Tourism professionals from Scotland are on a nine-day trade mission to China this week, targeting millennial travellers.
VisitScotland said “millennials are set to be the driving force of growth in Chinese travel to Scotland” and Scotland accounts for almost a fifth (17%) of all Chinese visitors to the UK.
Chinese visitor numbers to the UK are expected to rise by almost half, from 260,000 to 384,000, over the next five years.
The rise in Chinese visitors is expected to be driven by young adults – in 2016, half of Chinese visitors to the UK were aged between 25 and 44.
VisitScotland representatives are accompanied by 11 Scottish businesses on the trade mission, which includes a programme of tailored meetings with major Chinese tour operators and Scotland training for their sales teams.
It began as the Scottish Government launched the official programme of events for the 2018 Year of Young People.
The VisitScotland mission, which is also supported by Scottish Development International, will visit Shanghai – which accounts for 17% of outbound travellers from China – Chongqing in the south west and Guangzhou.
Following the mission, VisitScotland will join partners at Destination Britain China (November 21-23), a tourism showcase organised by VisitBritain in Guangzhou.
China’s growing wealth, the growth in travel to Europe and the UK, as well as Scotland’s appeal on the back of films and series such as Harry Potter and, has seen tourism from China to Scotland grow steadily over the past decade.
Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland chief executive, said: “China is a hugely important emerging international market and this mission will provide our partners an excellent platform to speak directly to the top travel professionals in some of the country’s most valuable outbound regions.
“It seems fitting that this mission coincides with the programme launch of Scotland’s Year of Young People, as Chinese millennials are seen as a growing market for the future of international tourism.”
Picture: A visitor takes a photograph with a mobile phone in the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle, St Giles’ Cathedral, Royal Mile, Edinburgh. Credit: P. Tomkins/VisitScotland.