​2018 – The story so far…

2018 has been one of the busiest years I can remember for a long time.

Throughout 2017, the STA amplified its voice on the big issues affecting Scotland’s tourism industry, particularly in relation to the Business Rates crisis and we have continued to build on the opportunities to influence and shape future policy.

Our campaign around the Business Rates revaluation cemented our position as the lead voice of industry and enhanced the relationship we have with Scottish Government and politicians across all parties.

This resulted in a shift in our focus as an organisation, with a significant proportion of the work we now do being around creating better conditions for our tourism businesses, tourism industry and tourism economy to grow.

We now have bi-monthly meetings with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek Mackay MSP, regular meetings with Tourism Ministier Fiona Hyslp MSP, and continue to work closely with Scottish Government and its agencies on a range of issues, particularly the costs of doing businesses for the tourism industry.

Earlier this year the STA met with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP to discuss the main issues that affect the sustainability and growth of our industry and I’m pleased to say that we now have a commitment from the First Minister to meet with us on a bi-annual basis.  I’m also delighted to share the news that we will welcome Nicola Sturgeon to deliver the industry address at the Scottish Tourism Alliance Conference Autumn Conference 2018.

STA Events

March was Scottish Tourism Month - so much amazing activity took place all over Scotland thanks to so many people who worked incredibly hard to make these events happen, bringing people together to have these all important tourism conversations.

Over 25 sectoral and destination events took place the length and breadth of Scotland, including the Scotland Food & Drink Annual Conference, EventIt, The Thistle Awards and the Destinations Conference.  

The STA Signature Conference was our biggest event to date, with just under 500 tickets sold; we brought some of the world’s leading speakers, entrepreneurs, tourism leaders and home grown talent together in our varied and inspirational programme and we even had a special address from Scotland’s First Minister, acknowledging that the success of our tourism industry "is testament to the hard work, expertise, and creativity of everybody working in our tourism industry."  We published a special STA Conference 2018 edition of The Talker with a page-by-page synopsis of all the key learnings from the day.  Click here to read.

I am delighted to say that booking is now live for the Scottish Tourism Alliance Signature Conference 2019!

Scottish Tourism Month will kick off on 1 March with a special launch event in the Highlands and the national tourism conference will take place on 14 March 2019 at the SEC in Glasgow, for the first time following a TED style format with a series of lively, engaging, inspirational and informative sessions from 10am – 3.45pm.

An evening warm up networking reception will be held on the eve of conference and we are delighted to be partnering ScotHot for the third time, bringing delegates a range of additional learning opportunities through the Spotlight Stages and of course, the largest exhibition for Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry.

STA Conference 2019 is your opportunity to meet and mingle with hundreds of industry colleagues and decision makers, and get the best of both worlds thanks to the unique opportunities offered by the STA and Scothot partnership.

We have released a capped number of Super Early Bird tickets starting at just £72.50 +VAT and £92.50 for non-STA Members – up to 45% discount on the standard ticket price.  Click here to book your place.

What's Next

As we look ahead to the second half of the year, the STA agenda remains firmly focused around creating opportunities for positive policy change to support the growth and competitiveness of Scotland’s tourism industry and create the best possible conditions for your business to grow.

The role of the STA is to work with you to shape the future of Scotland’s tourism industry – your voice in tourism matters; it’s what gives the STA our voice.  You make the difference.

By supporting us, we can support your business in  saving money, growing and becoming more profitable. 

Marc Crothall

CEO Scottish Tourism Alliance