The Scottish Parliament was the venue for the official unveiling of the Scottish Tourism Week 2017 Signature Programme, the 12th annual tourism week which brings a number of major industry events together under one programme.
The programme was introduced to guests at a special Parliamentary Reception, hosted by VisitScotland, which saw over 200 guests gather to hearFiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs address guests on the importance with engaging with VisitScotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Architecture.
This year’s Scottish Tourism Week has been built around the theme ‘The Future Beyond 2020’, one of the key events being the STA Signature Conference, which this year will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow on Wednesday 15 March.
The conference programme is the most ambitious and diverse to date and will take delegates on a journey into what the future looks like for all aspects of tourism – the economic outlook, the future of the tourism workplace, creating and delivering the future customer journey and leading in a changing future.
Business support sessions will be held throughout the afternoon at the conference on the themes ‘How To Look Good And Be Seen And Heard’ looking at how business communicate their brand and tell stories to customers; ‘Pitch Perfect - What it takes to attract and retain talent’ focusing on how we as an industry can better position and sell the Scottish tourism industry to future generations and ‘Making Money to Make It Happen’ exploring how business can increase their bottom line by cutting costs, creating revenue opportunities and become more investable.
The Scottish Tourism Alliance will be partnering ScotHot for the second time, bringing together all of the major suppliers to our industry under one roof at the SECC giving delegates the opportunity to meet, mingle and network. The Scottish Culinary Championships will also be a highlight of the event in addition to the Dinner with a Difference showcasing Scotland's finest produce at what is one of tourism’s most important industry networking events of the year, taking place at The Glasgow Science Centre.
The Scottish Thistle Awards will again add a glittering celebratory element to Scottish Tourism Week on Thursday 16th March at the EICC, Edinburgh. Other events include the STW2017 Parliamentary Reception at the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March, the Wild Scotland Conference, also on the 22nd in Aviemore and the Scotland Food & Drink AGM and Conference in Glasgow on 23 March.
Following the success of last year’s roadshow style events, the Scottish Tourism Alliance will be supporting destinations in the delivery of the STW 2017 ‘Around Scotland’ Roadshow, giving tourism businesses the length and breadth of the country the opportunity to engage, learn and network with tourism leaders and businesses in their area.
The North Coast 500 Parliamentary Reception will be held on 14th March at the Scottish Parliament. Frequently referred to as ‘Scotland’s greatest roadtrip ever’, this event acts as an exciting and important pre-cursor to the biggest week for Scotland’s tourism industry.
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, the national tourism industry leadership body that co-ordinates and drives the annual programme, said “Scottish Tourism Week has been in planning for over 8 months, during which time we have seen unprecedented change in our political and economic world. We therefore wanted to bring every tourism business in Scotland the opportunity to face the future confidently, with the facts and figures delivered by leading experts into the journey towards 2020 and beyond. The conference will equip all of our businesses with the ‘need to know’ and the ‘cannot afford not to’ advice and insights for building and strengthening our tourism industry in the face of change and uncertainty. Despite being acknowledged as being “Scotland’s most important industry” by the Scottish Government, Scottish tourism is increasingly challenged to remain competitive as a destination. Keeping up with the rest of the world is not where we want to be, we want to bring our industry information and inspiration about what we need to do to get ahead of the game, despite the challenges we currently have as a destination.”
Tourism Secretary, Fiona Hyslop MSPsaid: “Scotland's tourism industry is going from strength to strength and our reputation is growing across the world.
This year's Scottish Tourism Week will help our industry look to the future; to look at how we can face challenges and make most of our opportunities.
“We can build on the best of what we have: iconic destinations, world-class food and drink and the talent and warmth of those who work in the tourism sector to cement our place as a destination of first choice around the globe.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said; “Scottish Tourism Week is a chance for the sector to highlight the amazing work that has taken place nationwide over the last 12 months and discuss the challenges that lie ahead.
Tourism is more than a holiday experience, it creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of Scotland all year round and is at the heart of the Scottish economy. Indeed, recent figures revealed an 11% rise in employment within the sector which shows tourism continues to be the driving force for creating jobs now and in the future.
In 2017 we celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, which presents a unique collaborative platform for the public and private sector to work in partnership to encourage the broadest opportunity for engagement. We look forward to another Scottish Tourism Week filled with unique talks, events and insight and would encourage as many in the industry to attend."