The iconic image of the Falkirk Wheel is to be used to bolster Scotland’s position in European tourism markets in a special trade mission to Frankfurt-am-Main.
Organised by main tourism body Visitscotland, the delegation will head to Frankfurt for three days later this month for a business-building workshop involving dozens of Scottish suppliers and reps from key European travel trade organisations.
The Falkirk Wheel will be presented by Scottish Canals an an eye-catching must-see technical marvel (of the sort likely to appeal to many German visitors) at the heart of Central Scotland’s ambitious canals restoration project.
Europe is the largest single market area for international visitors to Scotland, accounting for 2.2 million visitors in 2018, and its international market share of 64 per cent has already grown by five per cent compared to 2017.
The most recent figures from the International Passenger Survey rank Germany and France as the biggest European inbound markets to Scotland in terms of holiday spend, followed by Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Germany ranks highest for trips made to Scotland from the continent, followed by France, Italy and Spain.
Last year’s development mission to Amsterdam led to 720 appointments and enthusiastic feedback - half the businesses involved said it exceeded their expectations.
Riddell Graham, VisitScotland Director of Industry and Destination Development, said: “Our European travel trade mission will give Scottish suppliers an ideal opportunity to engage one-to-one with Scotland’s key European markets all at the same time.
“With Europe accounting for 2.2 million trips to Scotland, and many of them repeat visitors from countries such as France, Germany and the Netherlands, it is an incredibly important international market for Scottish tourism.
“Everything we do is about creating a passion for Scotland – building an army of advocates through innovative marketing, partnership, events and business excellence to create a destination and customer experience worth talking about”.