The longstanding annual VisitScotland trade expo is being replaced next year with a new online format designed to mitigate the challenges of the pandemic.
A new Discover Scotland: Reconect 2022 business-to-business event is to be staged virtually on April 5-7, followed by five regional showcases to be held in May and September.
A virtual attendance in April of around 300 buyers from more than 20 markets and attendance by 300 Scottish suppliers is expected.
“Together, these events will promote trade-ready Scottish tourism businesses to key international buyers on the ground in Scotland,” tourism body VisitScotland said.
The new Discover Scotland 2022 travel trade platform allows VisitScotland “to facilitate a cost-effective option for participating businesses and operators to connect, plan ahead and do business online and in person with buyers – and potentially explore the best of Scotland’s regional responsible tourism offering for themselves”.
The new format will also support a commitment to make the country a leading destination for responsible tourism by showcasing new and existing sustainable tourism products directly to key international and UK buyers.
VisitScotland has been working with the Scottish tourism and events industry to create a long-lasting sustainable destination which will protect the natural and cultural environment and benefit visitors and residents alike.
Chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: “Discover Scotland 2022 offers an exciting new platform on which to showcase the best of Scotland’s tourism products, allowing businesses to stay connected with qualified buyers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have worked with tourism industry representatives to ensure that this travel trade programme of activity meets their needs in 2022 and ensures that connection to international buyers remains possible – it is something we are very much looking forward to delivering.
“We fully support the Scottish tourism industry and are committed to helping businesses recover from the Covid-19 pandemic by providing opportunities for them to network with tour operators and travel agents from all over the world, both online and on location.
“The challenges of the pandemic have given us the opportunity to reconsider the way we deliver events; Discover Scotland has been designed to meet the needs of the tourism industry in 2022 and ensure that connecting with buyers remains possible through a new programme of activity.
“Our international visitors are hugely important for Scottish tourism and we have continued to engage virtually with those markets throughout the pandemic, encouraging visitors to ‘dream now, travel later’.”