Screen time for Scottish Tourism Week Annual Conference 2015

4 – 5 March 2015, Crowne Plaza and SECC, Glasgow

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP is set to deliver the keynote speech of the Scottish Tourism Week annual conference reaffirming tourism as one of Scotland’s key economic drivers.

 Following on from the First Minister’s speech a diverse range of business and tourism leaders will seek to inspire, enlighten and entertain delegates.  The Signature Conference kick-starts the 10th year of Scottish Tourism Week and the programme demonstrates how it has grown in stature, as well as how far recognition of the importance of the industry has come. 

 Marc Crothall, CEO of Scottish Tourism Alliance said:

 “It’s great to see tourism in Scotland increasingly being recognised as the key economic driver that it undoubtedly is and I believe our 2015 conference programme reflects this, as well as highlighting the sheer diversity of the industry. 

 This breadth of the programme and the coming together of the hospitality, tourism, food & drink, licensed trade and marine sectors really demonstrates that as we drive the national tourism strategy forward, tourism in Scotland really is everyone’s business. 

 I’m delighted with the line-up of speakers we have brought together and the number of delegate registrations to date. It’s great to have an audience that is truly representative of all sectors of the industry and one that spans all levels, coming from across Scotland.”

 The two-day event is organised by the Scottish Tourism Alliance will be hosted by journalist and broadcaster Stephen Jardine and guest speakers range from Michelin’s top chef in Scotland, Andrew Fairlie, to Sahar Hashemi founder of Coffee Republic and Skinny Candy. Scotland’s tourism professionals will be treated to inspiring talks ranging from motivational speaker Nigel Risner and broadcaster and cyclist Mark Beaumont. 

 Other speakers include:

·       Justin Reid (Head of Destinations in Europe, Middle East and Africa for Tripadvisor) alongside Damian Cook (CEO of E-Tourism Frontiers) on how the online world is influencing travel decisions.

·       Jeremy Lazell (travel writer for the Sunday Times) on how Scotland shapes up against other destinations.

·       A panel of industry experts join Huw Williams (SOUK-Response) to discuss how focusing on authentic experiences can help tourism thrive.

·       Gordon Dewar (CEO of Edinburgh Airport) chairs a group discussion with principles from some of Scotland’s transport operators, Calmac, Abellio, LoganAir, Stagecoach and Arnold Clark.

·       Joss Croft (Head of Marketing at VisitBritain), Charlie Smith (Head of Marketing at VisitScotland) provide the insight and rationale behind their future approach to attracting visitors to Scotland and how both organisations can support the industry. Deirdre Wells OBE (CEO of UK Inbound) joins for the Q+A to share her thoughts.

 Malcolm Roughead, CEO of VisitScotland said:

 "Tourism is one of the country's most important industries, contributing billions of pounds to the economy, creating jobs and sustaining communities.  2014 was a unique year for Scottish tourism: the year we welcomed the world.  However, if we want to build on that momentum and continue growing and thriving as an industry, we must all continue to work together. Tourism is everyone's business and events like Scottish Tourism Week offer an opportunity for those with a vested interest in the industry to come together, share ideas and ensure Scotland remains the perfect place to visit and do business. "

 Taking place across the SECC and Crowne Plaza Hotel, the conference annually attracts over 500 decision makers from hotels, restaurants, visitor attractions, tour operators, transport operators, banks, local authorities and key public agencies are expected to attend to network and discover the latest in the world of tourism from influential speakers.

 The conference is part of Scottish Tourism Week’s Signature Programme, which will run from 3 to 5 March and includes six must-attend event for industry insiders.  Early Bird tickets are available until the 6 February, with delegate tickets starting from £95.00 Member/ £110.00 Non-member (+ VAT).  Those travelling to Glasgow to take part in Scottish Tourism Week events can take advantage of 20% off rail travel, courtesy of Scotrail.  Details of this offer, conference registration and the full programme are at scottishtourismalliance.co.uk/stw2015/.

 For more information, images or to attend the Scottish Tourism Week national conference, contact Martha Bryce or Rebecca Harvey on martha@tastecommunications.co.uk / Rebecca@tastecommunications.co.uk or 0131 225 7205.

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