Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry is worth over £11.5 billion to our economy. It supports one in 12 jobs. Spending by tourists is around 5% of GDP.
Right now the sector is facing another summer of disruption – some events and festivals are already being cancelled for a second year running; restrictions on the number of customers allowed in bars, restaurants and venues is having an impact; and many overseas visitors are unable (or unwilling) to travel to the UK.
Many businesses in the sector are worried about their survival; the past year has already seen job losses and closures across the industry, and many fear there is more to come.
Has the sector changed forever? What does the journey to recovery look like? What are the challenges ahead and what changes can be made to help the sector get back on track?
Join our panel of experts as they discuss the issues, opportunities and challenges ahead:• Clare Beck, Finance Specialist at Heineken • Riddell Graham, Director of Industry and Destination Development, VisitScotland• Averil Wilson, Managing Director, Apex Hotels • Chaired by David Bond, Director, ICAEW Scotland, and an opportunity to ask some.
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Clare Beck, Finance Specialist at Heineken
Clare is an extremely commercial and sharp FD with extensive experience in leading a business as part of a Senior Management Team. She has a passion for driving profitability by smart thinking using IT, data and systems to bring the numbers to life and to predict the future for all parts of the business. She produces simple yet sophisticated budgets, forecasts, latest estimates which predict likely outcomes and guide optimal strategic thinking and has the ability, drive and experience to make sense of the past trends, ratios and margins to drive future operational success. Clare has outstanding analytical skills and an ability to home in on the nub of the matters and prevent trouble. She is strongly persuasive and engaging with effective yet diplomatic communication skills throughout the different strands of a business, and always with integrity.
Riddell Graham, Director of Industry and Destination Development, VisitScotland
The Industry and Destination Development Directorate’s remit is to develop and maintain direct relations with a wide range of partners, with the main aim of making sure that tourism is seen as an important and valuable industry for Scotland. It does this through influencing a range of partners and stakeholders including tourism businesses, travel trade, industry bodies, Destination Management Organisation’s and local authorities.
My team is responsible for the direct delivery of VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes, visitor information services and the provision of advice and support to businesses.
I was born and educated in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. I have a BSc in Ecological Science from Edinburgh University and an HND in Business Studies.
My early career working for Borders Regional Council moved between project officer posts in public transport and countryside access within the Council’s Planning and Economic development department. I started working in tourism in 1978 as assistant tourist officer with Borders Council and then through the ranks and a host of related jobs to Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Tourist Board, a post I held from 1996 to 2005. I have been a Director with VisitScotland since 2005 in four different roles, first as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications then as Director of Strategic Partnerships, then as Director of Partnerships and more recently as Director of Industry and Destination Development which I took up in January 2018.
Averil Wilson, Managing Director, Apex Hotels
David Bond, Director, ICAEW Scotland
As director in Scotland, David is responsible for developing strategy, leading member support and engaging with a range of stakeholders. David is also Founder / Director of McGregor Bond, executive search, and a Partner with TRANSEARCH International, one of the top ten global executive search firms. He is an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and qualified with KPMG.
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