Tourism Skills & Development

Tourism Skills

Supporting a skilled & passionate workforce.

People will always be at the heart of our industry, and as a result, there will always be the need to support and develop those working or looking to enter in tourism.

Having the right skills is an underpinning principle of the national tourism strategy, and the strategic approach over set out in Scotland's Tourism Skills Investment Plan (TSIP) which is overseen by the Tourism Skills Group. The skills plan is not just about training, it is about ensuring employers and employees to have rewarding and enjoyable careers in the sector, as well as encouraging others to join this diverse industry.

The TSIP was launched in 2012 and closely aligns with the national tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020. In autumn 2015, a review of the Plan was commissioned. The aim of the review was to check on progress and make any adjustments required. The refreshed TSIP can be downloaded here and the updated skills priorites are shown below.

Tourism Skills Priorities:

  • Improving management, leadership and enterprise skills across the sector.

  • Supporting the development of professional and digital skills for all in the sector.

  • Ensuring staff at all levels understand and are able to ro respond to visitor needs and expectations.

  • Raising the attractiveness of the sector.


Useful Downloads & Links

Tourism Skills Investment PlanSIP

An action plan to help tourism employers develop the skills they need for further growth has been launched by the industry.Digital Tourism Scotland (DTS)  is a £1.2 million programme to support tourism businesses to harness the power of digital.  

Download the plan >>

Employer - training and employment support

The Big Five Questions is a campaign bringing together a range of public and private sector support and resources – a toolkit to enable tourism businesses to grow their own businesses directly in line with the TS2020 strategy and vision. 

  • Do you want to understand more about your customers?
  • Do you want to be smarter online?
  • Do you want to find ways to reduce costs and grow your bottom line?
  • Do you want to develop your team to grow our business?
  • Do you want to help grow tourism in your areas?

 Access support and resources to help businesses grow >>

Employee - looking for careers and training support

For those in the tourism industry looking for further training and development.

  • Goal Training – Scottish based Hospitality and Tourism training company that works with all the mainland enterprise companies to become more efficient, more profitable and more successful.
  • Flow Hospitality Training – A series of individual modules covering all the areas required to give staff an in depth understanding of the hospitality industry.
  • Institute of Hospitality (Scotland) – The professional body for individual managers and aspiring managers working and studying in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry.
  • OurSkillsforce – Providing businesses with information on the skills support available to them from public sector agencies
  • People 1st – Sector skills council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism in the UK.
  • Glasgow Welcomes – Industry-led initiative aim to ensure service excellence across all touch points of Glasgow’s visitor experience. 

Looking to start your career?

From catering to marketing there is a multitude of skills required to keep the Scottish tourism industry developing and many paths to pursue. Educational establishments across Scotland offer a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to provide the necessary skills for the tourism and hospitality industry.

  • University/ College - many institutions in Scotland offer tourism related courses.   
  • Skills Development Scotland. Whether you’re at school, furthering your education, managing your career or facing employment challenges, they can provide support as you make decisions about learning and your career.
  • Springboard – Leading provider of specialist careers, vocational education and employment services relating to hospitality, leisure  and tourism.
  • HIT Scotland – Scottish based charity which raises funds to support & encourage excellence in the hospitality Industry.
  • Hospitality Guide - Information on training, development and employment opportunities.

Tourism Skills Group

Made up of representatives from leading bodies within the industry, this group is responsible for overseeing the implementation and development of the Tourism Skills Investment Plan in line with the national tourism strategy Tourism Scotland 2020 priorities. The main group is shown below. Sub-groups have also been established. 

Apex Hotels
Robert Allan 
HR Director (Chair)


city of g college
City of Glasgow College
Gordon McIntyre 
Head of Department, Hospitality

Federation of Small Businesses
Barry McCulloch 
Senior Policy Advisor

Glasgow Service with Style
Stella Callaghan 
Project Manager

HIT Scotland
David Cochrane 

Institute of Hospitality
Anne Harper 

Marriott Hotels
Patricia Rainey 
Cluster Director of HR (Scotland/North)

people 1st
People 1st
David Allen 
Director of Scotland Client Relationships & Business Development

SE loghhho (rgb)
Scottish Enterprise
Stephen Williamson 
Sectors & Commercialisation

Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group (SLAED)
Ann Camus 
Fife Council

Scottish Tourism Alliance
Karen Christie
National Tourism Strategy 

scot tours
Scottish Tourist Guides Association
Patricia Blain 
Training Manager

Scottish Training Federation
Andrew Douglas 
Vice Chair

Skills Development Scotland
Lawrence Durden 
Tourism Industry Manager

SpringboardUK Scotland
Kelly Johnstone 
Scotland Director

Tourism Society Scotland
Carole Sherlock 

Andrew Cunningham 
Learning & Organisation Development Manager