Buyers attending Northern England’s biggest business tourism industry trade show have been ‘virtually’ transported 134 miles north of the border by VisitScotland, in a bid to inspire more business visitors to Scotland. The national tourism organisation’s Business Events team gave attendees at the Conference and Hospitality Show in Leeds the chance to experience some of Scotland’s most exciting destinations and landscapes via its immersive virtually reality app, ScotlandVR.
VisitScotland Business Events led a Scottish contingent of representatives from hotels and venues across Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow, Ayrshire and Perthshire. The app, which was released by VisitScotland earlier this year, features 360˚ imagery and footage and visitors to the Scotland stand were able to view it in Stereoscopic 3D through the use of a Google Cardboard virtual reality headset.
As part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, some of the Scottish partners attending have links to Scotland’s rich past including Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, National Museums of Scotland and Royal College of Surgeons. The Conference and Hospitality Show, now in its eighth year, was expected to be attended by more than 800 buyers, including top event organisers from across the UK.
Theresa Ring, Market Manager – The Midlands & North England at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland’s history and heritage is what defines the country for many visitors. It’s an integral and iconic part of our national ‘brand’ as well as a major contributor to our economy. Scotland’s heritage is a major driver for event planners looking for a uniquely authentic setting, which is also home to world-class contemporary facilities for meetings and incentives. The Conference and Hospitality Show is an important platform to promote Scotland to key UK buyers and the North of England is a growing market for us, accounting for nearly 40% of total UK enquiries in 2016/17.”
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 which represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.