Stirling’s tourism sector welcomes four million visitors annually, supports 9,201 jobs and has an economic impact of £463 million.*
So it’s no wonder that almost 800** businesses need support to help this sector to continue to grow.
STEP’s business support events have become the backbone of business learning in Stirling over the last 30 years, and now we’re excited to announce that building on previous successful tourism sector themed events, we have an exciting month-long programme of tourism business support events coming in October/November.
Business owners and those working in tourism will have access to events, workshops and networking opportunities to help tourism-based businesses stay ahead with insights and analysis on the people, companies, trends and topics shaping Stirling’s Tourism landscape.
Replacing our annual ‘Meet the Producers’ event, we are more than delighted to announce that we are working with Scotland Food and Drink, Stirling Council and Forth Valley Lomond Leader to bring ‘Showcasing Scotland’ to the central region.
This event has been developed to help meet growing demand for local products in local markets.
Using the hugely successful Showcasing Scotland business matchmaking model, this event will help boost local and regional sourcing by bringing together regional buyers, producers and suppliers to meet, build relationships and secure future business.
Hosted in Forth Valley College, who are renowned for their food, drink and hospitality courses, students will staff the event providing a learning experience for them as well as first-hand industry experience— joining up dots in the industry.
Marketing is a key element for any tourism business and we are excited to have industry giants, Expedia and Google collaborate at our ‘Marketing for Tourism’ event. VisitScotland will also be on hand introducing 2020 as the Year of Water and Coasts.
We all know that technology is moving faster each day and the introduction of tech can set tourism businesses apart on the worldwide stage. We understand that new tech can be daunting and that’s why we have organised a variety of technology businesses from Augmented Reality to Electronic Point of Sale and everything in between for you to test and see in action.
Networking is crucial for any business but in the tourism industry, it pays to know who is who and what’s on offer in your area.
If you’re a hotel, do you know what activities to recommend to your customers, where to advise them to eat or how they can book a tour?
Getting to know the local businesses in the area can make your customers experience a better one and your job easier.
As part of Stirling Tourism Month, we have two networking opportunities. Let’s Network, our monthly networking event run in partnership with Forth Valley Chamber and Stirling University Innovation Park will have a tourism theme for October.
We will also be hosting a networking Q&A with the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP.
You can see our full programme overleaf or visit www.stepscotland.co.uk/step-business-events-training/tourism-business-month
*Source: Scottish Annual Business Survey 2015
**Source: Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR).