Scotland Comes to the U.S.

We here at Travel Agent love all things Scottish—kilts, golf, Macbeth, Ewan McGregor, James McAvoy, David Tennant—so we're especially excited to have Scotland's Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop come by our offices tomorrow. She will be visiting as part of a North American tour promoting Scotland as a modern, dynamic nation well worth a visit...or a return!

Built around the annual Tartan Day celebrations in North America, held this year on April 6, Scotland Week serves to promote Scotland's culture, creativity and distinctive heritage to two of its biggest markets, the U.S. and Canada.

Fiona Hyslop; Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Michael Russell; and Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism Jim Mather will undertake a series of promotional engagements throughout the U.S. and Canada, working with VisitScotland and Scottish Development International (SDI).

"We have developed Scotland Week into an ambitious program of activity involving Ministers, SDI and VisitScotland," Hyslop said in a statement before beginning the tour. "This year will build on the success of the Year of Homecoming in reaching out to those with an affinity to Scotland." The U.S., she added, is Scotland's largest tourist market, and the team wants to promote Scotland as a "must-see, must-return visitor destination."

Next week in New York,  Hyslop will start the seventh annual Scotland Run in Central Park, undertake a series of business and cultural events including hosting a reception at an exhibition by  Scottish photographer Harry Benson, and promote the Scottish textiles industry at the Dressed to Kilt fashion show. Hyslop will then travel to Tennessee to meet local businesses and elected Congress representatives who helped establish the Friends of Scotland Caucuses, and to attend events celebrating the cultural links between the US and Scotland, including a showcase by Celtic folk artists Laura McGhee and John Carter Cash.

In Pittsburgh, Toronto and San Francisco, meanwhile, Michael Russell will participate in a series of business, cultural and education-related meetings and events. Russell will give a speech at Carnegie Mellon University about building Scotland's future on the legacy of past successes and undertake events with the Sierra Club in San Francisco.

Jim Mather will travel to Boston, New York and Texas for meetings with key investors and will give a speech at The Fletcher School at Tufts University about how American thinkers are informing the debate about Scotland's future. In San Antonio, Mather will dedicate a memorial to the Scots who died at the Alamo in March 1936. He will round off Scotland Week by participating in the Kirkin O' The Tartan and annual Tartan Day Parade in New York on Saturday, April 10.

VisitScotland's Scotland Week activity will focus on New York, San Francisco and Toronto, promoting Scotland as a must-see, must-visit destination and will use this year's food and drink theme to showcase Scottish cuisine. Award-winning Scots chef Tony Singh will be in the U.S. to allow guests and leading gourmet and travel media to sample everything from Punjabi salmon to haggis pakora, emphasising the quality and freshness of Scotland's world-class cuisine.

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