The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions to hold its annual Autumn Conference at The Crieff Hydro Hotel, 10-11 November 2016

Crieff Hydro Hotel

Crieff Hydro Hotel

EDINBURGH, Scotland, 2016-Nov-03 — /Travel PR News/ — The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA), which represents the interests of the key visitor attractions sector in Scotland, will be holding its annual two-day Autumn Conference at The Crieff Hydro Hotel in Perthshire from 10th – 11th November 2016.

This year’s conference, which focuses on ‘Achieving Excellence’, will bring together a range of top industry speakers from across the globe whose organisations consistently deliver world class experiences, allowing delegates to ‘benchmark with the best’.

A key objective of the conference will be to share the findings of recent research commissioned by Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with ASVA, which sought to identify and investigate best practice and trends in a number of key areas of visitor attraction development and operation, with a view to supporting growth and development of the visitor attraction sector in Scotland.

Keynote speakers include: John Thurso, Chair of VisitScotland, who will outline the agency’s priorities of growing the Scottish economy and ensuring this growth is evenly distributed across Scotland; Justin Reid, Head of Destinations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, TripAdvisor, who will highlight the importance of travel reviews to the business benchmarking process; Heather Yule, Business Development Manager, Tourism Nova Scotia, who will talk about key strategies for building a world-class visitor experience; Sarah Copeland, Head of Human Resources, Glasgow Life and Craig Martin, Head of Human Resources, Glasgow Airport, who will share their top tips for achieving service excellence, based on their experiences on a recent Glion Learning Journey to London; and Joacim Johansson, CEO, Astrid Lindgren World, who will suggest ways authenticity can be used to underpin service excellence and sustainability.

Interactive breakout sessions focusing on: improving access for all, offering an award winning visitor experience and putting the ‘wow’ factor into service will give delegates the opportunity to ask questions and listen to individual case studies. There will also be a series of ‘pop up’ breakout sessions, with delegates being invited to share successful innovations that have changed their business for the better.

Back by popular demand will be a ‘Room 101’ session, when a panel of experts will look at current hot topics affecting the visitor attraction industry and give delegates the opportunity to vote on the things they think should be consigned to Room 101.

Following the Breakout Sessions, an Awards Ceremony will celebrate the best of the visitor attractions sector in Scotland.

John Thurso, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “I believe the industry can play a much bigger role in the economic growth of Scotland, sustaining communities and creating jobs in every corner of Scotland. My job is to ensure that the visitor economy cake gets bigger and that the slices are dispersed more evenly across Scotland.

“Visitor attractions are crucial to growing that economy as they give many people the reason to visit an area – so it’s important that tourism businesses work closely with those attractions and innovate as well as embracing the digital age.”

Justin Reid, Head of Destinations, Europe, Middle East & Africa, TripAdvisor said:
“The global tourism environment has changed dramatically over recent years and people now have the power thanks to reviews on specialised websites.

“When potential visitors are researching a destination, they want to see the authentic opinions of people like them. People can review all the things offered by a place, but if you want to attract visitors, you need to bear in mind that the range and quality of visitor attractions will be a key motivator. This is especially important when you know that people that visit TripAdvisor look specifically for towns and cities, not countries. I look forward to sharing with delegates how TripAdvisor reviews can further support and inspire the benchmarking process.”

Douglas Walker, Chair of ASVA, added: “In Scottish tourism, we aspire to offer the best possible experience for our visitors. Tourism Resources Company, who carried out the recent Scottish Enterprise/ASVA research into best practice and trends in key areas of visitor attraction operation and development, will give an overview of the principal findings and we will hear directly from two of the case studies involved. In addition, the Conference will offer lots of other case studies and practical examples with great opportunities for networking and benchmarking with the best.”

Media enquiries to Gillian Harrower, Tourism and Leisure Solutions, Tel. 01333 439683 / 07585 945181, E:

Notes to Editors

  • ASVA has over 450 member visitor attractions.
  • Its member sites attract over 37 million visitors each year.
  • Visitor attractions in ASVA membership generate almost 5,000 Full Time Equivalent jobs for the Scottish economy.
  • Live updates from the conference will be posted to @ASVAtweets using the hashtag #asvaconf16

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 seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit or follow @scotgovESIF
  • 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 events in Scotland go to

2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016

SOURCE: VisitScotland