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Women in Tourism: Shining a Light on Future Tourism Leaders

WIT YOYP Industry Conference

Established to inspire and support women within the Scottish tourism sector, Women In Tourism (WIT) is hosting its first conference at the Technology & Innovation Centre at Strathclyde University in Glasgow on Monday 19 November 2018.

Over 100 delegates from across Scotland are gathering for an event designed to encourage discussion and motivate attendees to adopt new skills.

Hosted by WIT’s Year of Young People Board Director Julia MacGregor, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Relations will begin proceedings with a keynote speech and will then join key tourism leaders for an ‘Ask The CEO’ panel session.  Delegates will then break out into groups to attend workshops which include Leadership, Mentoring and Social Media. In a unique agenda, each workshop will be delivered by two presenters, with an established tourism leader joined by a young person to share their insights and personal views on the topics.

Julia MacGregor, Board Director said: “The Year of Young People has delivered a fantastic platform to shine a light on future leaders within the industry.  The opportunity to join the Women in Tourism Board has been an invaluable way for me to expand my network and further develop my leadership skills, I have learned so much from the group.  It’s been a really great experience developing and delivering the inaugural WIT conference and I am excited to meet lots of new colleagues during our event today.”

Launched during this morning’s conference, WIT have launched the very first Young Women In Tourism Awards, one of the first legacy projects announced for Scotland’s Year of Young People.  Those aged 30 and under on January 1st, 2019 will be eligible to apply for the awards with each award winner receiving a package of support from WIT.  Announcing the first category today, WIT is delighted to reveal that the ‘Rising Star’ award winner will receive a HIT Scotland bespoke scholarship.

 Susan Russell, Chair of Women In Tourism, commented: “Today’s Young Women In Tourism Awards announcement will be Women In Tourism’s next step in continuing to support our emerging leaders and we’re delighted to launch the campaign during today’s conference.  As an organisation which strives to support those working within the industry, Julia’s passion for the industry and for women working with it is testament to today’s conference.    It has been our privilege to work alongside her and we look forward to following her exciting future within tourism.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said: “I commend Women in Tourism for launching the first ever Young Women in Tourism awards. This is a great occasion to shine a light on the achievements of the young women who are currently shaping the industry and to support the female leaders of tomorrow.

 “The Year of Young People 2018 has helped draw further attention onto Scotland’s youth, enabling our young people to find a platform to express their talent and further develop their skills. We are committed to promoting a fair, inclusive and equal society by enabling everyone to access the same opportunities, including in the tourism sector.”


  1. For more information, please contact

Susan Russell | susan@womenintourism.co.uk | 07914 846619.

  1. About Women In Tourism:

Women In Tourism launched as a membership organisation in March 2017 with the founding principles to inspire, motivate, encourage and support women within the sector.  Annual membership costs £40 and offers the initial benefits of:

  • Discounted Women In Tourism (and partner) events
  • A 60-minute mentoring session with a woman within the sector
  • A skill swap, with members offering an in-kind skills in return for advice or business services from another member
  • A dedicated app
  1. Women In Tourism Conference

Around 100 delegates attended the inaugural Women In Tourism conference in Glasgow on 19 November 2018.

Agenda for the day:

12 pm              Registration and networking

1 pm                Welcome from Julia MacGregor, Year of Young People Board Director

1.15 pm           Address from Fiona Hyslop MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Relations

1.30 pm           ‘Ask the CEO’ panel discussion with Fiona Hyslop MSP, Marc Crothall (Scottish Tourism Alliance), Sheila Gilmore (VisitArran) and Angela Vickers (Apex Hotels)

2.15 pm           Delegates select a workshop:

  • Leadership (Dale McPhee, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian & Valerie Lederer, Criton)
  • Mentoring (Cathy Craig, Entrepreneurial Scotland & Beth Thoms, Festivals Edinburgh)
  • Social Media (Chloe Mulligan, Mud Flowers & Hannah Stewart, Edinburgh Napier University)

3.15 pm           Break and networking

3.30 pm           Delegates select a second workshop (from above list)

4.40 pm           Recap and closing remarks

5 pm                Drinks and Networking

  1. Young Women In Tourism Awards:
  • The inaugural Young Women In Tourism Awards were launched during the 2018 Women In Tourism Conference on November 19th in Glasgow.
  • The first award to be announced is the Rising Star category, with the winner receiving a package of support form Women In Tourism as well as a bespoke HIT Scotland scholarship
  • HIT Scotland supports those working and studying in the hospitality industry in Scotland to broaden their skills and experiences by taking advantage of a tailored learning experience offered through the HIT scholarship programme. Full information on HIT Scotland scholarships can be found at hitscotland.co.uk.
  • Full details on all awards will be announced in early December 2018.