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.

Ambassadors will communicate the values of conscious travel in their organisations, have a sustainable mission or are working towards one, share the Highland Tourism story and gather support from colleagues, business associates, communities, counsellors, politicians and tourism influencers. If you’d like to be involved, please email info@highlandtourism.org 

HT_Innes Morgan

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.”

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.”

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 >>>

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.”

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, 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.”
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 “
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.”

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.”
Ian MacLeod, Wild West
“Highland tourism must provide a quality experience for the visitor whilst enhancing the lives of those that live here.”
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.”
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”
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”
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.”
Dwynwen Hopcroft, Loch Ness Knitting
“My vision is for sustainable tourism that connects to our Highland history and shows our vibrant modern life.”
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.”
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.”
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.” 
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.” 

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.”
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.”
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.”

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.”

Andy Davidson, Up and Doon Guided Walks

“My eco-friendly guided walks were set up to enjoy this beautiful part of the Highlands in a sustainable and greener way. By catching a bus, train and boat we will be supporting important local transport links and reducing our environmental and traffic impact – Stay longer, travel less, live like a local, see and discover more! I am passionate about hillwalking and Munro Bagging and am currently working my way through my second round of Munros. I am also passionate about sustainability in tourism and reducing my impact as a tourism business.”

Arran McAleer, Marketing Executive, Kingsmills Hotel Group

“Between the spectacular backdrops and incredible people the region is home to, the Highlands are a gem with so many opportunities within our grasp. We are, however, entering a crucial phase in the future of tourism in the Highlands. The recovery from the ongoing pandemic partnered with ensuring the future sustainability of the region for generations to come. I’m delighted to join the experienced team of Highland Tourism ambassadors and eager to share my ideas and provide perspective from a younger demographic.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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”

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.”

 

 

 

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! 

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.”

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.”

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.”

 

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!”

 

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.”

 

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.”

 

Miša Novak
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.”

 

Ajay Narang
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.”

 

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.”

Cultural Tourism explained by Bruce Macgregor.