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VisitScotland drives in business from Europe

Press Release   •   Oct 11, 2016 12:39 BST

Cairngorms National Park

A firm that uses vintage Bentleys to offer chauffeur-driven tours of the Highlands is among the Scottish tourism businesses heading to France and Spain with VisitScotland this week.

Bygone Drives will join the national tourism organisation on its business development mission to Paris tomorrow (Wednesday 12 October), followed by a similar trip to Barcelona and Madrid over the weekend.

The missions will see the Aviemore-based firm, along with other tourism businesses from around Scotland, hold face-to-face meetings with key tour operators from two of Scotland’s biggest overseas markets.

France is behind only the USA and Germany, welcoming 196,000 visitors and generating £118 million for the Scottish economy in 2015. Spain, meanwhile, is Scotland’s fifth largest overseas market, with the country welcoming 146,000 visitors in 2015. Spanish visitors contribute £105 million a year to the Scottish economy.

The following Scottish tourism businesses will be heading overseas with VisitScotland this week:

Paris, 12-14 October:

  • Bygone Drives (Aviemore)
    • Scot Mountain Holidays (Boat of Garten, Highlands)
    • Glasgow City Marketing Bureau
    • Lovat Hotel (Fort Augustus, Highlands)
    • Speyside Wildlife and Cairngorms NP Ltd (Highlands)
    • National Trust Scotland
    • Love Loch Lomond
    • Knockderry House (Argyll)
    • Scottish Equestrian Hotel (Lanark)
    • Tour Skye
  • Barcelona and Madrid, 16-18 October:
  • Bygone Drives (Aviemore)
    • VisitArran
    • Jacobite Cruises (Loch Ness)
    • Hotel Eilean Iarmain (Knoydart)
    • Achnagairn Estate (part of Perfect Manors, Inverness)
  • Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “VisitScotland supports industry in their aspirations to internationalise and to attract more business and income from international markets. Our business development missions to France and Spain are a cost-effective way for Scottish businesses to maintain existing relationships and to establish new ones with overseas tour operators.

    “Worth nearly over £100 million a year each to our economy, France and Spain are key markets for Scottish tourism and I’m sure these missions to Paris, Madrid and Barcelona will prove an enjoyable and beneficial experience for all of our partners.”

    Isobel Yule, Director of Bygone Drives, said: “We offer unforgettable driving experiences through breath-taking Cairngorms and Speyside scenery, but we are keen to expand our reach. We are very excited to be offering a History Heritage & Archaeology tour in our vintage cars in 2017 to evoke the emotion, spirit, and mystic qualities of our Highland culture.

    “VisitScotland’s business development missions to France and Spain will give us a fantastic opportunity to reach out to important overseas markets, something we wouldn’t be able to do on our own.” 

    The missions to France and Spain follow a similar mission to Amsterdam last month. VisitScotland’s European marketing team will lead another business development mission to Germany in November.

    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