Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions Annual Conference – ‘Achieving Excellence’
This year’s conference, which focuses on 'Achieving Excellence', will bring together a range of top industry speakers from across the globe whose organisations consistently deliver world class experiences, allowing delegates to ‘benchmark with the best’.
A key objective of the conference will be to share the findings of recent research commissioned by Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with ASVA, which sought to identify and investigate best practice and trends in a number of key areas of visitor attraction development and operation, with a view to supporting growth and development of the visitor attraction sector in Scotland.
Keynote speakers include: John Thurso, Chair of VisitScotland, who will outline the agency’s priorities of growing the Scottish economy and ensuring this growth is evenly distributed across Scotland; Justin Reid, Head of Destinations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, TripAdvisor, who will highlight the importance of travel reviews to the business benchmarking process; Heather Yule, Business Development Manager, Tourism Nova Scotia, who will talk about key strategies for building a world class visitor experience; Sarah Copeland, Head of Human Resources, Glasgow Life and Craig Martin, Head of Human Resources, Glasgow Airport, who will share their top tips for achieving service excellence, based on their experiences on a recent Glion Learning Journey to London ; and Joacim Johansson, CEO, Astrid Lindgren World, who will suggest ways authenticity can be used to underpin service excellence and sustainability.
Interactive breakout sessions focusing on: improving access for all, offering an award winning visitor experience and putting the ‘wow’ factor into service will give delegates the opportunity to ask questions and listen to individual case studies. There will also be a series of ‘pop up’ breakout sessions, with delegates being invited to share successful innovations that have changed their business for the better.
Back by popular demand will be a ‘Room 101’ session, when a panel of experts will look at current hot topics affecting the visitor attraction industry and give delegates the opportunity to vote on the things they think should be consigned to Room 101.
Following the Breakout Sessions, an Awards Ceremony will celebrate the best of the visitor attractions sector in Scotland.
John Thurso, Chair of VisitScotland said: “I believe the industry can play a much bigger role in the economic growth of Scotland, sustaining communities and creating jobs in every corner of Scotland. My job is to ensure that the visitor economy cake gets bigger and that the slices are dispersed more evenly across Scotland.”
“Visitor attractions are crucial to growing that economy as they give many people the reason to visit an area – so it’s important that tourism businesses work closely with those attractions and innovate as well as embracing the digital age.”
Justin Reid, Head of Destinations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, TripAdvisor said:
“The global tourism environment has changed dramatically over recent years and people now have the power thanks to reviews on specialised websites.
“When potential visitors are researching a destination, they want to see the authentic opinions of people like them. People can review all the things offered by a place, but if you want to attract visitors, you need to bear in mind that the range and quality of visitor attractions will be a key motivator. This is especially important when you know that people that visit TripAdvisor look specifically for towns and cities, not countries. I look forward to sharing with delegates how TripAdvisor reviews can further support and inspire the benchmarking process”.
Douglas Walker, Chair of ASVA added: “In Scottish tourism, we aspire to offer the best possible experience for our visitors. Tourism Resources Company, who carried out the recent Scottish Enterprise/ASVA research into best practice and trends in key areas of visitor attraction operation and development, will give an overview of the principal findings and we will hear directly from two of the case studies involved. In addition, the Conference will offer lots of other case studies and practical examples with great opportunities for networking and benchmarking with the best”.