Scottish tourism showcased to the world

VisitScotland's Expo 2011, Aberdeen

As the world gears up for the most talked about wedding of the century, a part of Scotland that consistently gets the royal seal of approval will be serving as a matchmaker for hundreds of businesses in the tourism industry.

Aberdeen, gateway to the favourite regal holiday destination of Royal Deeside, will host this year’s VisitScotland expo on 13-14 April, just two weeks before Prince William ties the knot with Kate Middleton, whom he met while studying at St Andrews University.

The Granite City’s economy is expected to receive a £1.7 million boost as hundreds of ‘buyers’, including tour operators and travel agents, from all over the world descent on the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre for Scotland’s flagship business-to-business event for the tourism industry.

Aberdeen is preparing for what promises to be a “monster” trade show, with scale models of the proposed 30-metre horses’ heads that comprise Falkirk’s Helix Project, and even the iconic Nessie herself, making an appearance.

Around 250 businesses from every corner of the country, including hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions, will be showcasing the very best that Scotland has to offer.

At last year’s expo at the SECC in Glasgow, the number of buyers attending from the UK was nearly 350, while the number of international buyers increased by 18 per cent.

Evaluation of the show indicated that 83 per cent of UK and 90 per cent of international buyers intended to add new Scottish suppliers to their existing programmes, and that 73 per cent of UK and 88 per cent of international buyers intended to expand their current programmes to Scotland.

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