Online tourism conference takes place this month


THE Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) will host its first virtual national conference later this month.

Taking place on 24th March, the online event – titled ‘Looking Forward’ – will look at the recovery of the tourism sector post-COVID 19 and feature insight from a number of industry experts.

The event will get underway at 10am with a presentation from Caroline Bremner, head of travel research at Euromonitor, who will highlight “key consumer shifts in attitudes and behaviours” in the wake of the pandemic. Then, Peter Martin, vice president of CGA, will detail some of the new innovations and experiences from the food and drink sector – and how they could provide opportunities for tourism businesses.

David Cochrane, chief executive of the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland, will then interview Jane Rennie, founder of The Extraordinary Training Company, to get her thoughts on some of the students currently taking part in the ongoing Tourism and Hospitality Talent Development Leadership Programme.

This will be followed by a presentation from travel writer Doug Lansky, before STA chief executive Marc Crothall hosts a panel of experts to discuss how the industry can overcome the various challenges presented by the events of the past year.

The panel will include UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, VisitScotland marketing director Vicki Miller, Paul Easto of Active Travel Group, Justin Reid of Trip Advisor, and Susan Fouquier, regional managing director of Royal Bank of Scotland Business Banking.

Crothall 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.”

The event takes place on 24th March between 10am and 1pm. Delegates can register for free here.