Deputy First Minister John Swinney will today open the annual Scottish Tourism Week National Conference by celebrating the contribution of the industry to the Scottish economy.
Swinney will welcome delegates to the two-day conference in a speech that includes opinions on the best way forward for the relationship between employers and employees; and on the public and private sectors working together for the benefit of the industry.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“Our tourism industry is vital to the Scottish economy and one of our biggest employers that sustains over 210,000 jobs making up 5% of our GDP.
As a key economic sector, tourism is diverse with 14,000 tourism-related enterprises operating in Scotland – and 88% of these are small-sized enterprises. The Scottish Government recognises not only the direct economic contribution of tourism but also how it helps to support and sustain some of our most fragile communities.
The tourism industry plays a vital role in promoting the Scottish brand across the world and it is important that we continue to build on our success in this area.”
Tourism chiefs from the Scottish Tourism Alliance, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise will go onto discuss key issues in Scottish tourism, including the future of marketing Scotland as a tourism destination; developments and trends in the online world; and changing the perceptions around tourism and hospitality as an industry for a career. Delegates will also be treated to speeches from Sahar Hashemi, founder of Coffee Republic and Skinny Candy; and from chef Andrew Fairlie.
Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Marc Crothall said:
“Scottish Tourism Week is off to a flying start with a truly inspirational line-up of events bringing together professionals from across all sectors of the industry. Food, drink, tourism and hospitality together are without doubt one of Scotland’s key economic drivers. By bringing together these industry events as part of our Signature Programme, not only are we further demonstrating our collaborative approach but we are also able to highlight to all that customers are at the heart of all our strategies. Scottish Tourism Week is also a great way for the industry to come together to speak with one voice on issues that affect us all, as well as to gain increased political recognition of the importance of our industries.”
The Signature Programme of events takes place across the SECC and Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow. It attracts over 10,000 industry professionals to network and discover upcoming trends and best practice from influential speakers.
Organised by the Scottish Tourism Alliance, 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. Details of the conference can be found at scottishtourismalliance.co.uk/stw2015/.