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Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme 2022

Mon 13 Sep 21

The Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme is a Scotland-wide programme to support business and community-led tourism enterprises taking the lead in the sector’s COVID-19 recovery.

It offers a range of opportunities to develop personal skills and expertise, to gain insight from fellow participants and subject specialists, and to become part of a growing network of people working together to develop innovative tourism opportunities.

Funded by the Scottish Government’s £25 million Tourism Taskforce Recovery Plan, Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) are working together to design and deliver the programme which is offering fully funded places for up to 300 participants between now and March 2022.


The programme

The Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme is made up of three courses, which are now all open for applications. These three courses are:

Go to the Find Business Support website for details on all Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme courses

Destination Leaders Programme

Destination Leaders Programme promotional image

This fully funded course being led by Edinburgh Napier, on behalf of the Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme partners, brings together like-minded individuals to gain the knowledge and skills to work effectively as a destination leader by learning about international best practice, insights and networks. It's open to individuals from tourism businesses and organisations across Scotland with a key and active role in the business.

Three cohorts will be delivered across Scotland, starting in October 2021. These cover Glasgow and Edinburgh (commencing 27 October), Aberdeen and Dundee, and Pan Scotland. Find out more about the Destination Leaders Programme, dates for each cohort, and how to apply

Introduction to Tourism Leadership

Introduction to Tourism Leadership promotional image

There will be up to eight cohorts with a maximum of 30 participants for the Introduction to Tourism Leadership programme. Cohorts will include a mix of tourism businesses from a geographical area across Scotland or a tourism sub-sector, and course content will be customised for these specific audiences:

  • Pan Scotland
  • Ayrshire & Arran
  • Rural (north)
  • Adventure and outdoor tourism sector
  • Visitor attractions sector
  • Rural (south)

Find out more information on the Introduction to Tourism Leadership programme on the Edinburgh Napier University website

Communities Leading in Tourism

Communities Leading in tourism promotional image

This is an online personal development programme led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise helping communities shape the future of local tourism. This is available on a pan Scotland basis and although the first cohort is now closed to applicants, individuals can register their interest for the second pan Scotland cohort today. Find out more information and register your interest for the next programme due to start in early 2022.


Tourism network

In addition to the training courses, the programme will incorporate a series of online sessions for the existing alumni network to maximise the benefits of the partnership work.

Current programme participants will join a tourism network established through previous successful programmes – the Destination Leaders Programme (DLP), the first three cohorts of the Communities Leading in Tourism programme, and the Rural Leadership Programme (RLP).

All participants will also have access to a Tourism Leadership Conference taking place early next year, and a SOSE-led dedicated Tourism Leadership and Recovery Fund to support collaborative development projects.

We know that tourism and hospitality businesses have been extremely hard hit by the pandemic and we have been working closely with the sector on a range of initiatives to help them get back firmly on their feet. A talented and valued workforce will be vital to enabling recovery.

The Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme is just one strand of the £25million Tourism Recovery Taskforce Plan that will support up to 300 participants develop their skills and networks to help our valued tourism sector begin working towards a strong and sustainable future that offers attractive high value prospects.

Recovery will take time, but this funding will enable communities and tourism businesses to come together to work on solutions for the industry and I encourage anybody working in the sector who is looking to develop their skills to consider applying.

Tourism Minister Ivan McKee


*Please note access to the programme is limited, the application process is competitive, and organisations applying should confirm they meet the programme criteria and where possible should highlight how they will deliver best benefit and return for the locality / sector.

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