Tourism Symposium heritage tours to showcase Edinburgh

Walking tours of Edinburgh’s historic highlights are planned for the Tourism Society’s 2017 Tourism Symposium (June 5-6).

The event has the theme ‘Heritage and Innovation’ so the tours aim to showcase the Scottish capital, which is a Unesco World Heritage City.

One walking tour will take delegates to key festival sites while another will explore Edinburgh’s New Town, developed between 1767 and 1850.

The ‘Scotland: past and present’ tour will start with a trip to the National Museum of Scotland then take delegates down the historic Royal Mile to visit the Scottish Parliament for a guided tour.

Delegates can also opt to travel by train to Glasgow to discover the city’s distinctive architectural and musical heritage, rounded off with a hop-on/hop-off bus tour of key sights.

For the second day of the symposium, a day-long conference will see 19 speakers discussing global trends, innovation and heritage sites.

The keynote speaker will be Ty Speer, president and chief executive of Tourism Vancouver, as the Canadian city and Edinburgh have been twin cities since 1977.

There will also be a speech by Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish government’s cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs.

Speakers from local destination management organisations, entrepreneurial managers and Edinburgh Napier University’s Destination Leaders Programme will talk about investing in future talent.

A session on ‘Cities as Gateways for Rural Exploration’ will feature speakers from several tourism organisations, chaired by Helen Campbell, head of global marketing at VisitScotland, and there will be advice for DMOs from Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE FTS.

There will also be sessions on music tourism, festivals and culture, plus a review of the Tourism Society’s first 40 years and a look ahead at what the industry might be doing over the coming decades.

Pictured is a City Sightseeing bus in Edinburgh’s New Town ©VisitBritain/VisitScotland.