Scottish tourism sector to learn lessons from Oz

Thursday 31, January 2013


Scottish tourism sector to learn lessons from Oz


SCOTLAND’s tourism sector is learning lessons from Australia in a bid to develop high quality leadership training for industry professionals.


A new leadership development programme, the first of its kind in the UK, is to be rolled out in Edinburgh and St. Andrews, as part of a drive to up the skills of Scotland’s tourism leaders and bring in more visitors.


The course, Destination Leadership Programme (DLP), is based on an Australian model, the Melbourne Tourism Industry Leadership Programme (MTILP), which in 2010, was credited with increasing visitor numbers to the city by more than 10%*.


Details of the initiative were announced today by Scottish Enterprise Tourism Director, Eddie Brogan, at the annual Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) conference.


The 200 delegates attending the event, which brings together Edinburgh businesses involved in the tourism and hospitality industries, were told the DLP would help create a pool of future tourism leaders who would drive the sector forward.


Eddie Brogan, Tourism Director at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Confident, ambitious leaders are vital to the future growth and success of our tourism companies and that of the industry overall.  The DLP has been designed specifically to provide the necessary skills and experience for our tourism leaders to help them work together to develop and deliver a high quality visitor experience and grow tourism revenues in key destinations such as Edinburgh and St Andrews.”  


The DLP, which will initially run as a two-year pilot scheme, aims to address a gap in the training of tourism professionals in two of Scotland’s top destinations.


The initiative reinforces the objectives set out in the tourism strategy for Scotland, ’Tourism Scotland 2020’, which highlights that strong, effective leadership is essential if the tourism sector is going to meet its ambitious growth targets.


The DLP will be delivered by the Edinburgh Institute – the commercial arm of Edinburgh Napier University’s Business School - in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, the St Andrews Partnership and the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG).


Robin Worsnop, Chair of ETAG & CEO of Rabbie’s Small Group Tours said: “We are delighted to be part of the launch and development of the DLP programme to help leaders in the tourism industry – both existing and emerging – to build their leadership skills and capacity. It is important initiatives like this are available in Scotland, and we hope it will be an exciting and successful process. For the industry to “survive & thrive”, industry leadership and collaboration is essential and the ETAG conference is a great opportunity to learn more about leadership and this new initiative”


Open to those already working in the tourism industry and based in Edinburgh or St. Andrews, the new course will provide top-class leadership training over a six-month period.


Participants will attend a series of workshops and residential training weekends led by a number of international and UK-based tourism experts.  Themes covered will include marketing and branding, the digital economy and leadership skills.


Graham Birse, Director of the Edinburgh Institute, said: “Some of the leading destinations of the world are applying a new approach to the management of the tourism experience; one in which the network of organisations interacting with the visitor, share common values, goals and objectives. In cities like Melbourne, the result has been evident in the improved performance of participating organisations and, of course, in the visitor experience.


By drawing on the unique skills, knowledge and experience of the Edinburgh Institute’s core staff and associates, the DLP will assist tourism leaders in Edinburgh and St Andrews to enhance their destination’s competitive positioning, create added value and ultimately achieve economic benefit for Scotland.”


Following the successful completion of the pilot, the ambition is that the project will be rolled out nationally.


The first DLP will begin in October with fifty participants expected to have received an Executive Certificate in Leadership through Edinburgh Napier University by the end of the pilot in 2015.


This year’s ETAG conference welcomed a number of keynote speakers including Sue Bruce, Chief Executive Officer of the City of Edinburgh Council and Chair of Edinburgh 2020 Strategy Implementation Group; Brigadier David Allfrey, MBE, Producer of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo; and Bernard Donoghue, Director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).



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