Representatives from over 100 Scottish hospitality and tourism businesses made pledges at the event, which took place at Glasgow’s Marriott Hotel on 22 October.
The pledges included 97 jobs, 65 apprenticeships and 180 work experience placements, all intended to reduce unemployment among 16 to 24 year olds in Scotland.
Glasgow’s Big Hospitality Conversation event included a speech from Alastair Storey, the chairman of BaxterStorey, one of the UK’s largest contract caterers.
“The spotlight has been shining on Scotland for most of 2014 with the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and the Year of Homecoming events, not to mention the political activities,” said Storey. “So now is the time for the Scottish hospitality industry to capitalise on its international notoriety.
“The Big Hospitality Conversation in Glasgow was inspiring and it was wonderful to see so many high profile businesses coming together to provide opportunities to the next generation of hospitality professionals.”
Scottish tourism economy
Research from Barclays estimates that domestic tourists will contribute more than £13bn to the Scottish economy by 2017, and foreign tourism to the country will increase by 40 per cent. To meet this demand, the hospitality industry will need to keep expanding its workforce by means such as the Big Hospitality Conversation.
Executive director at BHA Scotland William Macleod said: “Tourism and hospitality are almost unique in their capacity to build international cultural understanding. What’s important now is that tourism is given every support to succeed, grow and compete internationally.
“The sector has consistently demonstrated resilience, adaptability and innovation, especially over the last five years or so and is showing clear signs of recovery. This recovery can be sustained if the economic and political conditions are in place to support this.
“There are a number of British and international hospitality organisations that are investing in Scotland and others have declared their interest in doing the same.”