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Countdown to 2014

Press Release   •   Feb 13, 2013 00:00 GMT

‘Preparation’ will be the buzz word at a week of talks, conferences, networking receptions and events lined up for the annual Scottish Tourism Week from 4-13 March 2013.

The Week organised by The Scottish Tourism Alliance with support from VisitScotland and other key industry players, will bring together leading individuals within the tourism industry and beyond to discuss how Scotland can ready itself for welcoming the world in 2014, when the country plays host to the Commonwealth Games, Homecoming 2014 and the Ryder Cup.

Speakers and contributors during the week include Dr Frank Dick OBE, Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing, Sports Minister Shona Robison, Mike Cantlay, Chair of VisitScotland, Stephen Leckie, Chair of The Scottish Tourism Alliance, Gordon Arthur, Marketing Director of Glasgow 2014, Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association and Simon Calder, Travel Editor of The Independent.

Events will cover the breadth of the country from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Aberdeenshire, Aviemore and the Isle of Bute and themes will encompass everything from accessibility to hospitality, skills investment to the visitor economy.

One of the highlights of the week will be the Signature Conference on Tuesday 5 March where, for the first time, VisitScotland will unveil its vision for welcoming the world in 2014, inspiring not only the tourism industry, but every man, woman and child across Scotland to be the perfect host.  The Strategy Steering Group will also give an update on the developments of the National Tourism Strategy (Tourism Scotland 2020) actions.

Other activity during the week includes the official launch of the new Glasgow Visitor Information Centre on Buchanan Street on Monday 4 March.  The VisitScotland-run centre is being opened in preparation for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 and includes interactive state-of-the-art technology.

Mike Cantlay, Chair of VisitScotland, said:

“We’re on the starting blocks ready to race into the global spotlight with a once in a lifetime line-up of outstanding events in 2014.  Our hospitality and scenery is celebrated across the world, but we must not be complacent.  It’s time to pull together as a nation and make 2014 truly spectacular, showcasing our country in the best possible way from providing top class accommodation and service to outstanding food and drink.

“Scottish Tourism Week is an important annual event for an industry worth over £11billion a year to the Scottish economy. The networking and talks involved ensure that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet and championing all we have to offer year on year. It’s going to be a truly fascinating week.”

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

 “In 2014 we have a number of fantastic opportunities to promote Scotland to a truly global audience, with the Ryder Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the second Year of Homecoming.

“Scottish Tourism Week provides an opportunity for the industry to come together and consider how we can best maximise the economic benefits of these events, for the benefit of the sector and the wider Scottish economy.

“The Scottish Government will work with VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, to ensure our tourism industry is in the best possible shape to make the most of these major events and milestones.”

Stephen Leckie, Chair of The Scottish Tourism Alliance, said:

“Scottish tourism is now firmly recognised as a key driver in the Scottish economy and we have many passionate and committed teams within the industry working to drive continuous growth and development, at both a destination and national level, in what is an increasingly competitive global industry. 

“So join us on 5th March at what will be one of the biggest tourism industry conferences of the year, or by attending one of the many other conferences and networking events taking place across the country.  Hear first-hand on the progress the Strategy Steering Group has made in developing the Tourism Scotland 2020 actions and about the positive impact our industry is having on Scotland as a whole.”

Scottish Tourism Week is organised by the Scottish Tourism Alliance with lead sponsorship from VisitScotland and The Caravan Club.  For bookings: / 01786 459235  For more information on The Scottish Tourism Alliance, visit


4-13 March 2013





4 - 6 March

09.30 - 17.00


SECC, Glasgow

4 March

10.30 - 12.00

Glasgow Visitor Information Centre Official Opening

Buchanan St, Glasgow

5 March

09.00 - 16.15

Signature Conference:

Preparing to Welcome the World

Glasgow Science Centre

5 March

19.00 - 23.30

Industry Dinner:  Flavours of Scotland

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

7 March

10.00 - 16.00

Building the Journey

Balmoral Castle

8 March


Scottish Tourism Alliance Highland Conference and Taste of Scotland Reception

Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort

8 March

09.30 - 15.30

Marine Tourism Conference

Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

12 March

09.00 - 16.45

Accessibility Conference

EICC, Edinburgh

12 March

18.00 - 20.00

Parliamentary Reception

The Members’ Restaurant, Holyrood

13 March

09.30 - 16.00

Argyll and The Isles Tourism Summit 2013

Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute

For further information contact:

Kate Turnbull, Corporate Press Manager

Tel: 0131 472 2325 / 07920 709261

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 has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • 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
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to