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Tourism industry invests in tomorrow’s leaders

Press Release   •   Feb 15, 2018 10:53 GMT

The Aspiring Leaders Programme participants stand behind, from left to right, Catherine Brys, Craig Martin, Dorothy Moore, Stella Callaghan and Sallyann Tindall. Photographer: Ian Watson

Glasgow Welcomes have announced the launch of a unique, experience-led opportunity aimed at developing the next generation of leaders in Glasgow’s tourism industry.

The Glasgow Welcomes: Aspiring Leaders Programme, supported by Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland along with industry and partners, kicked off with the first session held at the University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre. The programme will enhance leadership skills and knowledge, as well as providing useful tools and techniques tailored to each participant’s development needs.

Fourteen carefully selected delegates from across the city’s tourism industry will be participating in workshops between 7 February and 22 May 2018. Each day will include morning classroom-based sessions followed by an afternoon featuring inspiring industry speakers, such as Anne Ledgerwood of St Enoch Centre, mini-learning journeys and visits to top Glasgow venues like the SSE Hydro. Outside of training days, delegates will develop and implement a business improvement project of their choice.

The next session will see each delegate matched with a current tourism leader, such as Murray Thomson of Blythswood Hotel and Ross Easton of the Scottish Event Campus, who will act as mentors, providing networking advice and supporting the development of soft skills. Other benefits of the programme include two days of individual support from a consultant provided by Scottish Enterprise and a free place on the Glasgow Welcomes Champions’ Networking & Speakers Events in February and June.

The programme, also supported by Skills Development Scotland, Glasgow Life and the Glasgow Welcomes Industry Champions, was open to Assistant Managers, experienced team leaders and self-motivated individuals with a level of autonomy who aspire to progress towards leadership positions in Glasgow’s tourism industry. Delegates include Dr. Emma Woodham, Science Learning Coordinator at Glasgow Science Centre, and Aimee Maclean, Coffee Shop Manager at Gordon St Coffee.

This programme is the first of its kind and one of the key opportunities offered by the Glasgow Welcomes initiative. A second version of the programme is expected to run later in the year as Glasgow’s current tourism leaders continue to pass the torch onto the next generation.

With the majority of delegates under the age of 26, the programme is particularly apt as we celebrate the Year of Young People. The latest in the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, it 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.

Craig Martin, Chair of Glasgow Welcomes, said: “This innovative new programme is a fantastic opportunity for the next generation of leaders in Glasgow and an excellent example of the sharing of best practice across the city’s visitor economy. I wish each of the delegates every success with the programme and I look forward to seeing them develop through these unique workshops.

“Glasgow Welcomes inspires and develops our city’s people to deliver outstanding, vibrant and memorable visitor experiences. In doing so we deliver real results and return on investment that enhance the Glasgow visitor journey.”

Glasgow Welcomes, the city’s Tourism Service Initiative, is industry-led and supported by Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, VisitScotland and Glasgow Life. It works in partnership to raise standards of service across every touch point of the city's visitor experience. With a focus on leadership, skills and service excellence, it is an integral element of the Glasgow Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023.

For more information about the Aspiring Leaders Programme go to


Notes to Editors

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  • 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
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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • 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:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality 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.
  • oEnterprise 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
  • oCulture – 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.