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500 reasons to visit Scotland

Press Release   •   Nov 07, 2016 14:24 GMT

The North Coast 500 is hitting the road as Scotland’s answer to Route 66 joins VisitScotland at the leading global event for the travel industry in London.

Stretching through 500 miles of stunning Highlands scenery, the North Coast 500 is one of 11 Scottish businesses joining the national tourism organisation at World Travel Market 2016.

Taking place at ExCel London from today (Monday 7 November) until Wednesday, more than 50,000 industry professionals are expected to attend. It will allow VisitScotland and its industry partners to show travel trade professionals from around the globe exactly what the country has to offer. 

The event will also act as a platform to showcase Scotland’s upcoming 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology on the world stage. Running from 1 January – 31 December, 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories, offering huge opportunities for the tourism industry and collaboration across sectors.

It is the first time that North Coast 500 has exhibited at the event, with the Black Watch Castle and Museum in Perthshire and Abellio Scotrail, which operates the Borders Railway, also making their bow at World Travel Market.

The other businesses on the VisitScotland stand are:
• Cashel Travel – tour company based in Edinburgh
• Classic Britain – tour company, based in Strathaven, Lanarkshire
• Thistle DMC – incentive and leisure travel company, based in Edinburgh
• Great Houses – consisting of Blair Castle and Gardens and Scone Palace in Perthshire and Glamis Castle in Angus
• Historic Scotland
• Spirit of Scotland Show, Edinburgh
• Royal Highland Hotel, Inverness
• Strathmore Hotels, which includes the Alexandra and Ben Nevis hotels in Fort William, the Nethybridge Hotel near Aviemore, The Royal Hotel in Oban and The Salutation Hotel in Perth

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “VisitScotland assists industry to develop their product, make connections with international partners and markets, and find the right channels to promote their offering globally. As the leading global event for the travel industry, World Travel Market is a fantastic opportunity for our partners to showcase their business in front of an international audience.”

Gaelle Delagrave, Head of Brand and Communications at North Coast 500, said: “We are looking forward to the event. It’s an outstanding opportunity for NC500 and the global tourism trade to showcase one of the top five coastal touring routes in the world.”

Nesta Gilliland, ScotRail’s Head of Marketing and Sales, said: “We’re really looking forward to exhibiting at the World Travel Market as it’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight some of the great scenic rail journeys Scotland has to offer, particularly the Borders Railway which recently celebrated its one year anniversary.”

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to

      2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016