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Passage to India

Press Release   •   Jan 11, 2017 10:52 GMT

The VisitScotland/Etihad workshop in Bangalore

Ten tourism businesses are joining VisitScotland in India over the coming weeks aiming to grow a market currently worth £12 million to the Scottish economy.

The national tourism organisation, partnering with Etihad Airways, is leading a two-week business development mission in the emerging market. This is in conjunction with the group’s attendance at VisitBritain’s three-day Destination Britain India event in Pune.

The VisitScotland business development mission will give companies such as Go2 UK Travels, a destination management firm which has reported a 200 per cent increase in Indian visitors to Scotland in recent years, the opportunity to hold face-to-face meetings with up to 400 key tour operators in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

In addition to the main schedule, representatives from VisitScotland and the other companies will also conduct meetings with key partners in Pune and Ahmedabad.

Between 2013 and 2015, Scotland welcomed an average of 29,000 visitors from India, with the country’s scenery, history, culture and whisky all proving particularly popular.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “VisitScotland supports industry in their aspirations to internationalise and to attract more business and income from global markets. India is an important emerging market for Scottish tourism and this business development mission – our first of 2017 – will allow tourism businesses to meet face to face with tour operators. It will provide our partners with an excellent platform to showcase their products and we look forward to welcoming more Indian visitors to Scotland as a result.”

Khushboo Shah, Founder and Director of Go2 UK Travels, a firm which focuses on specialised packages and tours exclusively for Indian travellers and Indian travel agents, said: “The modern Indian traveller is looking for natural beauty, untouched landscapes, luxury hotels, great food, great whisky and friendly, welcoming people. This makes Scotland an ideal destination for Indian travellers.

“We’ve seen a growth of over 200 per cent year-on-year in Indian tourists travelling to Scotland. Whether it is corporate events, luxury travellers or everyday travellers, the demand is just growing for tours to Scotland. Our best sellers this year have been whisky trails and golf tours with luxury stays.”

This is the eighth overseas business development mission VisitScotland has led since September, having been joined by 65 businesses on missions to the Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, the USA and Canada, China and South Korea and India.

The companies joining VisitScotland on its business development mission to India are:
• Cashel Travel (Edinburgh)
• Kandala Travel (Glasgow, London & Hyderabad)
• The Spires (Luxury serviced apartments in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen)
• CHR Travel (Essex)
• Golden Tours (London)
• Go2 UK Travels (London)
• Worldwide DMC Ltd (London)
• Globus (London)
• Belmond (London, Edinburgh)
• Nira Caledonia (Edinburgh-based luxury hotel)

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
  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017