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Destination Leaders Programme

06 Feb 2014

Executive Certificate for Tourism Professionals

Introducing the UK’s first Destination Leadership Programme; a transformational investment for you, your business and your destination.

This innovative programme is funded by Scottish Enterprise, working with the St Andrews Partnership and the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group.

Based on an internationally acclaimed initiative originating from Melbourne, Australia, the programme is a unique opportunity to build a new leadership model for Scottish tourism. Participants will play an active role in helping position Edinburgh and St Andrews as world leading tourism destinations.

Twenty participants are successfully studying in the first delivery of the DLP. Now in it’s second year, the next programme will commence in October 2014. The DLP will:

Develop your skills and capabilities as an industry leader

Improve the performance of your business

Develop insights and shared understanding of the benefits of collaborative working to drive competitive advantage

Position you and your enterprise in an alumni of recognised leaders in the tourism industry

Develop a shared commitment to destination objectives

Provide academic rigour and support for your business from Scotland’s leading University for tourism, hospitality and event management education

Programme goals

This programme will provide you with a unique strategic overview of the tourism industry, equipping you with leadership and management skills, and the opportunity to learn from international best practice. You will develop insights and a shared understanding of the relationships across different destination elements of the industry (e.g. visitor attractions, transport, accommodation, retail, food and drink, culture, festivals and events, and venues).

The job of leading and managing successful businesses in the Tourism sector is getting harder. The challenges of 21st century leadership and management include working in an environment of constant change and the increasing complexity of organisational structures. This programme seeks to expand and enhance your peer network, and you will become part of a strong and growing Alumni of Destination Leaders.

Managers must also deal with a tough economic climate and growing international competition. New technologies, the knowledge economy and the rise of social media, greater transparency, rising consumer demands and environmental resource concerns all add to a complex mix of challenges that managers must negotiate to be successful.

As a ‘Destination Leader’ you will become an integral part of Scotland’s future tourism industry, and help play an active role influencing the delivery of a memorable, and authentic visitor experience.

Who is it for?

This programme is designed for tourism industry leaders from public and private sector organisations

based in the Edinburgh and St Andrews area.

Current participants, for example, include representatives from Edinburgh Airport, Apex Hotels, Mercat Tours and other Operators, Visitor Attractions and Public Sector Agencies from St Andrews and Edinburgh. Read their opinions on the programme here.


Full day workshops will take place at Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus. Residential weekends will be hosted in Edinburgh, St Andrews and another major tourism destination.


Last Modified: Thursday 16 June 2016 09:37
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