Tourism is an important export for Scotland. Tourism also supports Scotland’s exports by giving tourists exposure to Scottish products which they may look to access back in their home countries – opening up potential new markets.

Tourism showcases Scotland around the world, highlighting the very best that our country has to offer. It is also a pillar of Scotland is Now, the global marketing platform.

At VisitScotland we’re always selling Scotland. For example colleagues have just returned from a Business Development mission to China, where events in Shanghai and Beijing included a Scotland on Screen media event showcasing the incredible film and TV locations in Scotland, using the Harry Potter anniversary as a hook, alongside the upcoming Bond movie.

We were joined on the mission by 15 Scottish businesses representing some of the best experiences on offer to visitors to Scotland, including Johnstons of Elgin, the Nevis Range, Diageo and the Scotsman Hotel.

As well as China, Business Development Missions run in our other key markets of North America, Europe, Australia and we are working with VisitBritain on a Mission to India in January next year.

Businesses joining us can expect to reach the people they are targeting – either visitors, particular markets, or some of the major trade contacts. We make the arrangements, introduce them to the key people, then it’s over to them to do what they do best; namely sell your business.

We also bring the world’s travel trade to Scotland each year at VisitScotland Expo.

VisitScotland Expo is the business-to-business event for Scotland’s tourism industry, creating opportunities for businesses – including accommodation providers, visitor attractions and activity providers – to showcase their products and services to hundreds of tour operators and travel agents from all over the world.

This year Expo was attended by 595 tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and travel media. Over 30 different countries were represented, including Japan, Brazil, Germany, China and the U.S, and buyers met with 300 Scottish companies – the highest number of exhibiting companies in 20 years.

A central part of our marketing of Scotland is our visitor portal which more than 20 million people access every year. provides everything that visitors need to know about Scotland when planning their trip to Scotland.

Securing and supporting air routes into Scotland is also an important part of what we do. Increased access to Scotland brings not only more visitors, but more opportunities for trade and investment. By working with airport partners, Transport Scotland and SDI, we continue to ensure that Scotland is a destination which is easily reached by our visitors – whether on direct flights or via international hubs.

When thinking about exports and international trade, tourism needs to be in the mix. We not only provide the shop window, but help to create the life-long love affair between visitors, investors, consumers and Scotland.