Scotland Does Not Expect Independence Vote to Affect Tourism

Yesterday, Scotland announced that its citizens would vote next year on a referendum for independence. According to the Guardian and other sources, September 18, 2014 will see the country decide if it remains part of the United Kingdom, or if it becomes an independent nation with the opportunity to make new rules and regulations. Around four million voters, set to include 16- and 17-year-olds for the first time in a major poll, will be asked a single six-word question: "Should Scotland become an independent country?"

And while the issue is sure to spark controversy for the next 545 days, and the outcome of the vote could change how travelers get to and around Scotland (Visas? New flight routes? New train schedules?), the decision does not currently seem poised to affect travel to the country or to the UK in general. 

Michael McCuish, a representative from VisitScotland, told Travel Agent that there is no evidence that the tourism board's partners in the industry are being adversely affected by the current political discussion. "A changing political landscape is a part of all destinations in the world," he wrote in an email, "and Scotland will continue to be a must-visit, must-return destination because of its strengths." Partners in the industry have not reported any cancellations, he added, and there has not been any negative press about the vote.

"Scotland attracts major international events, based on the strength of our relationships with key partners and our track record in delivering strong results. In 2014 Scotland will host two of the biggest events on the international stage; the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, and there is no evidence within the industry that our ability to attract events will be adversely affected by the current political discussion," McCuish added.



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