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Tartan Week in America

The Executive today announced what it calls its most ambitious Tartan Week programme to date for the annual showcase of all things Scottish in the US.

Strengthening business and cultural links will be the main focus this year, with an additional emphasis on health, in a series of events leading up to the official Tartan Day on April 6.

The objective will be to underline the promotion of Scotland in the US as a place to visit, to study and to do business with.

Highlights of the Ministerial programme include:

Scotland Run in New York’s Central Park
Official opening of showcase Scotland Village in Grand Central Station in New York
New York Tartan Day Parade on Saturday, April 2
Launch of Life Sciences project in Boston which will see Scottish Universities embark on joint working with their US counterparts
Visit to the Big Dig – the biggest public sector infrastructure project in the world in Boston
Examining the impact of the two-year-old New York smoking ban
Ringing of the bell at the New York Stock Exchange
A wide range of other public and private sector organisations will also be participating in Tartan Week in the US.

The involvement of Ministers in Tartan Week is intended to build on ongoing Executive activity in the US where Scotland is promoted and represented by its US Office and a wide range of activity, including Ministerial visits, takes place throughout the year.

Three Cabinet Ministers will attend Tartan Week events in Washington, New York and Boston – Public Service Reform Minister Tom McCabe, Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Patricia Ferguson, and Health Minister Andy Kerr.

Mr McCabe said:

“No-one should be in any doubt that the Executive is totally committed to promoting Scotland in the US and elsewhere in the world. Tartan Week is a fantastic opportunity for a wide range of public sector organisations to work together and put Scotland in the spotlight. It is now well established as the biggest international celebration of Scotland.

“Tartan Week is, of course, an extremely important focus for our work in the US – but Scotland is promoted 365 days a year in the US through our Office there.

“Ministers have visited the US many times since the last Tartan Week and our ongoing dialogue with the US will be highlighted later this month when senior Congressmen visit Edinburgh to meet the First Minister.

“I believe this is our most ambitious Tartan Week programme to date, a wide-ranging series of events with a strong focus on business, culture and health. It offers the perfect opportunity to promote Scotland, build on the links which already exist and seek out new opportunities to tell the US that we are the best small country in the world.

“New York still pays host to the biggest celebration of Tartan Week, but Executive Ministers are delighted to be attending events promoting our universities and celebrating Scottish achievements in the arts in Boston and Washington DC.”

Ms Ferguson added:

“The USA is our most important tourism market. That’s why during Tartan Week VisitScotland’s Scottish Village will be pitched in Grand Central Station – a magnificent showcase to promote Scotland as a must-visit, must-return destination, which offers visitors a friendly welcome, great service and value for money.

“VisitScotland is using increased funding to exploit the lucrative US market. The first nine months of 2004 saw US visitor figures rise to 448,000, an increase of nine per cent on the same period in 2003.

“Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Scottish economy, and the Executive has ambitious plans to grow the value of tourism by 50 per cent in the next ten years. That will mean more wealth and more jobs for the people of Scotland.”

Mr Kerr said:

“Alongside the work being done to promote Scotland, this week gives me an excellent opportunity to see first hand the effects of legislation on smoking in public places.

“There is a lot we can learn from the experiences of New York, which will help inform the work being done in Scotland to protect the public from the dangers of second hand smoke.”

Brian Shaw, Director Field Operations for Scottish Development International, said:

“This Health of Nations, Scotland and America – defining Life Science Partnerships Conference is one of the most important events of this year’s Tartan Week. Four of Scotland’s Universities – Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh – have joined together with each other and with SDI to promote the excellent work that is being done here to further enhance our transatlantic partnerships.

“It will provide a forum for exchanges of experience and ideas, and to showcase Scotland as a home to world-class science across a broad spectrum of life science subjects.”

Bill Sinclair, VisitScotland’s US marketing manager, added:

“Tartan Day provides a fantastic opportunity to promote Scotland to what remains our most important overseas visitor market. This year’s event is even more special, as, besides the wider programme of events, it also marks the official unveiling of the VisitScotland-commissioned Scottish Village structure at Grand Central Station.

“The village, which features a range of Scottish organisations, will be based in the station’s Vanderbilt Hall for a nine-day period, and contains a series of zoned areas, each showcasing an aspect of Scottish life and culture, which will afford New Yorkers a glimpse of Scotland, and act as a spur to them visiting the country in future.

“Overall, we’re looking forward to this year’s celebrations, and alongside the other Scottish organisations involved, can’t wait to get out there and show what Scotland has to offer.”

Main aspects of the Scottish Executive programme:

Thursday, March 31

Mr Kerr will meet Commonwealth Fund re US healthcare system in New York
Mr Kerr will visit New York Presbyterian Hospital
Mr Kerr will visit Veterans Administration in New York
Friday, April 1

Patricia Ferguson will undertake event at Scotland Village in New York
Ms Ferguson will undertake Parliament and Executive event with Carnegie Institute in New York
Mr Kerr will meet Tobacco Control advocacy organisations in New York
Mr Kerr will meet clinician in New York
Mr Kerr will meet Department of Health staff in New York
Mr Kerr will visit smoke-free restaurants and premises in New York
Mr Kerr will visit Columbia University in New York
Saturday, April 2

Ms Ferguson will undertake official opening of Scotland Village in New York
Ms Ferguson will take part in New York Tartan Day Parade
Ms Ferguson will undertake joint local authorities and Tartan TV event in New York
Mr Kerr will visit VisitScotland Village exhibition in New York
Sunday, April 3

Ms Ferguson will start Scotland Run in Central Park in New York
Ms Ferguson will undertake event with Traverse Theatre in New York
Mr Kerr will take part in Scotland Run in New York
Monday, April 4

Tom McCabe will meet Consul-General at the British Consulate in Boston, and tour Scottish Development International’s business incubator facilities
Mr McCabe will launch Life Sciences event in Boston
Mr McCabe will meet with Harvard Business School in Boston
Mr McCabe will meet New England Creative Economy Council in Boston
Ms Ferguson will undertake Tartan Day event at Canadian Embassy in Washington
Tuesday, April 5

Mr McCabe will visit the Big Dig in Boston – the biggest public sector infrastructure project in the world
Mr McCabe will meet businesses and undertake private meeting in Boston
Ms Ferguson will undertake event with VisitScotland Business Tourism Unit in New York
Ms Ferguson will attend Icons of Scotland event in New York
Wednesday, April 6 – TARTAN DAY

Mr McCabe will meet the Leader of the Transatlantic Enterprise Challenge Fund in Washington
Mr McCabe will meet representatives of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington
Mr McCabe will meet Congressman John Duncan in Washington
Ms Ferguson will ring American Stock Exchange Opening Bell in New York
Ms Ferguson will attend ceremony for British Memorial Garden in New York
Ms Ferguson will attend Scottish Executive and Scottish Parliament reception in New York
Thursday, April 7

Ms Ferguson will visit Museum of Modern Art in New York
Please note, this programme may be subject to change and is not definitive as there are other meetings which are not shown here.
Source-Scottish Executive

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