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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 October 2007, 23:05 GMT 00:05 UK
Tourism bosses to target Russians
A Russian model wearing tartan
Scotland hopes to harness the Russian market
Tourism chiefs plan to travel to Russia in an attempt to lure more visitors to Scotland.

Representatives from more than 20 tour operators, hotels and other attractions will meet their Russian counterparts on visits to St Petersburg and Moscow.

Russians are Scotland's highest spending visitors and business tourism has grown about 20% in the past year.

The trip will promote Scotland as a destination for this sector, focusing on conferences and corporate events.

Twenty-four representatives will fly the flag for Scotland, describing the services they offer and hosting special Scotland-themed reception evenings.

'Wealthy' market

Organiser VisitScotland, the country's tourism body, believes the trip will be a resounding success and said 145 Russian tour operators have already signed up to meet them.

Scotland's tourism authorities have seized on the increasing wealth of a resurgent Russia as a source of affluent visitors in recent years.

Tourism chiefs paid their first visit to Russia in 2004, and participants this year include the Balmoral Hotel, the Gleneagles Hotel and Historic Scotland.

Tatiana Danilova, VisitScotland's international marketing executive, said: "Russia is an important emerging tourism market for Scotland with huge potential for growth.

"Scotland has what Russian visitors want in abundance from luxury hotels and spas to world famous golf courses and, of course, a wee dram or two."

Caroline Packman, VisitScotland's head of business tourism, added: "This is an excellent opportunity for us to show the wealthy Russian market that Scotland delivers the five-star style they are looking for in order to help make Scotland one of the world's foremost conference and meeting destinations by 2015."

Earlier this year, a tartan firm targeted the Russian market with the production of a design inspired by Moscow landmarks.

Borders-based Lochcarron of Scotland took the tartan to the Red Square for the Kremlin Zoria - the country's first international military tattoo.

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