Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme

Our Introduction to Tourism Leadership short course offers a unique opportunity to enhance your awareness and knowledge of destination development whilst progressing your tourism leadership skills and capabilities. 

Open to applicants who are based in Scotland and already working in tourism, this live (real time) online 3-day course is fully funded and will focus on 8 key areas outlined below. 

Current leadership experience is not necessary. When applying, please specify the course you wish to apply for, and provide insights into your current leadership/destination experience in your personal statement. 

Please read the Guidance notes on applying.

The economic, social, and cultural impacts of the Covid-19 global pandemic, overlaid with growing consumer awareness and policy directives on balanced tourism development, present unprecedented challenges for destination leaders.

This course, fully-funded for successful applicants through Scottish Government, will help your destination respond. It will cover:

  •     Place and destination leadership and development
  •     Understanding the importance of the holistic nature of the end to end customer journey
  •     Understanding market trends and drivers (such as digital and sustainability)
  •     The critical need to enhance market resilience for innovation, visitor experience and product development.

There will be a particular focus on recovery and resilience, and the response to tourism's role in Scotland's net zero ambitions.

The course content, case studies and speakers will be customised to reflect the focus of eight specific markets.


Target Market 

Delivery  Dates  

Application Closing Date 

Pan Scotland 

August 2021:    

Tuesday 31 August Wednesday 1 September Tuesday 14 September 

21 August 2021 

Pan Scotland 

October 2021:   

Wednesday 6 October Thursday 7 October Wednesday  20 October 

26 September 2021 

Ayrshire & Arran 

November  2021:  

Wednesday 3 November Thursday 4 November Wednesday 17 November 

24 October 2021 

Rural Pan Scotland

November  2021: 

Wednesday 24 November Thursday 25 November Wednesday 8 December 

14 November 2021 

Adventure & Outdoor Tourism  Sector 

December  2021:  

Wednesday 15 December Thursday 16 December   


Wednesday 12 January  

24 November 2021 

Visitor Attractions Sector 

January 2022:  

Wednesday 19 January Thursday 20 January Wednesday  2 February 

9 January 2022 

Rural Pan Scotland

February  2022:  

Wednesday 9 February Thursday 10 February Wednesday 23 February 

30 January 2022 

Pan Scotland 

March 2022:  

Wednesday 2 March Thursday 3 March Wednesday 16 March 

20 February 2022 

By enrolling on one of these 3-day courses, you will:

  • Develop skills, knowledge and insights to enhance Destination Leadership and Development
  • Enhance individual, business, and destination leadership confidence and capabilities
  • Improve understanding of individual leadership behaviour through the creation and implementation of a personal Leadership Action Plan
  • Share a common model for influencing and raising awareness about leadership choices
  • Create an understanding of strategic drivers of successful tourism destinations.
Destination Leadership 
  • Explore different approaches to destination leadership development and management
  • Understand the strategic nature of the destination experience  and the value of stakeholder collaboration
  • Consider the importance of creativity and innovation in creating new destination experiences
  • Understand  the importance of community engagement and adopting responsible and sustainable tourism practices.
Leadership Approaches and Styles 
  • Examine strategy and vision, communication and negotiation styles
  • Identify organisational barriers
  • Explore how to become a resilient leader.

Destination Development

  • The strategic context of globalisation and post coronavirus business reset
  • Resilience and recovery scenario planning
  • The digital economy and data driven innovation
  • Responding to trends in consumer behaviours and market shifts
  • Development of experiential tourism based on experience design engineering.
Entry requirements

The fully-funded course is aimed at individuals working throughout the Scottish Tourism sector. Students will usually have an undergraduate degree, but lesser qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants must be based in Scotland to be eligible for this funded intake.

How you'll be taught and assessed

You’ll be taught by industry, leadership and destination experts drawing on case studies over 3 days through an on line platform. You’ll complete two pieces of assessment – a Leadership Development Personal Action Plan, and on day 3 you’ll deliver a 20 minute group presentation applying the learnings to a chosen destination in Scotland to secure recovery and resilience. 

In addition to the real time face to face programme contact time participants will undertake personal reading, and planning and preparation for the assessed group presentation.

The course is designed as a standalone, but the assessments are worth 10 credits, which could potentially contribute towards one of Edinburgh Napier University masters’ programmes

Content rich, the course managed to cleverly blend the latest academic research into the future of destination leadership, real life case studies, and friendly group interaction.

Aileen Crawford

Head of Tourism and Conventions, Glasgow Convention Bureau, Glasgow Life

If you have any enquiries, please get in touch with our student recruitment team

Frequently Asked Questions