Tourism in the spotlight

• The events will include the Scottish Tourism Alliance’s Tourism Vision conference on March 4.
• The events will include the Scottish Tourism Alliance’s Tourism Vision conference on March 4.

Six events across three days will celebrate strength of Scotland’s hospitality industry

SCOTLAND’S tourism industry is set to descend on Glasgow next month for Scottish Tourism Week, which will coincide with ScotHot.
Taking place from March 3 to 5, the Scottish Tourism Week Signature Programme will comprise six main events: the Scotland Food and Drink AGM and conference; the Scottish Tourism Alliance conference; the ScotHot trade show and the Scottish Culinary Championships; the Scottish Licensed Trade Association conference and lunch; and the Scottish Thistle Awards.
The programme kicks off on March 3 with the Scotland Food and Drink AGM, which will include a line up of speakers discussing the issues facing the industry today; the AGM is free to attend for all members with tickets available for non-members.
On March 4, the Scottish Tourism Alliance’s “Tourism Vision” conference gets underway. The conference will feature guest speakers including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Crieff Hydro chief executive Stephen Leckie, Mike Cantlay of VisitScotland and chef Andrew Fairlie.
The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) will also gather at the Glasgow Crowne Plaza on March 4 for its 135th AGM.
This year’s event will see representatives from across the Scottish trade gather to discuss a range of issues affecting the industry, including minimum pricing, commercial rates, training and legislation. The SLTA will also report on activities carried out by the association over the last year.
The Signature Programme comes to a conclusion on the evening of March 5 with the Scottish Thistle Awards.
Delivered by VisitScotland, the awards aim to recognise excellence within Scotland’s tourism industry. Accolades will be presented to businesses and individuals across 13 categories, including most hospitable hotel, best informal eating experience, best restaurant experience, and friendliest pub/bar. Winners are selected by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards and the SLTA.
Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, said the group is “committed to building on the success of the previous year’s Scottish Tourism Week Signature Programme”, adding that the group is “delighted” to have brought a range of industry events together.
“The three days will without doubt offer something for everyone in the sector, ensure an increase in attendance to each of the six events and further cement Scottish Tourism Week as the most important week for the industry in 2015, which will be promoted as Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink,” said Crothall.
“All partners are 100% committed to offering those who take the time out to attend over March be it as a delegate, guest or exhibitor real value and a great experience.”
Soraya Gadelrab, event director for ScotHot, said the team organising the trade show is “extremely excited to be an integral part of Scottish Tourism Week’s Signature Programme this year”.
“It’s incredible to see such unity across the sectors celebrating all that is great about Scottish food, drink, hospitality and foodservice,” she said.
Gadelrab added that 2015 will be a “significant year for the Scottish food, drink, hospitality and tourism sectors”.
“The industry needs to come together to create a legacy after the spotlight shone so brightly on the country in 2014,” she added.
“The Signature Programme is our way of facilitating that; we have brought together six different parts of the industry to celebrate their events over three days in one city within the backdrop of The Year of Food and Drink and ScotHot will play an integral part of this. The spotlight will certainly be shining brightly on Glasgow in March 2015.”