Talking tourism in Perthshire

Press release   •   Mar 29, 2018 16:10 BST

Representatives from tourism businesses across Perthshire attended a free tourism conference during which they heard from an exciting line-up of speakers on a range of topics, including Trip Advisor, the Year of Young People (YoYP) and V&A Dundee.

The half-day conference was part of Perthshire Talks Tourism 2018 and held during Scottish Tourism Month (STM). It explored the potential opportunities offered by STM and beyond, with useful hints and tips and relevant information for tourism businesses. It was managed by Perth & Kinross Council and VisitScotland on behalf of the Perthshire Tourism Partnership (PTP).

2018 celebrates the YoYP, which aims to inspire Scotland through its young people - celebrating their achievements, valuing their contribution to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.

Around 10 youngsters from the Travel & Tourism class at Crieff High School in Perthshire attended today’s conference to learn more about the subject, to assist with facilitating the event, which was held at Dunkeld House Hotel, Perthshire, and to join in the networking opportunities by speaking to businesses.

The annual conference saw delegates being welcomed by PTP Chair, David Smythe, and there were also opportunities for them to network during the event.

They also heard from Jane Ferguson, Director of Audiences & Media at V&A Dundee and Deborah Newman, Director of Visitor Operations, who both spoke about Developing V&A Dundee and the Visitor Journey.

Jane has over 20 years’ experience in audience development and marketing and has launched major developments at Scotland’s leading visitor attractions including Stirling Castle, Urquhart Castle and the National Museum of Flight. Deborah has over 15 years’ experience in managing commercial, visitor and building operations at some the UK’s most iconic attractions, including The London Eye, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo and the Houses of Parliament.

Chelsea Charles, Themed Years Communications Manager at VisitScotland, then spoke about 2018, the Year of Young People and the many opportunities this provided to tourism businesses.

Justin Reid, Head of Destinations at Trip Advisor, also spoke to delegates about how destinations can maximise their presence on the world’s largest travel website, to ensure people have the best holiday they possibly can.

Conor O’Sullivan, Social Media and Community Manager at VisitScotland, also addressed attendees, speaking about the benefits an influencer can bring to the customer journey.

Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said:“I am delighted that so many businesses attended the Perthshire Tourism Conference today and hope found the event both interesting and insightful.

“This region has so much to offer the visitor and I hope that the conference helps provide a boost to tourism in Perthshire and the local economy. It is also important to inspire the next generation to consider a career in tourism by showing them the opportunities that exist.

“Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth. Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation to ensure that current provision meets future demand. Every visitor must get a quality experience every single time.”

David Smythe, Chair of PTP, said: “We were delighted to again be helping organise this popular annual conference, which provided a great opportunity to hear about key tourism and social media developments, identifying how they can benefit Perthshire tourism businesses.

“A line-up of top class speakers, workshops and networking opportunities provided businesses with motivation, ideas, and inspiration. I was pleased to see young people also taking part in this year’s event as it is important that we inspire the next generation to consider tourism as a potential career path.”

PTP brings together tourism businesses from across Perthshire and public sector partners. The group, which meets quarterly, developed a Perthshire Strategy and Action Plan for the region, in line with the Tourism Scotland 2020 industry strategy to stimulate economic growth.

Events such as this provide a platform to bring together industry – to collaborate, network, share information and inform businesses about the work undertaken by the PTP.


Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • Participation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • Education – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • Health and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • Equality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • Enterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • Culture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.