Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland explains how the country’s rich heritage of storytelling will be showcased in 2022.

The Edinburgh Skyline

The famous skyline of Edinburgh.

In what has been unprecedented and uncertain times, VisitScotland would like to thank the UK coach market and group tours for their continued support throughout the pandemic. We continue to offer our full support to partners during the recovery of this vital part of our industry.

As part of the recovery, and in line with the national tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030, VisitScotland is committed to working with the industry and communities to create a long-lasting sustainable tourism destination which will protect the environment and benefit visitors and residents alike. In keeping with this approach, we are happy to work with coach operators to create sustainable product itineraries.

2022 will be Scotland’s Year of Stories. Scotland has a particularly rich heritage of storytelling which will be showcased and celebrated in a 12-month programme of events. From icons of literature to local tales, the year will encourage residents and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in activities and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland

Malcolm Roughead.

Next year will also see the return of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, while in Glasgow the Burrell Collection in Pollock Park is finally set to reopen following a major refurbishment. Consisting of more than 8,000 objects from Europe and Asia, the collection represents five millennia of art and history and includes work by major artists including Rodin, Degas and Cézanne.

2021 saw the launch of Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh which brings to life the 200-year history of the brand, its founders and the ‘four corners of Scotland’ distilleries (Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish) which are at the heart of Johnnie Walker. The eight-floor visitor experience includes a rooftop terrace bar, private dining areas, tasting rooms, personalised and group tours and live performance areas while the retail shop offers visitors the opportunity to find their perfect whisky. The venue is the centrepiece of a £185 million investment to transform how visitors experience Scotch whisky at Diageo’s distilleries across Scotland.

Looking for inspiration, Scotland’s UNESCO Trail connects Scotland’s 13 place-based UNESCO designations, including World Heritage Sites, Biospheres, Global Geoparks and Creative Cities, taking visitors on a cultural journey across the country, experiencing everything from history, science, music, design and literature to nature and cityscapes.

Scottish tourism businesses continue to work hard to adapt their offerings to give visitors the best and safest possible experience in this new world. Keep an eye on our industry website, visitscotland.org, for Covid advice as we continue to update it with the latest Government guidelines. We look forward to welcoming you to Scotland in the very near future.

For more information visit www.visitscotland.com.

This comment is from the 2022 edition of Who’s Who in Group Leisure. To access the digital edition click here.