Managing the visitor experience

This year’s Highland Tourism Conference is taking place soon and following the success of last year’s sell-out event, we want to make sure you book today and don’t miss out.

The event, delivered in partnership with VisitScotland, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Highland Tourism Partnership, is taking place at:

The Drumossie Hotel in Inverness
When: Tuesday 13 November
Time: 10.00am – 3.30pm
Tickets will cost £25 + VAT per person.

The conference will include a fantastic array of speakers, breakout sessions and delicious locally sourced catering. In keeping with this year’s themes of exploring adventure markets and the Year of Coast and Waters – this year’s keynote speaker will be double Olympic Gold medallist and CNN broadcaster, Shirley Robertson OBE. Shirley is a renowned ambassador for Scotland and has much experience in extending the Scottish welcome and engaging with specialist activity markets.

Tickets are now available.
You will have the opportunity to attend two workshops.
Further details on the sessions are listed below, and please select your preferences during the booking stage.
Full itinerary for the day will be available online soon


During the conference there will also be a small exhibition area as part of the day – this a great opportunity to network with local businesses and make new contacts.

If you are interested in taking an exhibition stand, please email Rachel Thomson

Please note: exhibition places are limited.


This year’s event will focus on enhancing the visitors experience to the Highlands through a variety of consumer touchpoints. We’ve arranged a schedule of fantastic speakers who will deliver and thought-provoking sessions, content and workshops. Our key aim is to provide you with valuable and practical information which is easy to then implement into your business.

From visitors looking to experience a niche market (sailing, whisky, mountain-biking trails) those visiting to attend or participate in local events – there are multiple points at which ways your business can extend the Scottish welcome and enhance that visitor’s individual experience of the Highlands.

The keynote speaker this year will be Shirley Robertson OBE, who is a double Olympic Gold Medallist sailor, broadcaster and strong advocate for Scotland.

Other themes to be explored throughout the day will be how to embrace the profile which events can bring to a region, the draw of adventure and activity tourism and how to get your business ready for The Year of Coast and Waters 2020.

You will also have the opportunity to attend two of the following breakout sessions:

The golden rules of working with the media.
How, or do, you engage with online and print media? Join VisitScotland’s Head of Communications, Barbara Clark, and Marjory Kenny, communications expert from Pink Elephant Communications, as they host an interactive workshop focused on the golden rules of working with the media. After first exploring the background theory to the media industry, Marjory and Barbara will be on hand to answer your questions and share their expert communications advice on creating strategy for small businesses, how to prepare for media interviews, managing online reputation and importantly, how to engage with the media to gain coverage for your business.

Networking Session
For the first time at the Highland Tourism Conference, we’re introducing a structured session dedicated to giving delegates an opportunity to pro-actively network. Take this opportunity to discuss new ideas, meet other businesses and identify new business partnerships.

Growing into a sustainable tourism business
Are you interested in enhancing your sustainability credentials? For this workshop we have invited industry experts to share how your business can play a part in protecting our beautiful corner of Scotland. Our experts will be on hand to questions on how busy businesses can take steps to become increasingly accessible and sustainable to meet the growing visitor expectation.

Internationalising your market
Looking to understand how you as a tourism business you can grow your international visitor market? Graeme Ambrose, CEO of Visit Inverness Loch Ness, and Rona Wallace, Senior Manager of Intermediary Marketing at VisitScotland, explore how to grow an international demand for your product and services. This session will explore what international markets are looking for in their visitor experience, how to make sure your product stands out and how to work with the travel trade. Graeme and Rona will be on hand to share their expertise on how to create new products and experiences for visitors, while ensuring they are searchable, bookable and importantly, attracting visitors to your business.

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