New Highland Tourism CIC Leadership Team

New Tourism Leadership Team Sets Ambitious Target to Make Highlands a World Leading Sustainable Destination.

Highland Tourism CIC has expanded its new leadership team and set a target for the Highlands to become one of the world’s leading sustainable destinations following their inaugural board meeting this week.

Stuart McColm, general manager of Castle Stuart Golf Links, and Chris O’Brien, managing director of Nevis Range, and Willie Cameron, business development director, Cobbs, have joined Highland Tourism’s board of directors.

The newly formed board collectively holds more than 200 years of Highland, national and international tourism industry experience in the sectors of hospitality, food and drink, sports and outdoor adventure and activities and destination strategy and management. The new directors join Highland Tourism co-founders Yvonne Crook (Chair) and Sam Faircliff (Vice-chair).

Stuart McColm, Castle Stuart Golf Links and director of Highland Tourism CIC said: “I 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 I am glad to be working in partnership with Highland Tourism. The organisation has a vision and will have 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 and sustainable development.”

Chris O’Brien, Director Highland Tourism, Managing Director, Nevis Range said: “I’m delighted to join the Leadership Team of Highland tourism. After what has been the most challenging 12 months ever for the tourism industry globally it is fantastic to see the creation of an initiative that will aid our recovery from the pandemic and set a standard for the years to come. The beauty of the Highlands must be preserved for future generations and visitors from all over the world. Initiatives like this make that ambition a reality. Sustainable Tourism is our number one objective at Nevis Range and at the centre of every decision we make.”

Willie Cameron, Director Highland Tourism, Business Development Director, Cobbs said: “I am delighted to be involved with Highland Tourism as it is a body that is oozing with both passion and ambition to put The Highlands of Scotland in its rightful place as a Global Brand with a vision to develop a sustainable business model by spreading the word on conscious travel to both the present generation and the future Generation Z.”

A series of targets were agreed at Highland Tourism CIC’s first board meeting with a primary focus on the group working towards being regarded as one of the world’s leading sustainable tourism destinations, based upon the principles of engaged communities, collaborative working, business-level innovation and adherence to the UN’s global sustainable development goals. 

Highland Tourism CIC currently collaborates with and represents nine Highland communities and 36 Highland Tourism Ambassadors.

Yvonne Crook, Highland Tourism CIC co-founder and chair said: “The energy and passion from the business and wider community for this private sector led initiative has demonstrated the scale of the ambition that exists for the Highlands to become one of the World’s leading sustainable tourism destinations. To achieve this goal we must learn from the best, working in a global environment with destination specialists. I am delighted to take the role of Chair of the organisation working together with such an ambitious and energetic group of leaders.”

Sam Faircliff, Highland Tourism CIC co-founder and vice chair said: “This is a watershed moment for tourism in the Highlands. Our aim is to influence and change thinking through practical leadership, collaboration, and championing and nurturing innovation to help create vibrant, sustainable and resilient Highland communities. Today marks the beginning of a sustainable future of our industry in the Highlands and I am delighted to welcome Highland Tourism CIC’s board and we all look forward to broadening the leadership team with representation from Moray and the northern Highlands in the near future.”