Industry Panel

Castle
Rebecca Brooks


A graduate of St Andrews University, Rebecca has worked in international tourism for the last twenty years. Rebecca joined VisitScotland as a Board Member and became Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel in 2016. Rebecca is also a Scottish Tourism Alliance Board Director and a former Chair of the Scottish Destination Management Association.

Based in Edinburgh, Rebecca is currently Managing Director of Abbey UK, a leading Destination Management Company which is part of the Abbey Group with offices in Edinburgh, London and Dublin. As such, her experience is in international inbound markets to Scotland and the wider UK.

Fiona Richmond

Fiona has been actively promoting and supporting quality food and drink production for many years, working with industry leadership body Scotland Food & Drink since 2009 managing various projects across foodservice, major events and food tourism. She is Vice Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, helping to grow and celebrate excellence in tourism; a judge of the Business Women Scotland’s Women in Hospitality Awards and an advisor to the board of Scottish Chefs.

Fiona previously worked with the Slow Food movement, including a period in the international headquarters in Italy; is a member of Les Dames D’Escoffier, an international philanthropic association of leading women in the world of food, drink and hospitality and Deputy Chair of the Soil Association’s national Food for Life catering mark standards committee.

Marshall Bain, The Scottish Licensed Trade Association

Marshall has worked in the entertainment and hospitality industry in Scotland and Europe for some 40 years. He has been the proprietor of the Queen Charlotte Rooms in Edinburgh for 21 years and has been a stalwart supporter of The Scottish Licensed Trade Association for 15 years. Now as president he is leading The S.L.T.A.’s exciting 3 year “time for change action plan”.

His ambition is to work with the industry to highlight the importance our bars and pubs make to tourism and the Scottish economy.

Elaine Booth, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards

Elaine has been involved in tourism and hospitality for over 40 years. Moving to Aberdeen in the early eighties, Elaine joined Allied Bakeries. She then started working with the Hotel & Catering Training Company, managing their Aberdeen office before joining local training company Hospitality Training.

Joining Scottish Enterprise’s tourism team in the mid 90’s, she has managed a variety of significant tourism projects including Scottish Enterprise’s investment into Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms and the Banffshire Coast Tourism Partnership. She was seconded to the Tourism Partnership Manager, a role that managed the review of DMO’s in the region and the subsequent creation of VisitAberdeenshire. Elaine has run a small tourism business in Aberdeen for over 11 years.

Marc Crothall

Appointed as the first CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), Marc has been at its helm since its inception in 2012. He is a member of the TLG and chairs the National Food Tourism Leadership Board as well as the strategy sub-steering group charged with leading the development of Scotland’s future tourism strategy ‘Beyond TS2020’.

Prior to joining the STA, Marc spent many years working in the front line of the Hospitality, Event, Sport & Leisure industries across the globe for large high-profile multinational organisations as well as some leading medium and small rural hotel businesses. He believes wholeheartedly that “Tourism is Everyone’s Business” and that providing great experiences, investing in people, technology and service quality are the essential ingredients to making Scotland’s visitor economy thrive and prosper in the way it does.

Marina Huggett

Marina is Director of the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, Executive Board Director of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and a Trustee of HIT Scotland. She also sits on the Board of Visit Inverness Loch Ness. She is Chairperson of the Achnagairn Estate, an events venue near Inverness which has 60 bedrooms, a ballroom and a restaurant “Table Manors” on the Estate.

In 2010 she was presented with the Highland Business Women’s Club Ambassador Award. Marina has run her own tourism development business since 1996.

Ben Mardall 2

Ben's enthusiasm for wildlife and the countryside has influenced his career and personal life. He brings a wealth of experience in wildlife tourism, including Head Ranger at the Scottish Deer Centre in Fife, Tourism & Commercial Manager for Buccleuch Estates in the Scottish Borders and running his own Rural Tourism Consultancy, across Scotland.

Ben is currently working with the Falkirk Community Trust, developing the Helix Park, home to the Kelpies. He is passionate about helping local people and communities bring economic benefits and employment to rural areas through the development of sustainable businesses. He was a founder of a social enterprise, helping disabled people gain meaningful work in Aberdeen.

Image of Gordon Morrison

Gordon is the CEO of The Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA), the membership organisation responsible for representing and supporting the Attractions sector in Scotland.

A well-known face in Scottish tourism, Gordon previously worked as Quality & Tourism Manager with VisitScotland where he was responsible for the delivery of the highly regarded Visitor Attraction Grading Scheme. He was also Commercial & Visitor Services Manager with Museums & Galleries Edinburgh where he led on shaping the visitor experience at iconic attractions such as the Scott Monument and Museum of Childhood. In over 13 years of working with the sector, Gordon has visited and offered advice to hundreds of different attractions across Scotland. He does have a favourite attraction of the hundreds he has visited, but he refuses to reveal which it is for fear of membership rebellion!

John Lunn, sportscotland

John has been involved in sport for over 30 years professionally and as a volunteer. As a Head of Sports Development at sportscotland, the national agency for sport, he has responsibility for the strategic relationships and investment with all Scottish governing bodies of sport and other key partners including the Commonwealth Games Council of Scotland.
 
As the rights holders for major sporting events in Scotland, governing bodies play a key role in delivering these national and internationally significant events, and the wider benefits they bring to the nation in terms of tourists, international profile and pride.