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Following our all-party Parliamentary event earlier this year in June, this week, representatives from the SPAA Council sat down for dinner in Edinburgh with twenty members of the Conservative group from Holyrood. The attendees consisted of MSP’s, researchers and Heads of MSPs' offices, and allowed us to have free and frank discussions regarding a whole range of subjects from Brexit to APD, through to airport infrastructure, tourist taxes, airline routes, rail issues and many other subjects relating to the travel industry in Scotland. This was also an opportunity to cement our relationship with those who participate in governing Scotland to ensure the SPAA as the “voice of travel in Scotland” is heard loud and clear, and in doing so, giving clarity to many of the issues facing both our members and associates over which the Scottish Government has influence.

With government representatives from every region in Scotland, we were also able to hear in return about some of the challenges facing Holyrood and the possible solutions that may be offered. Whilst we were hearing only one side of the story, it was encouraging, in contrast to many reports in the media, that there was a lot of optimism about the future of the UK economy from our guests following our exit from Europe next year, and whilst clearly many are still in the dark about specific outcomes the mood was upbeat.

It is important that the SPAA engage with all sides of the Scottish Parliament on behalf of our member agencies, and we will continue this engagement throughout 2019 to ensure we are able to make sure our “voice” is heard loud and clear.

Ken McLeod
President - SPAA