Despite being separated by 3,000 miles of ocean, Scotland and Canada have enjoyed a long-standing connection for centuries through ancestry, history, trade, culture and much more.

This spring/summer the two countries are being brought even closer together thanks to new and returning air routes across the Atlantic, connecting Scotland’s largest cities to Toronto and Halifax.

Over recent weeks, routes connecting Glasgow to Halifax and Toronto have returned with WestJet and on June 2, the airline’s inaugural flight between Toronto and Edinburgh will take off.

Air Canada (mainline) will also increase its capacity to Edinburgh as it relaunches its direct route (previously under Air Canada Rouge) on June 1 with a 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft complete with business class offering.

This follows the reinstatement of routes with Air Transat to Glasgow at the end of last year.

Commenting on the increase in lift from Canada, Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “The return of direct air routes from Canada to Scotland is positive news for Scottish tourism. Before the pandemic, Canada was one of our top ten largest international markets for visitors and growing. Over the last two years we have worked hard to keep Scotland top of mind here but the return of direct routes especially, in key travel hubs such as Toronto, is vital and will help support the recovery of Scotland’s valuable tourism industry.”

Roughead continued: “VisitScotland has built strong relationships with Canadian airlines and travel trade, we look forward to working with our partners on the promotion of these routes.”

And he pointed out: “We know there is pent-up demand from Canadians to travel to Scotland. Our message and that of the Scottish tourism industry is simple we are open and cannot wait to welcome back Canadian visitors.”

In recent months, VisitScotland has invested more money than ever before in activity in Canada, in recognition of the importance of this market in its recovery efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent research by VisitBritain into consumer sentiment towards international travel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic showed that 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.

Recent activity in Canada as part of the organization’s strategy to rebuild international visitor demand includes Scotland is Calling, an £8.5 million global marketing campaign in key markets to inspire visitors to book a trip in Scotland, support for inbound tour operators and a program of engagement with travel trade in Canada including destination training, meetings with tour operators and opportunities to meet the VisitScotland North America team.

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Photo courtesy VisitScotland



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