The first Angus Travel & Tourism Conference (Monday 23rd October) was a great success. Organised by Developing the Young Workforce Dundee & Angus, supported by Business Angus and held at Carnoustie Golf Hotel. Almost 100 pupils from five Angus secondary schools (Arbroath Academy, Arbroath High, Forfar Academy, Monifieth High and Websters) attended along with representatives from 19 local and national tourism businesses and organisations.
Currently tourism contributes over £11 billion to the Scottish economy and supports almost 300,000 jobs. These numbers are set to grow. Tourism is becoming a key driver in the Tayside area with the creation of the V&A and expansion of the tourist offer. Careers in the tourism industry offer a huge variety of opportunities and progression prospects, the Angus Travel & Tourism Conference illustrated this to the young people directly.
Pupils studying the National 4 & 5 Travel & Tourism Course had the opportunity to speak to industry professionals and learn about Angus’ tourism offer. Over the course of the day they heard from national and local agencies Visit Scotland and Visit Angus as well as learning about the pathways to a career in Travel & Tourism, including Modern Apprenticeships. Pupils took part in several tasks, including speed-interviewing and itinerary creation, which will support their coursework and help them develop skills such as communication, team-working, research, and presentation skills, which are needed in any profession and industry.
The businesses who took part were able to offer first-hand knowledge and experience, and answer any questions the pupils might have, but they also benefited from the day. Industry professionals were able to engage with other local and national businesses and organisations as well as their potential future workforce. The businesses and organisations could also use this as a chance to speak to a young customer audience and benefit from their insight and new ideas, as well as speak to the pupils about jobs, apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities.
Spokesperson for economic development, Cllr Ron Sturrock said: “Our latest tourism figures show that £227 million was generated by tourism activity within the local economy in Angus, an increase of 26% from 2009. The tourism industry is one of the key sectors that we support through Business Angus and this event is a fantastic opportunity for young people and businesses, from across Angus, to meet and discuss the growing opportunities available in our Tourism sector.”
Feedback from the pupils, teachers and professionals at the event;
“Great event to develop and improve for next year.”
“Thanks very much, I had a great day.”
“Good format to engage all attendees.”
“I think the conference was a good idea to provide a presence and show school groups & pupils opportunities available. Hopefully the event can go from strength to strength.”
“Overall found the conference interesting and engaging.”
The Angus Travel & Tourism Conference was a local event, benefiting local young people and businesses placing a local emphasis on a national interest and something we hope we can grow in years to come.
If you are interested in this or any other engagement with local schools and businesses, get in touch with DYW Dundee & Angus.