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Aviemore (in)bound to be perfect convention host

Press Release   •   Feb 12, 2016 14:14 GMT

Macdonald Aviemore Resort has hosted a three-day tourism convention looking at how the UK can continue to achieve record-breaking visitor numbers and spend year-on-year.

Sponsored by VisitScotland, the UKinbound annual convention (10-12 February) has attracted more than 200 delegates who have taken part in business seminar and plenary sessions, informal networking and B2B workshops.

Speakers have included Scottish Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing, VisitScotland’s Director of Marketing Charlie Smith, as well as representatives from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

The event has also seen the launch of VisitScotland’s first ever global marketing campaign to the travel trade. Accompanied by a social media movement – #ScotSpirit – the campaign aims to raise the spirit and profile of Scotland to the highest it has ever been by igniting the power of a nation behind tourism.

The national tourism organisation has also launched an inspirational new website that will enable every tourism business and organisation to contribute to the content and drive new business.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“The spirit of Scotland campaign encourages visitors and Scots to share what it is that makes our country so special. Using the hashtag #ScotSpirit, overseas visitors and locals alike can get involved, unearthing hidden gems and swapping the memorable experiences that make visiting Scotland so unique.

“This is good for visitors and great for the industry, as it contains some of Scotland’s proudest ambassadors who every day work to create Scotland’s famous warm welcome and top-class visitor experiences.”

UKinbound is one of the leading trade associations and the only which focuses solely on the interests of the UK's inbound tourism sector. The theme of this year’s event has been ‘Staying GREAT’.

VisitScotland’s role at the conference has been to support UKinbound’s work of promoting co-operation with the international travel trade, as well as supporting Scottish industry members to ensure this country is the first-choice destination for the networks with whom they liaise.

Charlie Smith, VisitScotland’s Director of Marketing, talked about the theme of ‘Staying GREAT’ during a plenary session yesterday (Thursday) and also took part in the panel debate, alongside other industry experts.

Delegates have also had the opportunity to partake in a familiarisation trip which showcased the highlights of Scotland’s ‘product’, including visiting Jacobite Cruises, Historic Scotland’s Urquhart Castle, Fort George, Stirling Castle, Culloden, the Royal Yacht Britannia, The Royal Collection, the Kelpies and more. 

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“I have no doubt that this year’s conference, with the theme of ‘Staying GREAT’, has been a fascinating event and the surroundings in Aviemore equally inspiring.

“Here at VisitScotland, we are celebrating the launch of our new global marketing campaign. Through this unique and ambitious campaign and social movement which not only captures the spirit of Scotland, but spreads it globally, we are working to raise the profile of Scotland to unprecedented levels as a place to visit, invest and live.

“2016 is the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, when we will shine a spotlight on Scotland as the home of ground-breaking scientists, engineers, architects and designers. From the Forth Rail Bridge to Dolly the Sheep – Scotland’s innovative past, present and future continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe.

“Macdonald Hotels secured the bid for the event to be in Aviemore against strong competition. With the new flights into Inverness from London, and improving connectivity to the Highlands giving a good choice of options to develop programmes, they can offer more flexibility to their clients.”

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts Deputy Chief Executive Ruaridh Macdonald said:

"We are delighted to be hosting such a significant event. The tourism industry is the backbone of the Highland economy and Macdonald Aviemore Resort is dedicated to doing everything it can during its half centenary year and beyond to support and encourage growth. Our recent £8 million investment indicates our commitment to Aviemore, Scotland, the UK and beyond.”

For more information on the convention, visit

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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.
  • 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

    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 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 begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 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 Scottish Government, 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 events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting