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VisitScotland harbours Australia ambitions

Press Release   •   Aug 21, 2017 13:07 BST

Piper Alasdair Connor, from Skye, provides the entertainment in Sydney. Picture: David Li

Young people in Australia and New Zealand are being encouraged to enjoy a holiday in Scotland.

The considerable development of one-stop connectivity for Australian visitors as a result of flights to Scotland via the Middle East presents even greater opportunity to increase the spend in Scotland of this long-standing, long-staying market.

Making the most of this opportunity and working with Etihad Airways and other partners, staff at VisitScotland are currently on an Antipodean Business Development Mission, with trade events taking place in venues across new Zealand and Australia, including the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne and the Sydney Opera House.

In addition to targeting greater numbers of older ancestral and cultural explorers, in preparation for 2018 and Scotland's Year of Young People the team will be putting a particular focus on reaching out to younger travellers, encouraging them to look out for the programme of events and activities to be spotlighted in 2018.

Returning to Australia, the VisitScotland team will also be hoping to continue its work in leveraging the enormous interest generated when accompanying the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which thrilled audiences during performances in Melbourne last year.

According to the latest International Passenger Survey (IPS) statistics, Scotland welcomes around 142,000 Australian visitors a year, generating £126 million for the economy. New Zealand accounts for 32,000 visitors and £21 m.

In the course of the mission, VisitScotland has partnered with Etihad Airways and Glasgow Life to host a number of events for the travel trade at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne and the Sydney Opera House, with pipers from Melbourne and from the Isle of Skye providing entertainment. They will host their final event at the Hilton Auckland on Wednesday (23 August).

Etihad Airways has one-stop connectivity from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth to Scotland via Abu Dhabi to Edinburgh seven days a week, connecting travellers from across Australia and New Zealand.

Kirsten Spence, Senior Market Manager at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland has never been so well connected with our major long-staying target markets in Australia and New Zealand. We’ve long seen visitors of all ages from the region but, with Scotland’s Year of Young People coming up in 2018, there is a fantastic opportunity to flag to intrepid young Antipodeans just how easy it now is for them to come and sample Scotland’s unique brand of adventure and fun.”

In addition to the travel trade events hosted in partnership with Etihad Airways, the business development mission has also included a programme of events hosting Scotland’s valuable diaspora communities in Melbourne and Sydney as well as at The Northern Club in Auckland.

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
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • 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)
  • 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