We want the valued groups market to join us as we build back in a responsible and sustainable way, says Malcolm Roughead of VisitScotland.

Like many destinations, 2022 marked the first full season since the Covid-19 pandemic for Scotland’s tourism industry and it has been wonderful to welcome back our valued group visitors and travel trade.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland

Malcolm Roughead is the chief executive of VisitScotland.

Scotland offers a wealth of experiences to this market, and in 2022 we added even more with the reopening of the Burrell Collection in Glasgow following a multi-million-pound refurbishment and a new distillery visitor experience at Johnnie Walker Princes Street, Edinburgh.

Dunfermline was named Scotland’s newest city in 2022 – creating an exciting new destination highlight, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle was back with a bang. To top it off, the Highlands and the South of Scotland recently landed on National Geographic and Lonely Planet’s Best of 2023 destination lists.

While the pandemic brought serious challenges it also provided an opportunity to reassess what we want the future of tourism in Scotland to be with VisitScotland working in collaboration with industry and communities to create a sustainable destination for the benefit of all. In 2023, there are several events and attractions that help contribute to this aim which can be enjoyed by groups travelling here.

Scotland will host the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, Dundreggan Rewilding Centre will open helping to restore the ancient Caledonian Forest in the Highlands and Eden Mill gin is set to open a new carbon neutral distillery and visitor centre near St Andrews.

The Flying Scotsman

Source: VisitScotland / Tony Marsh

Key anniversaries in 2023 include The Flying Scotsman, which will be turning 100.

We want the valued groups market to join us as we build back in a responsible and sustainable way that will ensure the Scotland we know and love will be here to enjoy for generations to come.

Other new visitor experiences to enjoy in 2023 include a £12 million upgrade to Discovery Point, Dundee, and the reopening of The Scottish Crannog Centre. Plus, the return of The Tall Ships Races, Europe’s largest free family festival, to Shetland.

Key anniversaries to look out for while creating new itineraries in 2023 include The Flying Scotsman, the world’s most famous locomotive, turning 100, the 30th anniversary of Celtic Connections, The Royal Yacht Britannia’s 25th year as a tourist attraction and the fifth anniversary of V&A Dundee which will be marked with a major exhibition on the unique global story of Tartan.

We will continue to focus on ensuring Scotland is front of mind for audiences all over the world. Our VisitScotland Travel Trade Team has compiled various tools to help create programmes with dedicated itineraries and a list of suppliers that work closely with the group travel market.

Malcolm Roughead,
Chief Executive, VisitScotland

Find out more by visiting www.traveltrade.visitscotland.org

This comment is from the 2023 edition of Who’s Who in Group Leisure. Posted to thousands of our readers it is also available online for everyone by clicking here.