Lee McRonald, International Partnerships and EU Engagement Manager at VisitScotland, tells us about VisitScotland’s successful collaboration with VisitFlanders as part of its work to secure investment in Scotland’s tourism economy.
On Thursday 7 May, VisitScotland and VisitFlanders jointly hosted a lively policy event in Brussels on how to deliver a successful tourism economy across Europe. It demonstrated how to deliver prosperity and build on the continued success of Scotland’s economy.
The event was organised with the support of Vleva (the Liaison Agency for Flanders in Europe) and Scotland Europa, and it was well attended by a range of tourism stakeholders from across the European Union, including policymakers engaged in related visitor economy sectors, government representatives, and of course national and regional tourism organisations and associations.
The renowned futures analyst Paul Flatters set the scene with a fascinating presentation on what tourism might look like ten years from now, factoring in social, economic and technological changes. VisitScotland CEO Malcolm Roughead led an interactive workshop on innovative partnership models, discussing how to leverage marketing activity to a whole new level by working together with airlines, private sector companies and transport operators, whilst Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, led another very popular workshop on how international events can be leveraged to support the visitor economy.
Two further workshops led by Visit Flanders were held, one on tourism quality systems and how to improve them to increase customer satisfaction, and the other on skills and exploring ways for tourism education to contribute to a more attractive labour market. All of the presentations and photographs from the event are available on the Vleva website.
In addition to the policy event, VisitScotland took the opportunity to sign an information sharing agreement with Visit Flanders. In return for sharing some of VisitScotland’s expertise on tourism quality development, Scotland will be able to benefit from Visit Flanders’ status and expertise as one of the global leaders on social tourism.
The successful cooperation between VisitScotland and VisitFlanders is further evidence of the benefits Scottish organisations accrue from working as a positive European partner, as VisitScotland continues its work to secure investment in Scotland’s tourism economy.
Contact: Lee McRonald