VisitScotland Business Events Travel Trade Corporate Toolkit

We use cookies

We use Cookies to improve your experience on this site.
You can accept our cookies policy or customise your choices.
Please refer to our Cookies Policy for more information.

Manage cookies settings

Serving up a taste of Scotland


Hundreds of New Yorkers enjoyed a taste of Scotland yesterday (Wednesday 6 April), courtesy of a special Tartan Day Takeaway event hosted by VisitScotland.

As part of its ongoing work to bring back international visitors following the COVID-19 pandemic, the national tourism organisation treated locals to some tasty Scottish street food served by Scottish TV Chef and restaurateur Tony Singh.

Hosted next to Madison Square Park in Manhattan, the pop-up food truck’s menu, inspired by Tony Singh’s Scottish Sikh heritage, featured Punjabi Salmon Tacos, Kheer with Islay Whisky Sweet Mango, washed down with Scotland’s ‘other national drink’ Irn Bru. 

The Tartan Day festivities were led by Finlay Wilson, the Kilted Yogi who conducted some     fun-filled kilted yoga with passers-by and fuelled by Scottish music.

The event forms part of wider Tartan Week celebrations in Canada and the USA this week recognising the strong historical and cultural ties with Scotland. 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USA was the largest international market for visitors to Scotland with the highest number of visits (636,000) and expenditure (£717 million) in 2019. Meanwhile Canada was the top international market for visitors visiting multiple regions within Scotland between 2017 and 2019. 

This year marks the return of the first VisitScotland in-person events at Tartan Week since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, culminating in the annual Tartan Day parade in New York on Saturday 9 April which will be led by Scottish actress, Karen Gillan as Grand Marshall. 

Other VisitScotland activity as part of Tartan Week includes destination training session for travel advisors, roundtables with partners such as the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, diaspora breakfast and, building on the momentum of COP26 and Scotland’s ambitions for sustainable recovery, panel discussions on responsible travel with the University of Guelph and travel publisher AFAR. 


Vicki Miller, VisitScotland Director of Marketing & Digital, said

“North America is Scotland’s largest international market, and the return of these visitors is vital for the long-term recovery of our valuable tourism and events industry.

“Tartan Week, and creative events such as the Tartan Day Takeaway, are a key part of our work to keep Scotland top of mind and rebuild international demand. It complements our global marketing ‘Scotland is Calling’ campaign - which aims to make Scotland the destination of choice for all visitors in 2022 and beyond - as well as our work with inbound travel trade and airline partners to secure the return of direct routes. 

“We know there is pent-up demand for travel and hope North America has enjoyed a flavour of the best Scotland has to offer this week. Scotland is open and our tourism and events industry looks forward to welcoming back visitors.” 


Scotland’s rich history and diverse culture are a strong motivator for both USA and Canadian visitors. An increase in film and TV shows set in Scotland in recent years such as Outlander and the country’s reputation as the ‘Home of Golf’ have also helped attract visitors. 

Recent research by VisitBritain into consumer sentiment towards international travel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has found 80% of USA and 77% of Canadian respondents intend to travel abroad for leisure purposes within the next 12 months with consideration for Scotland increasing among all age groups. 

Rebuilding international visitor demand and re-engaging with the North American market will help support the recovery of Scotland’s valuable tourism industry from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tartan Week is just one strand of VisitScotland’s international activity which includes Scotland is Calling, a £8.5 million global marketing campaign in key markets (including USA and Canada) to inspire visitors to book a trip in Scotland. This is part of a wider international demand building programme, one of several tourism recovery proposals developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG), funded by the Scottish Government, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Serving up a taste of Scotland

Rebuilding North American visitor demand at Tartan Week

Asset type post
ID 111751
Word count 704 words


Licence Editorial A Licence to use assets for editorial purposes, which is, to illustrate an event or story in an article but not commercially such as marketing a product or print ad. An Editorial asset may show a brand, a trademarked logo or product, a public personality, or recognisable people, without a signed release or with limited releases. When you use VisitScotland Editorial content you do so to illustrate Scottish tourism in a positive way.
Expiry No expiry date
Usage Editorial content can be published in a variety of formats, ranging from print or digital to online. In print, content can be featured in newspapers, magazines, or brochures. Online, content can be published on a blog, website, article, or social media. Regardless of the format, this content should always promote Scotland’s tourism in a positive way.