DLP Case Study: Susan Russell, Women in Tourism

There’s a really good balance of theoretical learning but the DLP always brings it back to a real-life situation and context.

Susan Russell

Marketing Manager, Festivals Edinburgh

How leadership can influence in shaping policy

“Would I have done all of these things if I hadn’t taken part in DLP? It’s probably around fifty-fifty, partially about confidence and ambition, but also it’s about the powerful network the Destination Leaders Programme offers you, and the confidence you gain from taking part”.

The student

Susan Russell is Marketing Manager for Festivals Edinburgh where she has been working since 2009, her role evolving year on year. Before joining Festivals Edinburgh, Susan spent six years working at national tourism agency VisitScotland where she had four different roles.

Festivals Edinburgh was set up in 2007 when the Directors of the city’s twelve major festivals wanted to get together and collaborate to strengthen the offering by becoming a collective. The marketing team accounts for fifty percent of the organisation, and Susan manages a team of two, which grows to a team of five in the summer months. The team focus on consumer marketing and PR in the key English cities, and overseas markets such as Germany and other cities which have knowledge of our festivals. Festivals Edinburgh also targets places with direct access routes into Edinburgh.

Susan’s story

In this case study, Susan Russell talks about her experience of being part of the second cohort of the Napier Destination Leaders Programme which had participants from destinations Edinburgh and Argyll. Susan discusses how her experience of the programme has influenced her industry engagement, her own leadership skills and has led to her forming the new industry group Women in Tourism.

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