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VisitScotland Expo announces record-breaking year for show

VisitScotland Expo, one of Scotland’s major business travel trade shows, has announced this year’s event as one of the biggest in its 40-year history.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “Without doubt, VisitScotland Expo 2019 was one of the best since the event began life as Scotland’s Travel Trade Fair back in 1980.

“The event had a great vibe and it was a unique opportunity for tourism businesses to meet face-to-face with hundreds of tour operators from all over the world – all under one roof.

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making this year’s event such a success.”

The event took place at Glasgow’s SEC between 10 and 11 April and saw 340 businesses, including 100 first-time exhibitors showcase products to more than 550 tour operators, travel agents, wholesalers and airline brands from 28 countries.

The 2019 VisitScotland Expo also facilitated a record 10,000 appointments between exhibitors and buyers. The event organisers worked with select airline partners, Delta, Hainan, Finnair and Jet2 to ensure international buyers from key markets could attend the event.

Global tour operators at the event got to experience more of Scotland including Orkney, and Dumfries and Galloway, via the fam trips organised by VisitScotland. VisitScotland also announced 2020 as the year of Coast and Waters in Scotland with a variety of aqua-oriented events running throughout the year.

The VisitScotland Expo is headed north in 2020 to the newly built The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) which is due to open this summer. The new complex will replace the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC) at a cost of £333 million. The 48,000 sqm of multi-purpose event spaces at TECA will include an arena, exhibition halls, hospitality boxes and a restaurant.

TECA is anticipated to be the UK’s most sustainable event venue and is on course to achieve BREAAM excellent, the highest environmental standard available. TECA’s environmentally friendly features include 29,000 on-site trees and shrubs, using recycled materials from the AECC and the on-site energy centre which uses Aberdeen’s food and garden waste to generate power.

Nick Waight, managing director at TECA, said: “TECA will be the most sustainable event venue in the UK upon opening, which is a fitting tribute to Scotland’s dedication and commitment to sustainable development throughout the country.”