”