VisitAberdeenshire / Damian Shields

Pitching Your Business

Pitching your business to the right audience at the right time and in the right way is vital to secure repeat and new leisure tourism revenue.

VisitScotland Connect is a workshop-style format and the more you prepare and fine tune your business pitch, the easier and more successful you will find the 1:1 business conversations with attending tour operators, travel advisors and DMCs. At VisitScotland Connect, you have 12 minutes to introduce your business, detail your proposition and tailor it to suit the needs of your conversation partner.

This page is designed as a step-by-step guide to help you create a compelling business pitch and smoothly navigate your 1:1 appointments.

What is a business or “elevator” pitch?

The way you describe your product or business and its key selling points in 30-60 seconds. Focus on who you are, what you offer and what value you bring to a tour operator, travel advisor or DMC sending clients your way.

Why is it important?

You will use it during:

  • Tea and coffee breaks
  • Drinks receptions
  • Networking dinners
  • 1:1 appointments to pitch your product or business to Buyers

Fine tune your business pitch

  • Remember ‘Buyers’ might not know Scotland very well – where are you located (include key attractions or distance to cities/international airports for reference)?
  • What type of business are you? Don’t leave them guessing what your product offering is.
  • What type of visitor is your product or experience for? Include whether you are FIT or group friendly. If you don’t have capacity for large groups, highlight if you can split groups, e. g. offer staggered tours.
  • Focus on facts and figures – what would you like the Buyers to remember about your product or business?
  • What makes your product/business stand out? What makes it unique?
  • How will Buyers benefit from contracting your product or experience?
  • Are you able to share trade rates for 2024 and 2025? Do not include trade rates in your written pitch, but make sure you signal that you have this available for the in-person conversation.
  • Know your markets and tweak proposition depending on market.
  • Do your research. Find out about the Buyer (size, market, what they already sell etc.) in advance. Tweak and tailor your proposition depending on whether you are speaking to a tour operator, a travel advisor, or a DMC – if you don’t know, ask the question where in the travel distribution chain they sit.

Your business pitch is about starting a business relationship

  • Focus on keeping the conversation around your product or business – don’t get distracted discussing global events not relating to your business.
  • Don’t forget to mention your quality grading and green credentials!
  • Each appointment can be different – make sure you ask whether your product or experience is suitable for their clients. If not, what are their clients looking for and can you tweak your proposition?
  • Summarise key actions and takeaways before you conclude the meeting. What have you agreed on? What additional information will you share with your conversation partner as part of your follow-up?
  • Don’t over promise. Consider this as the beginning of development of a business partnership with mutual benefits.
  • Follow up asap, even just to acknowledge the meeting. 
  • Contracting new business can take up to 24 months – don’t underestimate “keeping in touch’ conversations.

What are you likely to be asked?

Number of rooms, facilities, tour operator allocations, booking and cancellation policies, trade rates for 2024 are mandatory and 2025 rates are necessary to secure business via travel trade incl. seasonal price points, distance from major cities, accessibility, open all year?

Activity / Attractions
Facilities, visitor experience, suitability (family-/pet-friendly, accessible?), capacity / group size, language provisions, booking and cancellation policies, trade rates for 2024 and 2025  incl. seasonal price points, seasonal opening times, distance from major cities, accommodation packages / in vicinity

Routes / location, timetables / seasonality, fleet and capacity, facilities, booking method, trade rates, packages

What should you be asking?

When are the tour operators, travel advisors and DMCs looking to contract?  Are they still contracting for 2024 or looking at 2025 or 2026?

Product Development
When do they start annual planning/looking at product development? Allows you to follow up at appropriate time.

What size of groups/number of clients are they looking at sending your way?