The Scottish Tourism Alliance, the leading representative body for the tourism sector in Scotland has announced details of its first STA virtual annual national conference.
Entitled ‘Looking Forward…’, the event will take place on Wednesday 24th March from 1000-1300 and has been structured around the ‘Outlook 2030’ tourism strategy themes of sustainability, experiences, people and place to offer delegates the most relevant insights to enable effective recovery
Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel Research at Euromonitor International will present the latest forecasts and COVID-19 scenarios for global travel and tourism in Our Future Sustainability session, highlighting key consumer shifts in attitudes and behaviours one year on. Caroline will also share insights from Euromonitor’s Sustainable Travel Index, looking at best practice in sustainable tourism to create value for competitive advantage and power sustainable transformation.
Our Future Experiences session will follow, ‘What’s Cooking and What’s Brewing’, presented by Peter Martin, Vice President of CGA, exploring innovation and new experiences within the world of food and drink with insights into where the opportunities might lie for Scotland.
Our Future People session, ‘Upskilling our Fantastic People’ will welcome David Cochrane, CEO HIT (Scotland) who will interview Jane Rennie, Founder of The Extraordinary Training Company to get the thoughts of some of the students who are currently taking part in the 2000 delegate strong Tourism and Hospitality Talent Development Leadership Programme.
The STA will welcome back Travel Writer and Destination Development Advisor, Doug Lansky to deliver this year’s keynote session, ‘Our Future Place’ entitled ‘Future Destinations, totally connected!’. Doug will share more details on a destination technology solution he’s been working on to help drive positive recovery and improve the experience for the customer, increase revenue for businesses and to help the destination become more competitive and sustainable
‘Our Future Business’ panel session, hosted by Marc Crothall, will bring a panel of experts together to discuss how we can overcome the different challenges faced by a variety of our tourism sectors. Panellists confirmed include Kate Nicholls – CEO UK Hospitality, Vicki Miller- Director Marketing VisitScotland, Paul Easto – COO Active Travel Group, Justin Reid – Director Destination Marketing Trip Advisor EMEA and Susan Fouquier – Regional Managing Director Royal Bank of Scotland Business Bankin.
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the STA said, “Scotland’s tourism industry has changed so much from everything we knew as a result of the pandemic; our ‘new world’ will look entirely different, as will Scotland’s tourism product and the way that people choose to experience our vast and varied assets so it’s absolutely vital that we bring all sectors within the industry the most up to date insights and inspiration to guide them towards and indeed through recovery. We would normally host a 600 delegate conference at one of Scotland’s largest venues so this feels very new for us to be doing but hugely exciting and represents a valuable opportunity for people from all types of tourism business in Scotland to come together for a morning to network, hear the most important insights and really importantly, be inspired and energised to move forward from what has undoubtedly been the darkest time I expect our industry will ever experience.”
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality said, “As we emerge from the chaos of the past twelve months and face an uncertain future, it is essential that we pool our collective expertise in order to rise to the challenges ahead. The tourism and hospitality sectors are going to be crucial to the UK’s economy and to many communities, not least of all in Scotland. The conference presents an opportunity to ensure we get down to the job of rebuilding in the best possible way.”
Paul Easto – COO Active Travel Group said, “While there’s no doubting “Zoom” fatigue is real, the STA Conference might be one of your most important virtual sessions of 2021. I think I’ve seen more industry collaboration in the past 12 months than even before. This crisis has brought the industry together and the focus and value of this conference reflects that partnership. It’s time for tourism and hospitality businesses of all sizes to keep working together, keep the faith and keep believing that much better times are not too far away.”