Next Steps for Tourism in Scotland

Tourism is increasingly seen as Scotland’s most important industry.

Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and supports communities throughout the year across the country. The National Strategy Tourism Scotland 2020 is well under way, with the 2016 mid-term review encouraging the industry to remain focused on local and sectoral strategies.  

With unprecedented political and economic changes on the horizon including Brexit and industry specific challenges, it is vital that over the next few years the tourism industry, public agencies and local authorities continue to seek new ways to support the growth of the sector in their communities and regions.

The event

On the 31 August 2017 get an up-to-date briefing on the next steps for tourism in Scotland. We will explore the policy landscape including progress implementing TS2020 and the refreshed Skills Investment Plan. Join us to examine the current challenges and future priorities for the tourism industry and to share learning from good practice across the sector. 

Key issues to be addressed

  • The delivery of the National Strategy Tourism 2020 
  • Priorities for advancing Scottish tourism and investing in skills for the sector 
  • The Tourism Development Framework
  • Recognising and understanding local assets in your area and building experiences around them
  • Understanding existing and potential markets and visitors
  • Delivering consistent, quality and authentic experiences in urban and rural contexts


10:00  Registration and Refreshments

10:30 Session 1: Policy Context and Update

In this session delegates will receive an update on progress towards implementing the national strategy Tourism Scotland 2020, latest policy priorities and programmes for enhancing Scotland’s cultural resources and tourist industry.

10:30   Welcome and Introduction from Chair

Benjamin Carey FTS, Carey Tourism and Board Member, The Tourism Society Scotland @tourismsoc_scot 

10:35  Tourism Scotland 2020: The Story to Date and On to 2020

  • Overview of the national strategy Tourism Scotland 2020
  • Progress to 2020: key initiatives
  • The opportunities and challenges to 2020 and beyond

​​​Caroline Warburton, National Strategy Delivery Co-ordinator, The Scottish Tourism Alliance

11:00  Strategic Skills Priorities For The Tourism Sector 

  • Background to the Tourism Skills Investment Plan (SIP)
  • Key skills priorities for the sector
  • Key messages around skills for employers

Lawrence Durden, Tourism Industry Manager, Skills Development Scotland 

11:20   Questions and Discussion

11:40  Refreshments and Networking

12:00   Session 2: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

How is Scotland viewed on the international stage? What opportunities lie ahead for the sector and what needs to happen to ensure they are grasped? In this session a panel discussion will examine some of the key challenges and opportunities facing Scotland’s cultural and tourism industries and look at how we can enhance current provision to continue to support communities and the economy.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Recognising and understanding local assets in your area and building experiences around them
  • Understanding existing and potential markets and visitors
  • Delivering consistent, quality and authentic experiences in urban and rural contexts
  • Challenges and opportunities for enhancing heritage and wildlife tourism
  • Using national and local history, culture and heritage to deliver great experiences
  • Understanding the opportunities and impact of business events 

Stephen Balfour, Chair, Tourism Group, SLAED

Danny Cusick, Director Sector & Strategy, Scottish Enterprise 

David Richardson, Development Manager - Highlands and Islands, Federation of Small Businesses

Lucy Casot, Head of Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland

Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Events, VisitScotland 

13:30   Networking Lunch

14:20  Session 3: Good Practice and Next Steps 

We will hear from those involved in projects across Scotland with a focus on good practice and sharing learning before looking ahead at the next steps for the sector.  

14:20  Doing More with Data in Tourism

  • Driving development of insight, ideas and services for the tourism industry using data
  • Learning from ongoing projects: Glasgow Life, Edinburgh Tourism Data Challenge 

Joshua Ryan-Saha, Skills Manager, The Data Lab 

14:50  Scotland's Themed Years: 2017 and Beyond

  • Examples of good practice from engaging with themed years

Chelsea Charles, Themed Years Communications Manager, VisitScotland

15:10  Keynote Closing Address: A Future in Partnership

  • The Tourism Development Framework
  • Working with private organisations, public agencies and local authorities
  • The Growth Fund: supporting collaborative tourism marketing projects

Riddell Graham, Director of Partnerships, VisitScotland

15:30  Questions and Discussion

16:00  Close of Event 

*Agenda subject to change


Crowne Plaza, 18 Royal Terrace, EH7 5AQ, Edinburgh | MAP


Delegate rates (excluding VAT)

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For all event enquiries please email or call 0131 285 1635

We appreciate that some individuals may be restricted from attending due to cost barriers (i.e. undergraduate/college students, the unemployed or retired). Therefore subsidised places can be made available on request. If you think you would qualify for this option please email with details. 

31 August 2017

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