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Scotland attempts to woo back US tourists

17 October 2006

Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell has unveiled plans to boost US visitor numbers to the country to half a million in five years.

Speaking during a visit to the US, McConnell said America was the most important overseas tourism market for Scotland, despite tourist numbers falling 15% in 2005 after the terror attacks in London.

McConnell said improved marketing was needed to offset the decline and set out a seven point plan to improve Scottish links with US businesses, students, workers and tourists in seven states - California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Texas.

He said: "I want to make sure Scotland is getting the most out of this relationship - to take it to a new level. This is a hard-edged strategy, not some warm words or loose language with a nice cover. We need to maximise gains from our engagement with USA."

The strategy also seeks to improve awareness and perception of Scotland, as a place to do business in.

VisitScotland spends £1 million on marketing itself in the US annually. It expects the US to generate around £250m a year in tourist income for Scotland by 2010.

Scotland needs infrastructure for tourism growth >>

Scottish executive unveils 10-year tourism strategy >>

By Emily Manson

E-mail your comments to Emily Manson](mailto:emily.manson@rbi.co.uk?subject=Scotland attempts to woo back US tourists) here.

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