Laurencekirk company secures VisitScotland grant

A Laurencekirk-based tour company has secured a grant from VisitScotland to encourage overseas English language students to visit the area as an eco-destination.

By Morag Kuc
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 1:25 pm
Clare Plaister (second left) with French teachers at Dunnottar Castle, by Stonehaven.
Clare Plaister (second left) with French teachers at Dunnottar Castle, by Stonehaven.

Language Travel Tours announced the award which will support the launch of three programmes designed to encourage international students to the area.

The company, which is the only one of its type in NE Scotland, was founded by Clare Plaister in 2015 with the vision to give English language students access to the real Scotland.

And with the traditional “school exchange” increasingly on the wane in Scotland, the service offered by Language Travel Tours is addressing that gap by also giving local secondary schools and host families the opportunity to welcome students from overseas.

During its seven years in business, Language Travel Tours has welcomed more than 10,000 school-age and adult students from across the EU, Japan, Russia, the Czech Republic and China – all of whom have benefited from the unique blend of professional English tuition from qualified teachers, Scottish life with their host family, and the cultural pursuits on offer in the North East of Scotland.

An appreciation of Scotland’s environment and outdoor culture is central to Language Travel Tours’ newest programmes; Active in Scotland, Eco-Scotland and Only in Scotland and VisitScotland’s award of £15,300 has been key in ensuring they have been robustly marketed to their key audiences.

Explaining the inspiration behind these programmes, Clare comments: “From our perspective, our programmes offer significant benefits to the local economy, providing employment for English language teachers and custom for local tourist attractions and venues. Right now, we’re committed to putting Scotland on the map as a sustainable destination, and VisitScotland’s award is the springboard to move our business forward in this respect.”

Vicki Miller, VisitScotland Director of Marketing and Digital said: “Before the COVID-19 pandemic, our international visitor numbers were growing year-on year with 3.4 million visits in 2019, worth £2.5 billion to the wider economy. The return of these visitors will be a welcome boost to tourism businesses.”