Rewarding pupils at a Moray Speyside school for their inspiring tourism marketing campaign was amongst activities undertaken by VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead as part of his national listening tour.
The 2018 tour got underway in April and Mr Roughead is visiting a number of locations across Scotland again this year, as part of his national listening tour. A similar programme last year saw him convene 11 meetings around the country, engaging with more than 100 industry influencers.
This year’s meetings focus on successful partnership working between the tourism industry and destination management organisations.
A key role during Mr Roughead’s visit to Moray Speyside was to present the winning team of pupils at Milne’s High School in Fochabers with awards for a tourism-related marketing campaign they had produced.
In April, VisitScotland Regional Director Jo Robinson completed a Year of Young People (YOYP) challenge with the school in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Moray.
She explained to the class of National 5 Travel & Tourism pupils how marketing is carried out by the national tourism organisation, before setting them a challenge to pitch a marketing campaign for a Moray Speyside town.
Jennifer Kelly, a Moray Speyside Tourism Ambassador, also presented to the class on how Gordon Castle approaches its visitor marketing.
Two weeks later Jo returned to judge their presentations alongside other senior tourism figures. The ‘Aberlour’ group secured victory and won afternoon tea at Gordon Castle. Mr Roughead presented the pupils with their prize during a visit to the school.
Ahead of the presentation, Mr Roughead made a business visit to the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay where he met manager Alison Rose, one of the tourism ambassadors recruited as part of VisitScotland’s YOYP work with DYW.
Mr Roughead took lunch at Gordon Castle at Fochabers, with Laurie Piper, Tourism Operations Manager at Moray Speyside Tourism, before travelling to Forres to meet Jim Davis, MD of Ace Adventures, specialists in outdoor activities and adventures in Scotland.
Building on the successes of similar events held over the previous three years, this series of Chief Executive Listening Tour meetings give tourism organisations and businesses the opportunity to speak directly to Mr Roughead.
VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said: “I am delighted to present the pupils with this well-deserved award as it is fantastic to see these young people so enthusiastic about promoting their local region, particularly during this, Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
“During my visit to Moray Speyside, I also enjoyed meeting and chatting directly to the staff at the Scottish Dolphin Centre as well as Jim Davis at Ace Adventures, to hear about how their season is going and what they hope to achieve this year.
“Tourism is at the very heart of economic success in Scotland – it is integral to sustaining local communities like those in Moray Speyside by generating income, creating jobs and stimulating social change across the region.
Cameron Young, geography teacher at Milne’s High School, said: “With the tourism sector being a large employer within Moray, at Milne’s High School we believe that it is important to get pupils involved in projects such as this.
“We are now entering our third year of running the Skills for work: Travel and Tourism course. This course is a hands-on one with a heavy emphasis on the practical application of the interpersonal skills needed within the tourism sector.