Annual Conference 2023

Days to SSDA 2023 Conference...

The SSDA Conference will be at Peebles Hydro, Innerleithen Rd, Peebles, EH45 8LX.

Tuesday the 14th of March 2023

The South of Scotland Destination Alliance  annual conference is for anyone keen to help grow our sector to its full potential.

The South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) is the strategic Destination Management and Marketing Organisation for the South of Scotland, encompassing Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

After a successful 2022 conference, we look forward to welcoming you all back again for an exciting opportunity to:

  • Spend the day with industry leaders,
  • Meet our new CEO, David Hope-Jones,
  • Hear about all the developments and actions SSDA has undertaken this year in promoting the South of Scotland to the world,
  • Participate in workshops,
  • And most importantly, network till you drop!
  • Join us in the evening for a fabulous 3 course dinner.

*NEW for 2023* - Wednesday 15th March 2023

Half-day FAM trip to meet local businesses. (optional) or Full-day FAM trip to meet local businesses. (optional)

These trips are a fantastic opportunity to network, share ideas and best practices. Always a popular event, be sure to sign up quickly,  as only limited places are available.

Conference Agenda

Whether you are a tourism business owner, or a supplier or industry professional ; part of our vital supply chain or an economic development professional keen to support the sector, we have a dynamic line up of speakers and everyone is welcome.


08h00-09h30    Exhibitor set up 

09h30-10h00   Registration

10h00-10h30    Welcome

10h30-11h15    Celebrating our Visitor Economy

 Showcasing success stories from 2022 & highlighting insights & opportunities for South of Scotland tourism businesses in 2023 and beyond. 

11h15-11h45    Refreshments and Networking

11h45-12h30    Shaping our Visitor Economy

Inspiring Enterprise: Defining our USP – how we can add value to the visitor experience and be inclusive for all.

    • Inspiring visitors to be temporary locals -  Emma Guy, SCOTO

    • To Be Announced

    • To Be Announced

12h30-13h30    Lunch and Networking

13h30-15h00  Developing our Visitor Economy – Sustainable Business Focus: 2023 & Beyond

 Key challenges faced by the tourism & hospitality industry and how sustainable and responsible practices can add value to your business.

Industry Breakout Sessions

    • Accommodation - To Be Announced

    • Attractions/ Experiences - Gordon Morrison, ASVA

    • Agritourism/ Food & Drink -To Be Announced

15h00 - 15h30 Refreshments and Networking

15h30 - 17h15    The Future of our Visitor Economy

Developing a shared vision for our region and inspiring change.

17h15 Closing Remarks - SSDA Chair


The conference will be followed by an evening dinner (optional, see below to book)

    • 19h00-19h30 - Drinks reception (sponsored by Peebles Hydro)

    • 19h30-22h00 - 3 course evening meal with after dinner speaker (To be announced)


Entertaining, engaging and thought-provoking.

We aim to bring a diverse and inspiring range of speakers and stories to support our sector in the coming year.

Keep an eye on our socials for announcements in the coming weeks



*Special Offer for Dumfries & Galloway delegates*

We would love to see as many of you there as possible,  like you, we are trying our best to be green so we are making a bus available* to bring you to and return you from the conference (Day ticket attendees) 

If you are interested in this option please register your interest ASAP while booking your ticket on the below link.

*subject to availability and a minimum number of people booking. If minimum numbers are not reached this may be cancelled and be aware you will have to arrange your own transport.

Evening Meal

Even better why not join us for dinner and stay overnight? 

A sumptuous 3-course dinner and a speaker with of course more opportunities to network with fellow tourism enthusiasts await you. 

Please click below to book your evening meal 





With a variety of options available and some great conference special rates why not stay over, join us for dinner and enjoy further networking opportunities as well as a special guest speaker to keep you entertained,

We also encourage you to join us for one of our popular FAM (Familiarisation) trips the next day. A chance to learn first-hand about the locations, attractions and accommodations in the region that you can link in with and possibly collaborate with. 


Useful Information



  • EH45 8LX
Train Station
  • Galashiels (18 Miles)


  • Edinburgh (27 Miles)
  • Glasgow (59 Miles)

Parking is limited on-site,  please consider car sharing with fellow delegates.

If parking at the hotel, if the approach road and main car parks are full there is a small overflow ahead as you head for the exit. 

Disabled parking is available in front of the hotel entrance and there is a reserved drop-off zone.


Peebles Hydro has a range of adaptions but for more specific information, call on 01764 651 846 (open 8.30 am–8:00 pm Mon-Fri and 9:00 am–6:00 pm Sat-Sun). 

Easy-access parking right at the main entrance, and a reserved drop off zone. 


The lift is just to the side of the main entrance revolving door, the lift goes up to reception, to the SSDA conference check-in. If you are staying the lift goes to the upper floors as well. 

There are large front-facing rooms with wheelchair-accessible bathrooms – including handrails and a seat,  also interconnected rooms. 

Accessible Toilets 
There are accessible toilets near the restaurant.

Guide Dogs
Peebles Hydro is a dog-friendly hotel, so it goes without saying, guide dogs and hearing dogs are always welcome.



SSDA will be making a bus available from Dumfries & Galloway,  please see transport above for more information.

Public transport is available as follows

Train Station 

  • Galashiels (18miles)


  • There is a bus stop a 6 minute walk from the road end, where the X62 service stops (Edinburgh - Galashiels) 

Please let Morag know ASAP on

SSDA is very grateful to all our conference sponsors and supporters.