STA Signature Conference


The event has been rescheduled to take place at the SEC in Glasgow on 24 April

Thought leaders from the world of finance, economic policy, technology and innovation, food tourism, hospitality and the political world will headline the speaker line up for Scottish Tourism Alliance Conference 2018.

This year’s event will be focused around the ‘ Next Generation for Tourism’, looking at the future challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Scotland’s tourism industry. 

STA Conference 2018 will examine the political, global and economic outlook, offering insights into our fast paced and rapidly changing world with information and inspiration on how to lead for the future and of course attract, develop and retain our next generation of employees. 

Conference sessions have been built around themes such as innovation, entrepreneurship, meeting the expectations of the future traveller and connecting with and winning new audiences in an increasingly competitive digital marketing world.  The food tourism opportunity will be explored in the context of the quality, authentic experience which lies at the heart of the Tourism Strategy and we will welcome international and home grown speakers to share all the latest insights and trends on our conference themes this year.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to attend Advisory Workshops and a special Civic Reception on the afternoon/evening prior to conference on 23 April at the Crowne Plaza. 

Speaker line up

Registration | 08.45 - 09.45 

Session One | 09.45 - 11.25

GRoy A Forecast of What Lies Ahead - The Future Economic Outlook
Professor Graeme Roy, Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute 

Graeme will set the background scene for the day with his insights, analysis and future predictions for the Scottish tourism industry in the context of the UK and global economy in session one. 
marc The STA’S Future Focus - Representing the Industry, Shaping and Influencing TS2030 
Marc Crothall, CEO of Scottish Tourism Alliance  

With lots of big issues addressed by the STA in 2017 Marc will provide an update on what are the key issues that the STA will focus on when representing the industry’s views to government as we head towards Brexit – he will also set out the progress made and process for development of the national tourism strategy TS2030 by the Tourism Leadership Group. 
Peter-Martin-CGA Food Tourism Trends & Opportunity 
Peter Martin, Vice President of CGA Peach 

Peter Martin will share his latest insights and thinking into the out-of-home food and drink market, from the casual dining and restaurant sector.

James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink Scotland will then join in the stage to discuss the opportunities we have to put Scotland firmly on the map as a food tourism destination.
Morning Break | 11.25 - 12.05
Your chance to grab a coffee, catch up with your contacts and have a wander round the exhibition.

Session Two | 12.05 - 13.05
1 Selling Scotland with the VisitScotland Marketing Stars

VisitScotland will take to the stage next with their session on the Year of Young People. We will hear how some of Scotland’s rising stars are leading the marketing of our nation.

Nikki, Rachel, Conor and Hannah will take delegates on a multi-media tour of the work VisitScotland are doing with partners and industry in 2018. No jargon. No middle aged men. Just those that own the future talking about how they will shape it. 
jumphighres Inspiring interview: Scotland's National Piper
Louise Marshall, Piper

Being chosen by VisitScotland and Forbes as one of three inspirational Scottish women to appear in an article in its American business magazine on TARTAN day this year for "Shaking up Tradition in Scotland and doing an excellent job at performing a role in business which was more traditionally occupied by men".
Networking Lunch | 13.05 - 14.30
You can meet and catch up with colleagues and have a wander round the exhibition before we move into the afternoon session 
Session Three | 14.30 - 17.00
kris_reid_marty_bell_tens (002) Inspiring interview: A Future So Bright…You’ve Gotta Wear Shades!
Marty Bell and Kris Reid, Founders of TENS Sunglasses

Stephen and Marcus, our 15 year old co-host will welcome us back before the first afternoon session kicks off with  Marty Bell and Kris Reid founders of TENS Sunglasses for an ‘enlightening’ interview!  

The TENS Sunglasses story is truly inspirational and entertaining so be prepared for a lively account for the all-important post-lunch session.  Along with friend, Tom Welsh, Marty and Kris disrupted the sunglasses world in 2014 by launching a pair of sunglasses that react to light to transform the user’s view into a vivid experience, full of clarity and colour, making everyday life look and feel ten times better. 
yoyp The Next Generation Workforce - How to Attract Develop and Retain our Future Talent 

In this panel session questions will be posed and thoughts shared on how we can better understand and work with the future generations to inspire and get the best out of our young people.

Rosie Wilkins, Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year working at The Torridon
Kirsty Mitchell, CEO of Digital Connextions
Stephen Ross, Headmaster of Craigroyston High school
Mark Heirs, Professional Chef

GCG The Future of Our Industry is Still in Our Hands! 
Gordon Campbell Gray, Founder of Campbell Gray Hotels 

For our penultimate keynote session we welcome one of the most inspirational speakers from the hospitality world, Gordon Campbell Gray to share his stories, experiences and wisdom from his years spent not only as a Catey Award winning hotelier with an international portfolio of hotels from Beirut to Islay, but as Vice President of Save the Children and his work as an environmentalist.
Graeme Codrington Leading in a Fast Changing World
Graeme Codrington, internationally acclaimed speaker and author

After a thought provoking day of presentation and discussion on what lies ahead we will hear from one of the worlds top rated speakers, an expert on the future of work, an internationally acclaimed author and futurist Graeme Codrington. As top takeaway Graeme will provide strategic insight for those in organisations that are dealing with disruptive change and need to understand the future and to how best prepare their leaders for success in turbulent times.

Conference close


* Please note that the programme is subject to change