Scottish Tourism Week 2016 Conference | Overview

22 March 2016

Hello!
Recently I was given the opportunity to go to the annual Conference held by the Scottish Tourism Alliance. It was in Edinburgh on Friday 18th March. This opportunity was provided to me by my college - Thank you, Gail for letting me go!
I took about half a notepad full of notes at the conference. (That is not an exaggeration) and so I've decided to split up my posts about it in the next couple of weeks, with the aim to post a couple of times a week to prevent this from dragging on.

Speakers I listened to at the event included:

  • Stephen Jardine - who presented the event.
  • Fergus Ewing - the Minister For Business, Energy and Tourism
  • Stephen Leckie - the Chair of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and CEO of Creiff Hydro
  • Paul Gallagher - Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC)
  • Ufi Ibrahim - CEO of British Hospitality Association
  • Bernard Donoghue - Director ALVA and Chair of Tourism Alliance
  • Malcolm Roughead - Chief Exec. Visit Scotland
  • Terri Scriven - Industry Head for Hospitality (Google)
  • Anna Watkins - The Guardian
  • Cathy Craig - Commercial Director (Abellio Scotrail)Graeme MacFarlane - Calmac
  • Sophie Dekkers - UK Country Director (easyJet)
  • Simon Woodroffe - Founder of Yo! (Yo!Sushi, Yotel, Yo!Homes)

I found the experience presented by being able to go to this conference to be incredible. On the day I arrived at 8.45am, I initially left Haymarket station and walked the wrong way (I'm an idiot, really. FOLLOW THE CROWDS OF SUITS, GAIL!) and I had to use Siri to get me to the right place! But I arrived, and registered, got given my lanyard, then bumped into my lecturer, Gail. I then went to the STA (Scottish Tourism Alliance) area and waited on the girls from my college. Once they arrived, we wandered about a little and took in the stalls that were in the room - Visit Scotland, Digital Scotland, Historic Scotland.... There were a lot of businesses set up. There was also a spread of food (YASSS!)


The announcement came over the tannoy to announce that the conference was due to start, so that all for the STA conference were to make their way to the Pentland suite. Where we went, and got seated.



How I think I'll split this up for you over the next few posts is as follows:


  • Fergus Ewing's address, Reflections and The future in one post
  • Selling Scotland in a Digital World in another or possibly two depending on how much notes I have (I took a lot on this because it interests me)
  • Flying into the future in a third/fourth about aviation
  • Yo! it's an audience with...." because I might sidetrack a little as Simon Woodroffe, was deeply motivational
  • Lastly I will reflect on my experience.

Please stick with me throughout this, I will make it as interesting to you as possible. This doesn't strictly impact on Scotland, because tourism is a global industry. Having this alliance means that all the industries that are a part of tourism, or impacted by tourism can collaborate together in order to support the overall industry growth and therefore support the economy. Whilst competition is obviously needed for a healthy economy, having this alliance kind of illustrates the interdependence all aspects have on one another; no visitor attractions to an area mean no hotel developments, which mean no jobs, which means high unemployment, which means no spending in the area, which means the area becomes unappealing to potential visitors, which means no new transport routes.... You get the idea. the economy works like a cycle - or a multiplier. Am I getting sidetracked?

So I hope this gives you an overview of what I hope to do with this, I hope you stay with me to read about what happened at the conference because it was honestly really incredible and exciting to listen to. A lot of good points were made.

I'll go now before this needs to become a two parter post!

Until next time, be excellent to each other.