Vicki joined VisitScotland in 2005 after three successful years with Dumfries & Galloway Tourist Board where she held the posts of Head of Marketing & Visitor Services and Acting Chief Executive. She is speaking at our upcoming global conversation, and here is what she has to say:
What’s your golden rule?
Where there is a will there is a way – keep a positive mindset and a can do attitude
Who has been your biggest influence?
In life, my children. As a parent you want to nurture them, lead by example and be the best person you can be for them. As they get older and wiser, I am also learning so much from them
What is your most hated business expression?
BAU – business as usual – don’t think there is such a thing and it diminishes the creativity and innovation I see everyday to deliver our core business activity
How can marketers be braver?
Because we are so results driven we can become a little obsessed with KPI’s and it can stifle our willingness to try something new - so as part of any plan have a test element and budget for that and be clear with the business what it’s for and be honest with the learnings
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Leaving the private sector in 2001 to take up a 3-year European Funded Contract with the local tourist board in my hometown which I had left as a teenager to go to University. The role was to support the economic recovery of the region and tourism industry in the aftermath of foot & mouth and 9/11. The opportunity to make a difference was exciting but at the same time daunting returning to a small town, moving my family, going into a role with many more stakeholders and being accountable to a local industry that was on its knees. However, 19 years on I am still lucky enough to be working in the same industry in a national role.
Marketing your own country is such a privilege and over the years it has been great to see the sector grow. 2018 & 19 were phenomenal years for Scottish tourism with the industry reaching new levels of international visitors from North America and Europe. Now along with colleagues and partners there is a huge job to do to map a recovery plan. Not easy given the complexities of Covid, so scenario planning has been key and looking for the things you can do all the time that will bring small incremental gains. Never underestimate the importance of incremental progress.
Which leader do you admire most and why?
Jacinda Ardern - her communication style and approach is first class - she is very open, honest, upfront and decisive while showing sincerity and empathy. That has been reflected in the vote of confidence she has had during Covid from the people of New Zealand.
What’s your favourite word?
Happy – when you say it you have to smile 😊
Tell us a secret?
I’m rubbish at keeping secrets, so this is a hard question
But there is a little person in my life who calls me GiGi and that is because in my head I am too young to be called any of the alternative names for the role I have…….get my drift…..??