The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions will hold its annual two-day Autumn Conference from 9th – 10th November 2017

Tom Campbell, Chief Executive of the North Coast 500, will be among the speakers

EDINBURGH, Scotland, 2017-Nov-07 — /Travel PR News/ — The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA), which represents the interests of the visitor attractions sector in Scotland, will be holding its annual two-day Autumn Conference at The Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort, Cumbernauld from 9th – 10th November 2017.

This year’s conference, themed around ‘Great Expectations’, will bring together a range of top industry speakers from across the globe whose organisations consistently exceed expectations by setting out to deliver world class visitor experiences.

Keynote speakers include: Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for International Development and Europe; Lisa Månsson, Director of Scandinavia’s biggest museum, the Vasa, who will outline how the Vasa engages with its visitors and encourages them to return; Willie Cameron, Business Development Director of Cobbs Group, who will provide insights into the company’s success with the Chinese market; Liz Hoskins of hospitality academy ‘Positive Qualities’, who will share tips on how to increase customer satisfaction and sales by motivating staff; Tom Campbell, Chief Executive, North Coast 500, who will talk about overcoming the challenges presented by the popularity of Scotland’s newest long distance touring route; and Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Chief Executive and Producer of the world famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo, who will share his strategy for taking the event to new heights since taking over the post in 2011.

Interactive breakout sessions will provide an opportunity to delve deeper into the world of digital marketing with Scottish travel blogger Neil Robertson, or to find out more about how one of the key attractions in the Highlands, Nevis Range, worked with Rare Management to deliver an award-winning world class event. There will also be a series of ‘pop up’ breakout sessions, featuring a range of speakers all involved in Scottish attractions who have achieved or developed something new, interesting and inspirational.

New for 2017 will be a session called ‘Question Time’, when delegates will be invited to put questions to a panel of experts and take part in a discussion on the key issues facing Scottish tourism today. Following the Breakout Sessions, an Awards Ceremony will celebrate the best of the visitor attractions sector in Scotland.

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for International Development and Europe said: “Scotland has a wide range of unique attractions and excellent heritage and museum collections and it’s fitting that they are recognised for the excellent experiences that they offer visitors.

“In our current themed Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the success of our leading visitor attractions will continue to play a vital role in making Scotland a destination of first choice for visitors from the UK and across the world.”

“And looking forward to 2018, Scotland will lead a global first by having a year-long celebration of Scotland and its young people. A programme of cultural and educational events and activities, co-designed with children and young people, will be held right across the whole of the country.”

Willie Cameron, Business Development Director of Cobbs Group said“After another year of sustained growth in the visitor attraction sector, this year’s ASVA conference will be particularly important in helping delegates to develop a forward thinking strategy that meets the challenge of creating the sustainable infrastructure required by Scottish tourism in the future”.

Douglas Walker, Chair of ASVA added: “The indications are that 2017 has been an extremely positive year for the visitor attractions sector and the wider Scottish tourism industry, but we cannot rest on our laurels.

“This year’s conference will bring delegates lots of insights into how we can promise, deliver and exceed expectations, from welcoming visitors from one of Scotland’s key growth markets, China, to using volunteers to enhance the visitor experience”.


Media enquiries to Gillian Harrower, Tourism and Leisure Solutions, Tel. 01333 329705 / 07585 945181, E:

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
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • 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)

2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017

SOURCE: VisitScotland