New Cohort of Destination Leaders Graduate from Aberdeenshire, Perthshire and Tayside
Twenty tourism and hospitality industry professionals from Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Angus and Perthshire graduated from the award-winning Scottish Enterprise Tourism Destination Leaders Programme at Edinburgh Napier University on Thursday 18 May 2017.
This concludes Year 4 of the programme’s delivery and brings to a total of seventy-nine Alumni now with an Executive Certificate in Leadership from Edinburgh Napier University.
The group heard from Linda Hanna, Managing Director of Sectors and Strategy, Scottish Enterprise, about the importance of leadership in delivering a strong and vibrant tourism economy. Linda highlighted the significantly higher levels of growth achieved by companies and destinations with strong leaders and encouraged the graduates to apply their learning to challenges such as Brexit and to take opportunities to further strengthen the networks they’d developed over the period of the DLP programme.
A diverse and highly relevant range of DLP group projects were completed, focusing on key challenges facing both Aberdeen and Dundee to develop into leading tourism destinations. Subjects ranged from Aberdeen’s development as a Business Tourism destination linked to significant investment in a new Conference and Exhibition Centre and how to capitalise on Dundee’s designations as UNESCO City of Design, in addition to the impending opening of the V & A Museum, Dundee. Participants completed a 2,500 word academic report and delivered a twenty-minute presentation to leading figures from the tourism industry in the two destinations. It is hoped that as in previous years, some of the projects will be developed further by the tourism industry.
Steve Daun, Associations Sales Manager, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) said:
“The DLP course was extremely worthwhile and helped me to engage and network with fellow industry leaders. The programme allowed me to learn from a wide range of speakers and I was able to connect with industry professionals from across Scotland, learn best practice and collaborate on joint projects to help transform our destination into a leading business tourism city.”
Suzanne Cumiskey, Business Development Projects Officer, Perth and Kinross Council said: “Participating in the DLP was an incredible opportunity to hear from international destination leaders on successfully developing destinations, with each speaker demonstrating that with clear vision and strong leadership anything is possible. I found it a great way to personally develop and meet others in the tourism industry.”
Aileen Lamb, Tourism Manager, Scottish Enterprise said: “The participants from Aberdeenshire and Tayside have come together to form strong networks which are already delivering benefits for tourism in these areas. Scottish Enterprise will work closely with the destination groups in both these areas to ensure DLP graduates are fully involved and encouraged to take on new leadership roles. We look forward to seeing the teams taking their projects forward to the community in their destinations to gauge interest, input and ultimately work with their destination to deliver the projects.”
The Destination Leaders Programme is open for 2017/2018 applications from tourism professionals in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Find key dates, how to apply and download the application form here.
Edinburgh Napier University Shortlisted for 2017 THELMA Award for DLP
Edinburgh Napier University has been shortlisted for a 2017 THELMA Award (Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards) for the Destination Leaders Programme, in the category of Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative.
The THELMAs, in their 9th year, recognise the best examples of innovation, teamwork and enterprise at academic institutions, and are free to enter and open to anyone working in UK higher education.
For the Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative, the award recognises a strategic and innovative approach to delivering employers' workforce needs. Judges look for new ways of working with employers and more, including evidence of positive impact on businesses.
The winners will be announced on Thursday 22 June 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. Follow the progress of the awards and finalists on Twitter via @dlpscot and #thelmas.
The DLP recently received an award for Leadership in the Visitor Economy at the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference, sponsored by The Tourism Society, in December 2016.
All involved in DLP are delighted at this recognition of the programme to date, and the impact of industry collaboration across alumni and participants.
Find out more about DLP – applications for the 2017/2018 programme are open until 31 May 2017.
Collaborating to Compete
DLP Year 3 participants from Edinburgh and Glasgow took part in their first workshop on Destination Development on October 2015 at the University of Strathclyde Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow, which included presentations from Claes Bjerkne and Professor Leo Jago of the University of Surrey.
Amanda Wrathall, Sales Manager for the EICC said: "I was absolutely delighted to be part of the 3rd Destination Leaders Programme. The group worked well together after only two meetings - and it has been interesting to learn as two very different destinations we face many of the same challenges. By sharing our experiences both cities have benefited on this joint learning journey. The quality of guest speakers has already been fantastic and I enjoyed hearing from other international experts on how to create world class destinations".