Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme

Each course features presentations from a number of inspiring tourism leaders around the world and provides participants with an opportunity to work alongside other tourism leaders to explore innovative and inspiring solutions to some of the key challenges the sector faces today.

This year, all courses include a particular focus on recovery and resilience, and the response to tourism's role in Scotland's net zero ambitions.

Previous participants have talked about how the courses have helped to transform their businesses, destinations and careers.

The courses are part of the Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme, a Scotland-wide programme to support business and community-led tourism enterprises taking the lead in the sector’s COVID-19 recovery. It offers a range of opportunities to develop personal skills and expertise, to gain insight from fellow participants and subject specialists, and to become part of a growing network of people working together to develop innovative tourism opportunities.

More information about the short courses

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.

These short courses, fully funded for successful applicants through Scottish Government tourism recovery funding, will help your destination respond. All courses cover:

  • Place and destination leadership and development
  • The importance of the whole customer journey end to end
  • Market trends and drivers (such as digital and sustainability)
  • The critical need to enhance market resilience for innovation, visitor experience and product development.
  • Recovery and resilience, and the response to tourism's role in Scotland's net zero ambitions.

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


Target Market 

Delivery  Dates  

Applications Closed


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

This fully funded course is aimed at individuals (current and aspiring leaders) working throughout the Scottish tourism industry. Successful applicants must have relevant work experience in tourism as a current or aspiring leader. Most applicants are already qualified to an under graduate level, but this is not essential – experience is more important on this occasion. Only applicants based in Scotland are eligible for the fully funded intake.

Please read the Guidance notes on applying.

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 participation in a 20 minute group presentation on day 3, where you will apply the learnings to a chosen destination in Scotland to secure recovery and resilience. 

In addition to the real time online face to face 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