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If you're not already flying high with our 200 earlybirds who got up to 26% off the price of their STA Conference tickets before the offer ended on 15 December then worry not, as we have an awesome BIG prize up for grabs for all who have not yet booked but do so by the 4 February!

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The STA, along with the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA) campaigned heavily for a review of the business rates revaluation methodology as it applies to hospitality and licensed business and have had regular dialogue with Scottish Government to convey our concerns about the existing approach to the valuation of hospitality and licensed businesses.

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"The latest international visitor figures for the 12 months to the end of June 2017 are very encouraging and should offer confidence to the industry that we can continue to perform successfully as Scotland's main economic driver. Importantly, this growth has helped to counter the decline in domestic visits and spend over the same period. The significant rise in overseas visitors from North America can be attributed to the favourable exchange rate and Scotland being perceived as a safe and welcoming destination.

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Geotourist is the company behind the free GPS-based walking trail app and platform and they're going for gold in Scotland. Following a hugely successful Scottish Tourism Week, the team behind Geotourist signed up with the Scottish Tourism Alliance as a Gold Patron. Bowled over by the energy and desire to deliver a vibrant tourism economy and with a clear agenda on driving digital forward, Geotourist have shifted their UK focus to Scotland.

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