Blogger shares experience at 1st tourism conference

A dramatic view Neil Robertson took from the top of Tomtain in the Kilsyth Hills
A dramatic view Neil Robertson took from the top of Tomtain in the Kilsyth Hills

Fresh from his adventures around some of Lanarkshire’s top heritage sites, digital consultant and travel blogger Neil Robertson, aka ‘Travels with a Kilt’, will be meeting local businesses at Lanarkshire’s first ever tourism industry conference to share his experiences and top tips for making the most of social media.

Neil is part of a programme of inspirational expert speakers at the free event for tourism businesses across the area – the result of a partnership between VisitScotland and Visit Lanarkshire – which will take place as part of this year’s Scottish Tourism Month on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 19, at Hamilton Park Racecourse.

Neil Robertson

Neil Robertson

In advance of the event, Neil has been touring the area, blogging and sharing images and video with his thousands of followers worldwide about the area’s walking and heritage highlights, from Summerlee and the Antonine Wall in the north to Hamilton Mausoleum and New Lanark in the south – while drawing links to popular film hits Braveheart and Outlaw King.

He’ll be using examples of from his Lanarkshire travels March 19 to give businesses an insight into ways they can learn from his social media success, plus offering them tips on website development and how they can attract more business online.

He will be joined at the event, titled ‘Buzz, bookings and bottom line’, by other speakers showing businesses ways to make a success of the 2019 tourist season by creating a bigger online buzz and becoming easier to book.

Booking.com’s regional account manager Lynsey Burns will discuss the opportunities of working with an online travel agent and Lynsey Eckford, VisitScotland’s industry relationship manager, will talk through the range of ways the organisation can help businesses.

Lanarkshire Tourism Association chairman Mark Calpin will speak on local priorities for tourism growth in the area, and introduce attendees to the opportunities available at stands provided by Scotland Food & Drink, Lanarkshire Enterprise Services, Digital Tourism Scotland, EventScotland and others.

VisitScotland’s Regional Leadership director Jim Clarkson, who will also be speaking at the event, said:

“This is the first time we’ve held an event like this dedicated to Lanarkshire alone, and we want to attract as many businesses from all sectors of the local industry to join us, from big hotels, attractions, tour operators and event organisers through to cafes, bars, restaurants and shops.

“The pace of change in trading online is something we all need to think about, and not everyone is an expert. We want everyone to come away with something valuable from the day, and we’re delighted to be working with Visit Lanarkshire to make this happen.”

Mr Calpin added: “This event is all about making Lanarkshire easy to buy for our visitors, and in that way making 2019 a successful year for all tourism businesses across the area.

“It’s a great chance to bring the Lanarkshire tourism industry together in all its forms, meet valuable new contacts and get into discussion on the practical things we can all do grow our businesses.

“If we all make positive steps, then collectively we can make a bigger noise about Lanarkshire online and attract more visitors by the wealth of experiences on offer here.”

The event is free and open to all tourism businesses across Lanarkshire – whether it’s a small café, a gift shop, a visitor attraction or a large hotel.

Businesses should secure their free place by visiting https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lanarkshire-industry-event-buzz-bookings-and-bottom-line-tickets-56048466472.

The event is part of Scottish Tourism Month, a month-long series of industry events taking place across the country. Highlights include ScotHot – the country’s premier showcase for food, hospitality and tourism – and the Signature Sessions on March 14 at Glasgow’s SEC.