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Learning from the Past and Navigating the Future: Tourism in Scotland Beyond 2020

"Despite all the unknowns that exist within today's political and economic climate, we know with absolute certainty that the patterns and trends of today's tourism market will have changed...beyond recognition, within the next 10 years."  -  Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance 

Timed to coincide with the publication of the Draft Tourism Strategy, this event will bring together stakeholders to analyse the current policy landscape, give a platform to successful approaches to replicate and identify future priorities.

Making Scotland a World Leader in 21st Century Tourism

When unveiled in October 2019, the draft tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland – Our Vision for the Future, Beyond 2020 embodied new thinking to the approach of the tourism sector in Scotland to ensure that it lowers its environmental impact, benefits local communities and changes perceptions of working in the sector so ameliorate the impact of 3000 EU migrants who work in it leaving since 2016 and potentially many more to come.

Scotland has had a record number of tourists flocking to its shores in recent years with the so-called ‘Outlander effect’ seeing a 67% upsurge in visitors since 2013 and Edinburgh is the UK’s top destination outside London.  The sector employs over 200,000 people, comprises 5% of the Scottish economy and generates £12bn worth of economic activity.  But with spending per capita less than half that of the Republic of Ireland and with competitors having lower levels of tax and being cheaper to access, despite progress made, there is clearly a way to go if Scotland is to realise the vision of the strategy of being a world leader in 21st Century tourism.

Join Holyrood Communications as we illuminate the immediate threats to the gains yearned in recent years such as the recruitment crisis induced by Brexit, overtourism in certain areas with strategic challenges and opportunities namely the need to upgrade our national infrastructure and connectivity to accommodate the ambitions of the sector, the growth big cities and city deals can bring for other areas and making the green transition to increase competitiveness whilst pursuing sustainability and what this may mean for you.

Speaker Callout

We are committed to bringing the latest policy information with engaging dialogue and practical case studies to make a real impact in the public sector. If you are a knowledge expert in your field or have an inspiring case study which would make an impact to Public Sector organisations, we would love to hear from you. Please email with your name and contact details, linkedin profile and a summary of your project or area of expertise and we will be in touch.

Who Should Attend?

Representatives from:

  • Tourism agencies and organisations in Scotland
  • Officials in Central Government
  • Local Authorities e.g. those working on local or regional Tourism Strategies/branding
  • Branding/Marketing Agencies
  • Visitor attractions
  • Conversation sector
  • Historic/natural environment
  • Environment agencies
  • Environment charities
  • Skills agencies
  • Enterprise agencies
  • Industry membership bodies
  • Hospitality/Service sector organisations
  • Industries and sectors affected by tourism e.g. transport

Key Issues We'll Address With You

  • The policy landscape
  • Building Scotland's brand and promoting Scotland to the world
  • Short-term challenges e.g. the recruitment crisis induced by Brexit and overtourism in certain areas
  • The virtues and drawbacks of a Transient Visitor Levy i.e 'Tourist Tax'
  • Transport and connectivity - Scotland as a comparatively accessible and welcoming destination
  • Value big cities and City Region Deals in Scotland can bring
  • Green tourism and making the transition
  • Delivering and obtaining sustainable growth within the sector
  • Best practice in operating a successful strategy to change perceptions and increase visitor numbers 
  • Update on the Draft Strategy and next steps 

Confirmed Speakers

  • Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance 
  • Diarmid Hearns, Head of Policy, National Trust for Scotland 


09:30     Registration and Refreshments

10:00     Welcome and Introduction from the Chair

 Session 1: Challenges and Opportunities

  • The Beyond 2020 Tourism Strategy identified six conditions for success in the future.  This session will examine both short and long-term challenges and opportunities facing the tourism sector in Scotland bringing together a range of panellists to discuss these in more depth.

10:05     Senior Representative, Brand Strategy

10:20     Senior Representative, Workforce

10:35     Senior Representative, Infrastructure/Connectivity

10:50     Senior Representative, ‘Tourist Tax’/Accessibility

11:05     Senior Representative, City Region Deals

11:20    Questions and Discussion

11:50    Refreshments and Networking

Session 2: Good Practice: Learning from Successful Approaches

In this session, we share some best practice from increasing competitiveness whilst pursuing sustainability to forging partnerships for successful outcomes

12:10    Senior Representative, Environment

12:25    Senior Representative, Local Authority/Tourism Body

12:40    Senior Representative, Industry

12:55    Diarmid Hearns, Head of Policy, National Trust for Scotland 

13:10    Questions and Discussion

13:40    Lunch and Networking

14:30   Interactive Session

Session 3: Update on the Draft Beyond 2020 Strategy and Next Steps for the sector in Scotland

15:10     Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance

15:30     Questions and Discussion

15:40    Closing Remarks from Chair

15:45    Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change

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28 Jan 2020
Central Edinburgh
Reduced Rate
1 place £145+ VAT

Voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m

Standard Rate
1 place £245+ VAT | 2+ places £195+ VAT per place

Public sector organisations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m

Private Sector Rate
1 place £295+VAT | 2+ places £245+ VAT per place

Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP

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The wide range of speakers, combined with a varied selection of workshops, means that everyone will find something that is relevant to their organisation's needs, and the broad appeal of the agenda provides a great mix of people for networking and sharing ideas across sectors.

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