ASVA to host Great Expectations conference

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 9 – 10 November 2017.

Cumbernauld, Scotland

This year’s conference, themed around ‘Great Expectations’ will bring together worldwide industry speakers.

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”.

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