Ambassadors

Sharing values and philosophy

We’re delighted to introduce our Highland Tourism Ambassadors who share the same values and philosophy and represent a sustainable mission for Highland Tourism.

Our Ambassadors are communicating the values of conscious travel in their organisations. They have a sustainable mission or share the Highland Tourism story gathering support from colleagues, business associates, communities, councillors, politicians and tourism influencers. If you’d like to be involved, please email info@highlandtourism.org 

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Innes Morgan, Caithness

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary solutions; the Highland Tourism Ambassadorship programme is one of these solutions. By enfranchising local people to share a vision – a vision to put communities, sustainability and local businesses at the forefront of ‘the Highland brand’ – we create a mass movement. A mass movement of positive change; a movement that will not only improve the tourism sector but will provide far reaching social and economic benefits to every Highland community.”
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The Camanachd Association

“The Camanachd Association is excited to be in partnership with Highland Tourism as we are well aware of the amazing potential that is waiting to be unlocked across the North of Scotland. The Highlands is the shinty heartland and shinty is the heart of the Highlands. We look forward to working alongside other organisations to develop and improve the connections that can be made within the Highlands.”
2019 HITA, Drumossie Hotel, Inverness - Speakers

Willie Cameron.

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Willie Cameron

Why we need a Renaissance in Highland Tourism Post-Covid 19
The Highlands of Scotland-Caledonia-North Britain
Wild foreboding on the periphery of Western Europe
A land inhabited by hunter gatherers
Invaded by Vikings
Settled by Pictish Tribes
Developed under The Clan System
The “claan” in Gaelic – The Children or Family
The Macdonalds – Lords of the Isles,
The Camerons of Lochiel,
The Frasers of Lovat to name a few – they had their colours, tartan, they had their fans – clansmen – they had their badges – clan crests – they had their strap lines and septs – Standfast Craigellachie – the slogan of The Grants of Seafield.   MORE >>>
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Drew Hendry

“Here in the Highlands, the hospitality and tourism sectors form an organic network of interdependencies across our communities from micro-businesses to some of our biggest private employers. These sector really matter to our local economy, culture, and future prosperity and I am delighted to join Highland Tourism as an ambassador. We already boast a tourism sector that is resilient, innovative and ingenious and as we recover from the pandemic, working together, we can harness that talent, realise our potential and collective ambition to ensure our region is considered a must visit destination for domestic and international travellers alike.”

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Professor Terry Stevens

“The recovery and re-growth of tourism demands that we shift the focus of the business model. The old tourism volume-based growth model is sixty years old with COVID cruelly exposing its fragilities. Highland Tourism is advocating a fresh approach to welcoming back and better managing future tourists to the Highlands. This fledging organisation is harnessing the new language of tourism: responsible, conscious, slow, considered and considerate travel. It is reflecting the call to arms of the 2018 Barcelona Declaration, “Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit.” The approach being taken is compelling and in tune with the sentiments of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The mantra is more of a manifesto than a strategy/ The ambition more like the new enlightenment. This paradigm shift is going in the right direction: fuelling the imagination as to what could be and capturing the imagination of all who recognise change is necessary.” MORE >>>
Yvonne Crook, CEO ICTFC

Yvonne Crook, Good Highland Food

“With these unprecedented times of change, comes a great opportunity for the tourism community to come together, considering issues, opportunities, trends, best practise, creating a movement of people that believe in and will work hard to create a better Highlands. Having seen, first hand, the way other communities have achieved this across Europe, we have set up Highland Tourism, on the communities behalf, to facilitate this opportunity for the Highlands.
We are advocating for a ‘Conscious Travel’ theme that combines sustainable / responsible travel with providing authentic experiences for visitors. Being ‘Conscious Hosts’ and selling a conscious travel destination will make a positive impact on all those involved in tourism as well as enriching the lives of our visitors – a key trend in post Covid times.
It will also leave a better ‘Highlands’ for the next generation
We look forward to working with all those who share the same goals and become Highland Tourism Ambassadors / Conscious Hosts.”
HT DAVID PARKER AMBASSADOR
David Parker, Broomview Cottage B&B Lochbroom, Nr Ullapool
“I was most impressed with the approach and initial introduction of the new Highland Tourism initiative. The use of Professor Stevens was both illuminating and a highly professional presentation on where sustainable tourism needs to be heading. In these difficult times, the emergence of a fresh and inclusive locally focused organisation is vitally important to tourism and hospitality providers. I hope others like myself will join Highland Tourism in helping each other improve our offerings as well as providing a unified platform for change for success “
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Allison McGuire, Cruise Manager Invergordon, Port of Cromarty Firth​

“When Cruise Ships return to the Highlands, the focus will be on the safety of the local communities as well as the visitors. A Highland Tourism group will provide a wonderful platform to showcase the Highlands as an exciting sustainable destination for all.”

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Sam Faircliff
“The past 12 months, for me, has been a period of reflection and evoked a strong sense of protectionism & passion for the Highlands that has been in my subconscious for the past 35 years. A movement is something that can be dynamic and can gather momentum very quickly – now is the time for Highland Tourism to lead by example and show how life could be better for us all as a Highland Community through working together for our future. Highland Tourism is a refreshing new way of thinking that allows networking and collaboration with others who share the same passion and drive for change.  Our destiny is in our own hands and we should lead on initiatives that will benefit all the fragile communities in the Highlands.  As custodians of the land we owe it to future generations and visitors to the Highlands to keep it safe.”
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Ian MacLeod, Wild West
“Highland tourism must provide a quality experience for the visitor whilst enhancing the lives of those that live here.”
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Anna Danby, Mountain Leader, Wild Roots Highland Guiding
“I was excited to discover Highland Tourism, an initiative that has been born at just the right time to turn today’s uncertainty into a positive and exciting future for tourism in the Highlands. As a relative newcomer to the area I have been amazed by the diversity of the tourism industry here and can see huge potential in creative collaborations. The Highlands is a unique area rich in culture, wild land, geology, natural and human histories. The stories woven into these landscapes provide a real opportunity to create a tourism experience that is deeply connected with place. Through working together as a cohesive industry these connections can foster more sustainable relationships for both locals and visitors alike, enabling an economically and environmentally sustainable future for the Highlands as well as protecting the health of both people and planet.”
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Archie Prentice, Practically Green
“The Scottish highlands has some of the best scenery in the world. A vibrant and conscious tourism sector lets visitors from around the world experience the highlands at its best, creating a great global impression of the area I live, work and get to play in. And that diverse highland environment is also going to play a vital role in supporting our move towards a more climate aware, and lower carbon way of life. Great initiative and great timing as we start the recovery from the COVID pandemics”
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Emma Whitham, Highland Good Food Conversation
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work together with Highland Tourism to share the Highland Good Food Conversation values and aims and to have a platform to work with the tourism industry in the Highlands”
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Emily Skinner, Rabbie's, Inverness
“The Highlands is not some dead, historic backdrop to movies, paintings or Instagram feeds. It is a diverse and rich environment. Home to wildlife and industry, modern communities and evolving cultures. It is a ‘living’ place, and to visit here is to interact (consciously or not) with these lives; past and present, animal, plant and human. If we are to maintain the beauty of The Highlands we need to understand that it’s beauty lies not just in the landscape, but in its people. We must then build and regulate a sustainable tourist economy which can continue to welcome visitors from all over the world whilst not merely celebrating but nourishing the soul of this land.”
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Dwynwen Hopcroft, Loch Ness Knitting
“My vision is for sustainable tourism that connects to our Highland history and shows our vibrant modern life.”
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Fraser Campbell, Cobbs Group
“Tourism and hospitality is my profession and I have been involved in it since I was a boy through my family. I studied this game since I left school and have experienced all aspects of hospitality, from washing dishes to owning my own hotel and running Cobbs. I am from the Highlands and I want this area to be the best and the area where people want to return to, not just for the scenery, but also the friendly, good service and quality of the experience. I am delighted to support the evolution of Highland Tourism as I believe we cannot sit on our laurels, we still have a long way to go but the Highlands has a great future in all aspects of hospitality.”
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Ian Fraser, Nairn Dunbar Golf Links
“A commitment to sustainable practices is at the heart of what we do at Nairn Dunbar Golf Links and we were delighted to be announced as 2021 Golf Environment Award winners by the Golf Environment Awards, Environmental Golf Course of the Year by Greenkeeping Magazine and Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2021 by Pitchcare.” We are happy to work alongside Highland Tourism with their sustainable vision for the area.”
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Sarah Hobbs, Strathspey Story Walks
“The current trend to whizz round the Highlands with a to-do or to-see list can be really detrimental to our communities, ecosystems, and visitors’ experiences. Through the Highland Tourism Ambassadors group, I really hope we begin a joint conversation on how to deepen people’s experiences of the Highlands, how we can be the unique eyes and ears to help people make the most of what’s already here, to care, and to connect. Any future for tourism in the Highlands must be low-impact, and take into account our local communities, and national and international challenges such as the climate crisis.” 
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Mike Crook, Good Highland Food

“I have had the pleasure of both growing up in and operating my business in the Highlands for over sixty years. We are all aware that the current model of tourism is not sustainable and I feel it is our duty to be responsible, be aware and act now – taking responsibility for a different, more sustainable tourism business whilst providing the best, most authentic visitor experiences. I look forward to working together with fellow Highland Tourism Ambassadors to achieve this.” 

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Gordon Pearson, WOW Scotland
“Gordon Pearson is the founder of WOW Scotland, a small local tour company who are passionate about protecting the Scottish Highlands, and preserving the area’s beautiful landscapes for generations to come. Gordon is delighted to be an Ambassador for the Support Highland Tourism initiative, and to continue to play his part in encouraging conscious travel in the Scottish Highlands.”
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Scott Morrison, Dunrobin Castle
“I look forward to working with Highland Tourism and hopefully I can help in some way with the recovery and future sustainability of tourism in the Scottish Highlands. I believe that we live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world and by working together we can make the Highlands a must visit destination again.”
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Elizabeth Mackintosh, Loch Ness Holidays

“It was refreshing and indeed exciting when Highland Tourism launched their initiative. The first webinar, led by Professor Terry Stevens and Mrs Yvonne Crook, was inspirational, giving us all the boost required to regain that passion for The Highlands and our industry as we go forward, working together. Each area is unique in its own way and with collaboration can provide a wonderful experience to our visitors,  with the warm welcome that is  synonymous with The Highlands.”

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Oliver Mentz, Mountaineering Instructor, Climb Torridon

“I have dedicated my working life to being outside in a wilderness environment, guiding people up mountains and introducing them to the natural world and beauty of The Highlands. Sustainable and responsible tourism is at the very heart of what we do. When I first heard about Highland Tourism I was delighted to discover they were considering the uncertainty and difficulty that the pandemic has created and turning this is to a positive platform for growth and awareness. The Highlands is an incredibly special place and by working together with both the local community and visitors we can ensure it remains this way for many, many future generations to come.”

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Steve Feltham, NessieHunter - Highlands and Islands Tourism Ambassador - 2016

Tourism in the Highlands is so much more complex nowadays compared with 30 years ago when I arrived on the shores of Loch Ness to begin my full time hunt for Nessie. Back then the ’season’ was a very short three months. Today it’s not far short of all year round.

With all the posibilities and pressures tourism brings, it’s a crucial time for people with local knowledge and expertise to come together, to positively build on what we have and maximise the quality of what’s available, whilst also preserving our fellow residents’ quality of life and enjoyment of the Highlands.

 

If the visitor experience doesn’t continue to improve then the tourist ‘bubble’ could simply burst. It’s a great time for this joined up approach, where everybody goes home happy – and, hopefully comes back again.”

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Sally Dowden, Speyside Wildlife

“As the owner of Speyside Wildlife, I have lived and worked in the Highlands of Scotland since 1991, when we set up Speyside Wildlife, a wildlife tour operating business.  We are committed to looking after the natural environment. We want to make sure we can show our guests wildlife on an ongoing basis, so we do all we can to reduce our impact and footprint. Not only are we adhering to the “reduce, re-use, recycle” ethos, our entire administrative function works in the ‘cloud’, but we also make donations back into work to protect the natural environment, so contributing to its long-term maintenance. Highland Tourism offers a platform for us all to work together to care for this very special part of the world to ensure it remains special in perpetuity.”

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Ann Vastano, The Old Post Office Gallery

It’s extremely timely and exciting to see the emergence of ‘Highland Tourism’ This is an ideal collective platform for inspired and considered forward thinking for the tourist 

community at source.

 

We love the concept of conscious hosts and endeavour in our business to embrace this stance. Showcasing the very best of our locality. Supporting under our umbrella 

outstanding micro business from our vicinity. With an emphasis on sustainability, green tourism and all in tune with the seasons. 

 

We endeavour to immerse our visitors with an authentic, unique and sustainable experience with our local community at its heart. We look forward to working along side Highland Tourism and fellow ambassadors.”

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Russell Fraser - Loch Ness Hub Manager

“The launch of Highland Tourism is an opportunity to collaborate in delivering a different kind of tourism, for not only the visitors to our area, but for those who live in all the various beautiful Towns, Glen’s, and villages throughout the Highlands. There is an opportunity to re-educate ourselves in what ‘Highland Hospitality’ means, whilst simultaneously educating visitors in what it takes to keep the Highland’s beautiful. It is a time to slow our visitors down, encourage them to experience authentic tourism, by getting them back in front of ‘the people’. Visitors’ memories are made by the people and culture that they experience in the various communities they visit.”

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Kara Scott - Sustainable Rural Development Student, UHI

“I am really excited to be a Highland Tourism Ambassador. My background is in Marine and Coastal Tourism and currently I am studying MSc Sustainable Rural Development. Sustainability starts with the people and I want to be a voice for communities in all aspects of their development. I am particularly interested in coastal tourism and how it can serve marine conservation, rather than impact on the marine environment. The Highlands of Scotland and its coasts are one of the most diverse and beautiful locations in the world. I am proud to do whatever I can to preserve and protect them”

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Stuart French - Platinum Golf Scotland / Scottish Golf Development

“Over the years I have adopted the Highlands as my second home! Working in the golf tourism industry throughout Scotland, I am acutely aware of the potential the Highlands has as a World Class tourism destination. The work Highland Tourism has done to facilitate the development of a visionary private sector / community led organisation has been needed for some time and I am happy to join as a Highland Tourism Ambassador.”

 

 

 

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Bruce MacKay - Certified Tourism Abassador - Sonoma County

“I would love to be a “Highland Tourism Ambassador” and this fits well with my experience as a “Certified Tourism Ambassador” for Sonoma County since 2010. To become a CTA I had to learn the history, geography, tourist attractions for the entire county. I also taught the CTA program at one of our local business colleges. Sonoma County has Pacific Ocean coastline, many wine growing regions and a robust organic agricultural presence. I am captivated by the Highlands of Scotland the birthplace of my grandfather and many forefathers. I plan to move to Inverness with my American wife in early 2022, Dede is actively learning Scottish Gaelic to fit right in! 

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Stuart McColm, Castle Stuart Golf Links

“At Castle Stuart we believe that golf should be about enjoyment, and part of that experience is being able to play shots to local landmarks and to infinity edge greens all set against the stunning backdrop of the Moray Firth, surrounded by the Black Isle and the mountains beyond. So we understand that we live in a very special part of the world and we want people from around the globe to come to the Highlands and see it for themselves. That’s why we are glad to be working in partnership with Highland Tourism. The organisation has a vision and a strategy for the region that will aid the recovery from the global pandemic as well as enhance tourism for visitors and local businesses alike, but at the same time protect what we have through the values of conscious travel.”

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Chris O’Brien, Nevis Range

“After what has been the most challenging 12 months ever for the tourism industry globally it is fantastic to see the creation of the Highland Tourism Initiative at such a crucial time to aid recovery to after the pandemic. The beauty of the Highlands must be preserved for generations to come and a sustainable tourism strategy will ensure this. Sustainable Tourism is our number one objective at Nevis Range and at the centre of every decision we make. We look forward to working with likeminded individuals and businesses to achieves this for the whole of the Highlands.”

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Nikki Stafford, Nevis Range

“The last 12 months have been challenging for the global tourism industry, however it is enlightening to see the creation of the Highland Tourism Initiative. Its evolution has come at the perfect time to aid our industry in recovery from the pandemic and grow tourism in the highland in a responsible way. A commitment to sustainable tourism is at the heart of everything we do at Nevis Range and going forward we are delighted to be working within a group of businesses/people that share the same objectives as ourselves. The Highlands is so incredibly beautiful and unique and we need to look after it to ensure it there for visitors and residents for the generations to come. I was very impressed with the Highland Tourism Initiative’s initial introduction and can’t wait to work more with the group in the coming months and years.”

 

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Anne Gracie Gunn, Sonas Hotel Collection, Isle of Skye

“Positivity has to be at the core of our business, in these unusual times. I am delighted to be part of Highland Tourism as I firmly believe in the power of working together and collaboration across the Highlands is vital as we work towards rebuilding a more positive future for the industry. I am passionate about sharing our Culture and want to see the Highlands become a top quality destination across all sectors of hospitality, one where our genuine warm welcome will be unforgettable. This is our opportunity to excel!”

 

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Calum Fraser (Spud the Piper), Cairngorms

“My name is Calum Fraser known the world over as spud the piper and a true Highlander having been born in Grantown on Spey. I have travelled the world with both pipe bands, solo and as the piper to the tartan army. I have been an ambassador for Scotland and the scotch whisky industry for many years and it gives me great pleasure to be asked to join Highland Tourism as an Ambassador. I meet people from all over the globe and nothing gives me more pleasure than promoting the attributes of the Highlands and especially my own Strathspey and the Cairngorms and want people to both enjoy and respect the natural beauty of the area – an area where I ski, mountain bike and climb when I am not playing the pipes.  Highland Tourism is the way forward to maintain sustainability for all to enjoy my homeland – the highlands of Scotland.”

 

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Ally Entwistle, Back Track Bothies, Glenfinnan

“When I was offered the chance to be a Highland Tourism Ambassador, I jumped at the chance. I am looking forward to working with my fellow Ambassadors. Change is in the air. Hopefully we will be stronger together in helping to shape a socially and environmentally sustainable future for tourism, which will also benefit our communities. If we can protect and secure what makes the Highlands so very special, it will enable us to share it responsibly and respectfully with our visitors for generations to come.”

 

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Cory Jones, Gairloch Canoe and Kayak Centre

“I am proud to join the Highland Tourism Ambassadorship programme.  Just like Highland Tourism I believe that the outdoor experiences we deliver can be transformational. Our clients are undertaking a paddling journey into the highlands rich wildlife, heritage and culture. Our aims are well aligned with those of Highland Tourism – engage, educate and inform. We aim to develop slow and meaningful tourism experiences at our sites in Gairloch, Skye and Loch Ness.  We work in partnership with other Highland providers build a unique sustainable Highland tourism destination.”

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Misa Novak, Slovenia

“To me, the Highlands are not only about mind-blowing landscapes, fascinating history, hospitable people and majestic icons. It’s so much about the Highlands’ dedication to sustaining and revitalising this remarkable place and guiding me to be a more conscious traveller.”

 

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Ajay Narang, Glengarry Timber

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought devastation to billions around the world with no definitive end in sight. However hope through cooperation and scientific development keep us motivated to overcome. 

This November Scotland will host leaders from across the world, unified to tackle climate change; this being our greatest challenge but at the same time greatest opportunity to not only build back better, but build back greener and unified; together. Change begins locally and Highland Tourism will succeed in being a great example of how we collectively can work together as well as support one another to ensure this unique and natural setting of this special place flourishes. 

 

Having lived in London and worked in Finance in the City my whole life. I look forward to put into practice all the experience I bring. 

To quote my hero Sir Attenborough: “We need to recognise that we are part of nature, not apart from it.” I’m immensely proud to be involved with Highland Tourism to join together to make this transformation to sustainability happen for good.”

 

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Andy Bateman, Scot Mountain Holidays

“The global recognition Scotland enjoys is the envy of many. As an adventure tour operator, the Highlands offer a potent mix of fantastic outdoor activities, immersion in beautiful landscapes and nature, and rich cultural exchange. There is no better place to operate.


“Highland tourism has to change to become more sustainable. There needs to be a new focus on lowering the carbon footprint whilst increasing the overall quality of the experience. Active travel needs to be embraced and the supporting infrastructure improved. Reading the thoughts, comments and aspirations of other Ambassadors I’m excited to be joining this group. There is much scope for collaboration between businesses.”

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Donald Mathieson, D&E Coaches

“I am proud to join Highland Tourism as an Ambassador. As a Highlander and a business owner, the sustainable future of this special part of Scotland is very important to me and I look forward to working with the other Highland Tourism Ambassadors in taking action to create a positive, lasting legacy for the tourism industry in the Highlands.”

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Nicola Henderson, Museums and Heritage Highland.

“I was drawn to Highland Tourism’s commitment to ensuring a more sustainable approach to tourism in the future and believe that Highland Heritage has a key role to play here. Many of our visitors are drawn to the area by its rich tapestry of built, natural and cultural heritage and our museums and heritage centres are key assets that can help to build relationships with our visitors, encouraging them to slow down, spend more time in our communities and develop deep connections to our beautiful piece of the world.” 

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Amy Nicholson, Highlander Ways

“As we introduce our new tour business, Highlander Ways, to the tourism market, I am very pleased to come on board as an Ambassador of Highland Tourism. Offering more meaningful and sustainable experiences to visitors to the Highlands will be a very important part of the industry’s future and I am delighted to be working with Highland Tourism and the other Ambassadors to help develop and shape our offering to visitors to the Highlands, so we grow our industry whilst safeguarding the special communities and places of the Highlands.” 

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Kirsty Coutts, Downright Gabbler

“We really do have one of the finest larders in the world on our doorstep. The challenge is to make sure you do it justice in every dish you create. It’s a pleasure to be an Ambassador for Highland Tourism, bringing together like minded people who care about delivering a quality product.” 

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Jane Cumming, Beauly Station Apartments

“We’ve been focused on delivering a product that is sustainable as that will be vital for the future of tourism in the Highlands. Encouraging people to travel by public transport, linger longer and enjoy the local food and culture – that’s all been part of our approach from the outset. That means supporting and encouraging other businesses from the local potter who produced our crockery to the farm shops which offer high quality food on our doorstep. Collaboration will be crucial for the future of tourism in the region which is why we’re delighted to support Highland Tourism.” 

Charlotte Wright, The Lime Tree Hotel, Restaurant & Gallery, Fort William

“I know how important tourism is for the whole of the Highland economy. Our industry has shown its resilience and determination, and this initiative can ensure its sustainability and excellence into the future.” 

Garry Coutts, Downright Gabbler

“The scenery, the architecture, the food – they are all brilliant. But it is when you hear the stories of the people and what they have done that you really start to get to know a place. We love to share the story of Scotland and  the Highlands and what could be better than doing it over a fabulous meal. It’s a privilege to be part of Highland Tourism CIC, working alongside people who understand the importance of quality.” 

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Ian MacDonald, macdonaldgroup

“I have chosen to get behind Highland Tourism CIC’s initiative to action sustainable development of the tourism industry in the Highlands. With climate change an imperative key pillar, there are huge social, moral and economic reasons as to why we must come together making a plan for the future to go beyond Carbon Neutral and becoming a Climate Positive environment now. Many of our clients are from the Hospitality and Tourism sectors across Scotland and the UK and a number have already experienced the often life changing detrimental impact of climate change and flooding, particularly due to dramatic changes in weather conditions over recent years. I’m proud to come on board at Highland Tourism CIC as an Ambassador and I look forward to working with my fellow Ambassadors and the Board to help shape a bright and sustainable future for tourism in the Highlands.” 

Jeremy Leggett, Bunloit Rewilding

“Bunloit Rewilding is delighted to be a Highland Tourism Ambassador. Our company purpose is to enable nature recovery and community prosperity through rewilding, and we believe that there is huge potential for this in the Highlands. Tackling the climate and biodiversity crises presents an opportunity for a much better way of life, not a challenge of giving things up as some may think. Nature-based solutions, and a greener economy, will create many more jobs and enterprise opportunities. For example, a sector that can thrive while protecting the planet, is tourism. Sustainable tourism, that works towards net zero and is conscious of its impact on the environment and local communities will build resilience into the Highland Tourism industry, ensuring that it benefits economy, communities, and the planet well into the future. We very much support Highland Tourism’s sustainable vision.” 

Cheryl Heggie, Cheryl Heggie School of Dance, Inverness

“Born and raised in the Highlands, I have a strong connection to the area, environment and its people.  As part of the community, I am proud to share the story of Scotland and excited to connect people to our culture & heritage, especially Highland Dance and the Gaelic language.  

 

“Whilst tourism plays an important role in the Highland economy we must be mindful to protect our beautiful location from the extra pressures that arrive with it.

 

“Having a sustainable plan to integrate the protection of our natural environment whilst welcoming visitors is paramount to preserve our beautiful Highlands for future generations.  I am proud to join Highland Tourism as an Ambassador and collaborate with like-minded businesses in responsible tourism.” 

Jennifer Macdonald-Nethercott, Chartered Marketer and Women’s Enterprise Scotland Ambassador

“Having lived and worked in the Highlands for over 20 years this is my opportunity to give back to the area I call home.

By creating a sustainable economy we can ensure that the Highlands prospers for current and future generations giving us and them the opportunity to live and work where we love.  By coming together visitors will meet the people of the area and go home having experienced our unique place whilst benefiting the economy and seeing sustainability in action.

Being a business owner and mother I want my children and the businesses I work with to benefit from hosting visitors in a meaningful way that benefits all – people, our planet and our economy.  Highland Tourism encapsulates all of this for me and being industry led we can make meaningful change together for the benefit of all who live and visit.   As well as part of my role as a Women’s Enterprise Scotland Ambassador to help create an environment especially in our rural economy where women and girls can start up and thrive in business.” 

Margaret Soraya, Landscape Photographer and Workshop Leader

“As a landscape photographer and workshop leader, I spend my days exploring some of the most incredible places in the Highlands and Islands. The landscape means everything to me, and my business is built around sharing that responsibly with others.

Documenting its beauty and bringing others to the area to enjoy the same scenes, focusing on a sustainable way that benefits communities and increases awareness. The Highlands is an extraordinary place. It is wonderful to see local people and businesses coming together and working with one another to provide a better future for tourism in the area.” 

George Baxter, Highland Tourism CIC Director and Director of Development, GreenPower International

“Tourism and renewable energy have a rich and long history in the Highlands and Islands, growing and working alongside each other – and the need and opportunity to work together for the common good has never been greater. So I am delighted to support Highland Tourism and make a contribution as best I can.

 

“The collective response required to tackle the Covid-19, climate and nature crises needs new and bolder ideas and more urgent, positive action. It is an opportunity to create healthier, living landscapes and vibrant, sustainable communities with skills and good jobs – to create a place that houses, supports, connects and nourishes as much its own people as its visitors – and renewable energy has a massive role to play and contribution to make in that endeavour. Scotland’s, and the Highland’s, climate change response has the chance to be a beacon to the world – and who wouldn’t want to visit that? Sustainably of course!”

Jim Oliver, Business Development, I7V

“As a proud Highlander, and someone who cares deeply for this wonderful part of Scotland, I am delighted to come on board as a Highland Tourism Ambassador. In my role in business development for I7V I am responsible for looking at ways to transition from fossil burning energies to renewable clean energy and this fits perfectly with Highland Tourism’s sustainable focus.

 

I want to help showcase the Highlands and its wonderful landscapes, nature and communities to the world, whilst also working with Highland Tourism and the other Ambassadors to do this in a sustainable way, ensuring a bright and prosperous future for the environment and people of the Highlands of Scotland.”

Kirsty Watt, award-winning journalist, West Highland Free Press

“Of all the places I have travelled in the world the Highlands and Islands of Scotland are the undisputed winners. They are my home, but it’s more than that. It’s our mountains and coastlines, our music and culture, our wildlife and the people who live here which make it a truly special place. I’ve worked in the Highland tourism industry since I was in school and never tire of sharing this amazing place with visitors from all over the world. But we need to do more than just share it, we need to protect it. And we can.

 

With Highland Tourism I believe we are on the brink of something great; there are so many fabulous initiatives out there already showcasing sustainability and by working together, sharing these ideas, the Highlands have the chance to become a world leader in sustainability. 

 

I am thrilled to be an ambassador for such a great initiative and I look forward to working together to create an industry both honouring and protecting our landscape for generations to come.”

Victoria Erasmus, Glen Mhor Hotel/J&R Group Ltd

“As a family business we are dedicated to sustainable tourism and committed to ensuring that we are operating in a sustainable manner as possible.  This commitment is at the heart of our business and is central to both our daily planning and future developments as we look to minimise our impact on the environment around us. 

“We are proud to be leading the way with the building of our Geothermal Energy Centre which will supply all the hot water and water to the Glen Mhor and will be the first of its kind in Scotland. I am looking forward to working in partnership with Highland Tourism and the exciting developments and opportunities for the area.”

Federica Mantovani, Coo's Guest House, Inverness

“Our main purpose, as a family business, is to ensure that guests have unforgettable memories of their stay. This is the reason why we are committed to offering them an authentic and quality experience, which allows them to discover the excellence that the Highlands has to offer. We believe that tourism should focus on quality and not being only volume-based, and that the success of a business should not only be measured in purely financial terms but also in terms of good practices, reputation, and community involvement. This is our idea of sustainability, and this is the goal we have set ourselves.

 

Our territory relies on tourism, and we all have seen the disruptive effects of Covid-19 on our economy; independent and local businesses in the Highlands have proven to be more resilient than the bigger multinational enterprises; they have adapted quickly, they have come together with innovative ideas and collaborations during the worst time of the pandemic, they have continued to offer their services to the communities even when there were no shares or dividends to make. In one word, they have a much deeper bond with the territory, for this reason I believe that the road to bounce back in a more resilient way is to strengthen the local business network, to support each other and to develop a Highland Tourism business model among companies and professionals who share the same values and vision.

 

This is the approach I have found in the Highland Tourism initiative; therefore, I am honoured to be involved as Ambassador in this empowering project tailor-made on the Scottish Highlands needs.”

Emy McLeod, Wilderness Scotland Guide & Owner of Strathspey SUP

“Tourism in the Scottish Highlands is only going to increase;  we welcome individuals to Scotland to experience the unique culture, explore the outdoors, witness magnificent wildlife and taste fantastic food & drink.  It has always been, and more so now than ever, vital that we as individuals & businesses work to reduce our environmental impact to ensure we are protecting wildlife, the landscape and providing knowledge & information to visitors.  

 

By operating a very active & current trend activity business within the Cairngorms National Park (stand up paddle boarding), I strive to pass on knowledge and information to individuals on how we collectively as water users can have that fantastic experience in an environmentally friendly way.  Eco Tourism is on the rise and I very much look forward to working alongside Highland Tourism and the fellow ambassadors to preserve and manage sustainability of the place that I am proud to call home, The Scottish Highlands.”

Hugh Dan MacLennan

Castles and camans

Shinty was once famously described as “an intriguing web with wayward strands.”   It is, indeed, that, and much more besides.  It is the cultural glue which binds communities, basing their relationships on tradition rivalries and a background of song, poetry and imagery in Gaelic and English. Its various trophies are one of Scotland’s most significant sporting assets. At its highest level, it is one of the fastest and most spectacular games in world sport. Historically, the game has been played in virtually every nook and cranny of Scotland and travelled with Highlanders across the Border to the great conurbations in the south, as well as being shipped abroad where it became one of the cultural anchors which sustained a way of life for a dislocated people.

 

In its modern form, shinty is played by men, women, boys and girls in some of the most scenically attractive areas of the country. There can scarcely be a shinty venue which is not in close approximation to a castle or some other site of historical interest or significance camans an castles anyone?  Many Highland museums and archives such as the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, the Clan Macpherson Museum (also in Newtonmore), the Highland Archive centre – which is linked to a network of other archives throughout the Highlands, and Inverness Castle   all have shinty-related materials and displays with talks and events organised from time to time, often linking to matches and shinty events. Another source worth pursuing to help plan your shinty-related journey in the Highlands is the Cairngorm shinty trail (https://cairngorms.co.uk/discover-explore/heritage/the-shinty-trail/) which is a veritable treasure trove of shinty information and illustration. Shinty’s Governing body is the Camanachd Association, and further information can be found at shinty.com and https://www.gaidhlig.scot/

 

“I am delighted to be joining the team of Ambassadors which will help promote all aspects of shinty in relation to Highland Tourism.”

Rachel Wilson, Tourism Project Manager, Visit Moray Speyside

“A key part of my role at Visit Moray Speyside is ensuring that the communities who support and sustain the tourism industry in our region are part of the recovery from COVID.  

 

If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that visitor’s don’t see boundaries, they see possibilities, so I look forward to working with Highland Tourism as an Ambassador, supporting an industry recovery which puts sustainability and collaboration at its heart to build stronger and more resilient communities.”

Calum MacPherson, Robertson Group

“There is little doubt that tourism in the north of Scotland is facing a period of significant opportunity, but also significant challenge.  The business led Highland Tourism Community Interest Company is the right initiative at the right time, as we’ll be competing with a wide range of European and global destinations who will be presenting a coordinated and welcoming offer to travellers as the world opens up. 


“The Highlands have many things to offer, the but the underlying characteristics of a place that is natural, clean, beautiful and safe will in my view be increasingly important.  The businesses and communities of the Highlands get it; pulling together to articulate a positive and well crafted message to our target markets makes sense. My family were involved in tourism retail for decades, and now many of the businesses I work with rely on visitor spend to remain viable. I am therefore happy to support Highland Tourism and hope that others will get behind this industry led initiative.”

Connal Mackenzie, Adelphi Distillery Limited

“Highland Tourism lies at the heart of my career in the Scotch Whisky Industry. Ardnamurchan Distillery, who I represent, has long embraced sustainable and renewable practices. As an Inverness boy born and bred, I have always felt a true kinship with the dramatic surroundings I grew up in. Nowadays we also boast some of the best food and drink options in the country. It will be a true privilege to be involved in the climate conscious future of Highland Tourism.”



Buchan and Byers Golf Tours

“Buchan and Byers Golf Tours are delighted to be Highland Tourism Ambassadors, promoting the splendour of the Scottish Highlands with both domestic and international golf enthusiasts. We also have a determination to create a sustainability footprint in line with responsible environmental awareness and guided by the best practices of ISO 20121. We design each tour following sustainability management practices aimed at ensuring the perfect blend of spectacular Golf and minimal impact on the local and wider ecosystems.”

Julia Mackillop, Tomatin Distillery (Cù Bòcan Single Malt)

“I am extremely passionate about supporting the creative industries in the Highlands, I am thankful I can work in my desired field and spend most of my free time (weather permitting!) either out in the hills or exploring some of my favourite destinations. The importance surrounding sustainability of tourism in the Highlands is paramount, in the whisky industry we like to think of ourselves as being current “custodians” of distilleries and brands, and the same can be said of the Highlands, we must protect and restore our home for future generations.

 

 

I agree with Highland Tourism CIC’s vision that to achieve this, communities, businesses, and the renewable sectors need to work together, we have watched the rapid growth of Highland Tourism CIC and believe their goals for the sector, the region, and world-class sustainable status will bring many benefits for the economy and the environment which we are glad to support and I look forward to helping in any way I can.”

Stephen Bremner, Tomatin Distillery

“It is easy to make statements about supporting sustainability and having a care for the environment but it is actions that count. Our investment in the work of Highland Tourism CIC demonstrates our commitment to a number of goals. These include working along with fellow members of the Scotch Whisky Association towards achieving the ambitious target, for the industry, of being carbon net zero by 2045 as well as supporting our key responsibility to our local community by protecting the local environment through conservation and sustainable practices to enhance the ecosystem resilience.

 

I believe Highland Tourism CIC’s goals for the sector, the region, and world-class sustainable status will bring many benefits for the economy and the environment which we are glad to support.”

Katie Scobie, Rhidorroch Distillery

Growing up in the Highlands of Scotland on a farm has given me the life ethos of working with and alongside the land is not only enjoyable but important.  I also have a big appreciation and love for the Highlands and the important part that tourists play to allow people like myself to come back and start businesses in our local villages.   That is why when starting Rhidorroch Distillery we wanted to use as much from the land, sourced sustainably to make a true Highland product that locals and tourists would enjoy. It is a great opportunity to work together with Highland Tourism and other like minded people to spread the word of this fabulous, beautiful and special part of the country.

John Clarke, The Strathdearn

“With all the challenges facing the world, there has never been a better time or opportunity for Communities and Businesses to come together to develop a new Model for Tourism in the Highlands.

 

The reason I have become an Ambassador is to play my part in helping develop exciting new initiatives, which will not only lead to a more sustainable future but will help the Highlands be a leader in such initiatives and deliver a culture which will remain a legacy for years to come.”

Siobhán Daly - MSc. Candidate in Responsible Tourism Management | Sustainable Tourism | Community Based Tourism Trainer | Educational Advisor

“Much has been made of the requirement for the tourism sector to “recover responsibly” post-COVID, and shun outdated metrics of success for metrics better suited to the changing world we find ourselves in. For me, Highland Tourism is truly ‘walking the walk’, which encompasses the ambition that tourism destinations require in order to be responsible, provide an excellent visitor experience, and, above all, recognise that sustainable practices are essential for tourism destinations today.

 

“I greatly look forward to seeing how Highland Tourism develops, and I do hope that its ambition inspires other tourism destinations along the way!”

Dave Allen, Elgin Sports Community Trust

“I moved to the North of Scotland in the early 90’s and fell in love with the area and it has been my home ever since. I met and married my wife Mel who is also local to the area, and we have raised our 3 sons Brodie, Harry and Finlay here. Having served in the RAF for over 35 years and travelled all over the world, nowhere compares to our home in the North of Scotland.

 

“I established Elgin Sports Community Trust over 5 years ago and am committed to making our community as good as it can be by providing opportunities for everyone to lead an active, healthy lifestyle and enjoy the incredible area where we live in a responsible and sustainable manner. Joining other, likeminded individuals as an ambassador for Highlands Tourism is a fantastic opportunity to continue this work.”

Iain Watson, INNov8 Hospitality Management

“Hospitality has been a big part of my life from an early age, and on moving to Inverness in 1995 to manage the Kingsmills Hotel, the Highlands of Scotland has too. So, for the past 27 years, with a brief spell in between Dubai, hospitality and tourism in the Highlands has been very important to me. Now that I am more involved with hospitality consultancy work that continues. However, I also now have another passion in my work life and that is sustainability and renewable energy, particularly within our industry. Over the past 12-18 months I have become increasingly conscious of how important the integration of green energy is with all of our lives hence the reason that I am now heavily involved with a number of energy companies bringing sustainability to businesses throughout the region. Indeed we have a number of hotels now actively working towards net zero. Being an ambassador for Highland Tourism is an ideal opportunity for me to be even more involved with both these passions

Martin Hall, Visitor Centre Manager, Tomatin Distillery

I am delighted to come on board as a Highland Tourism Ambassador. I look forward to working with a likeminded group of people across the Highlands to ensure a bright future for tourism, which takes in the culture of our region, where whisky and its history is very much at the heart of visitor experiences.

 

Ensuring that we collectively offer visitors to the Highlands authentic and memorable experiences is critical to the future of the industry.

Carrie Ferguson - Nevis Range
Carrie Ferguson, Brand Manager, Nevis Range

As someone who has always had a keen interest in the great outdoors, I am proud to play a key role in our business here at Nevis Range. As Brand Manager, I have the opportunity to champion the Scottish Highlands as the perfect place for a family getaway as well as a hotspot for adrenaline sports enthusiasts! I’m excited to be a Highland Tourism Ambassador and continue to promote this beautiful area as the ideal place to live, work and play!”

Rupert Shanks, Photography & Film

“Having moved to the Highlands 10 years ago I’ve been lucky enough to work with a variety of tourism organisations creating photography and video that aim to tell the story of this amazing part of the world. We are so lucky to have so much beauty, culture, and history on our doorstep. I’m so excited to work with Highland Tourism CIC to develop and promote our region in a way that benefits the local community and the natural environments in which we live.

Cultural Tourism explained by Bruce Macgregor.