New group to enhance tourism and Hospitality sector
I am all too aware of the challenges that have faced the Tourism and Hospitality Sector over the last couple of years. A global pandemic, Brexit and the cost emergency have brought a variety of different obstacles for the sector and for a lot of businesses, it has been a very difficult time dealing with the consequences.
In March 2020, the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) was set up – made up of public agencies and industry leaders – to aid the response to the COVID-19 crisis and to provide emergency support to tourism and hospitality businesses across Scotland.
I would like to pass on my thanks to all those involved in STERG, it has proved invaluable over the past couple of years in helping deal with the immediate pressures of Covid and getting the tourism and hospitality sector back on its feet.
Moving forward, we must continue to focus on building a resilient, sustainable sector for the long term, which creates new, exciting opportunities across Scotland.
I am delighted to be co-chairing the new Tourism and Hospitality Industry Leadership Group, alongside Marc Crothall, the CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance. This new ILG will help us drive our ambition to be a world leader in 21st century tourism and support the hospitality sector, in line with Outlook 2030, our national Tourism Strategy.
It is essential that we are fully aligned with the National Strategy for Economic Transformation and that we provide businesses with the tools and support required to grow, as we cope with pressures such as the cost emergency.
I look forward to working with industry experts within the group to discuss how best we deliver on the ambitions of Scotland Outlook 2030 and our National Strategy for Economic Transformation, one of which the key priorities is to provide economic growth that significantly outperforms the last decade, so that the Scottish economy is more prosperous, more productive and more internationally competitive.
There will be an open process for interested parties to submit an expression of interest in joining the T&H ILG. Members will join as individuals, bringing their skills experience and sector knowledge to the Group.
Consideration will be given by a panel consisting of VisitScotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance and the Scottish Government. Members from a range of sectors and communities will be invited to join the ILG on a voluntary basis and the group is expected to convene at least four times a year, with the first meeting taking place in early November.
Diversity and inclusion is at the core of the ILG and expressions of interest from underrepresented groups including women, disabled people, those from black and ethnic minority communities, LGBTI+ people, and under 50s are welcomed.
Expressions of interest can be made from today on the VisitScotland wesbite.