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Appointment of Members to the Board of VisitScotland

Press Release   •   Dec 01, 2015 11:41 GMT

Fergus Ewing MSP, the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, today announced the appointment of Professor Anne Anderson, Rebecca Brooks, Cathy Craig, Stephen Hagan and Carolyn Jameson as new Members to the Board of VisitScotland.

The Minister said:

“I am delighted to welcome five new board members to the Board of VisitScotland. I’m sure VisitScotland will benefit hugely from the wide range of experience and expertise that these appointments bring. It is particularly pleasing to see that we have attracted more female appointments to the Board. I wish all the appointees well in their new posts.”

The Fair Work Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham said:

“I am encouraged to see the board of VisitScotland achieving greater gender balance through its latest appointments round. This Government is committed to making meaningful and lasting progress towards true gender equality – towards shattering the glass ceiling for good, and I am delighted that VisitScotland is helping to lead the way.

I also want our country to be the strongest and most successful country it can be and this means tapping into the diverse talents and experiences of all of our people. We simply cannot afford to underuse the skills and talents of half of our population. And I firmly believe that bringing more diversity into boardrooms, leads to better discussions, better decisions and ultimately to better organisations.”

Dr Mike Cantlay, Chair of the VisitScotland Board, also welcomed the appointments. He said: 

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience - it creates jobs, sustains communities, provides an international shop window for Scotland and causes a ripple effect which touches all business in Scotland.

"Our new board members represent a breadth of knowledge across a range of industries which will bring fresh thinking and new ideas to the board of VisitScotland as well as complementing the strengths of the existing members.

"I am particularly delighted that we have achieved a much stronger gender balance as we have worked hard alongside partners like Changing the Chemistry to ensure that we achieved this on the VisitScotland Board.”

Professor Anne Anderson OBE FRSE is vice-Principal of the University of Glasgow. In this role and previously as vice-Principal at the University of Dundee, she has been very active on the international stage. She has very actively promoted Scotland to prospective students and staff and has overseen large increases in international students and developed strategic partnerships in Canada, the United States, China, Oman and Azerbaijan. She has also raised the profile of Scotland as an attractive place to study and visit.

Rebecca Brooks is a graduate of St Andrews University and has worked in international tourism for the last fifteen years. A former director of JAC Travel, her current role is Managing Director of Abbey Tours Scotland, a leading destination management company. As such, her experience has been formed on all international inbound markets to Scotland and the UK. Rebecca is also a Director of European Travel Services, recently acquired by the Abbey Group. She has served as a former Chair of the Scottish Destination Management Association and is currently a Director of the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

Cathy Craig - is an experienced manager who has worked across a number of disciplines and industries. She has expertise in sales, marketing, business development and change management and has been involved in tourism development for the last three years with a track record of improving visitor numbers and developing visitor experience. Cathy has expertise in transport provision within Scotland and its role in developing visitor numbers and experience.

Stephen Hagan is a Civil Engineer graduate who is now a farmer and independent councillor with Orkney Islands Council having served as served as Convener of the Council from 2003 to 2012.He is the COSLA spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability and was previously Chair of Orkney Ferries and a non-executive Director with both NHS Orkney and the North of Scotland Water Authority. He has a good understanding of remote and rural areas and brings a wealth of experience of partnership working with the public, private and third sectors along with strong leadership skills.

Carolyn Jameson is a qualified solicitor who has spent a large number of years working within the technology sector. Her roles have included commercial, legal and leadership roles on an international basis. She is currently working within the online travel sector as Chief Legal Officer for Skyscanner.


The appointments will be for three years and run from November 1, 2015 until October 31, 2018.The appointments are part-time and attract remuneration of £343.12 per day for a time commitment of two days per month.

The appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Other Appointments

Professor Anderson is a Commissioner of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and spends six-eight days per year in that position. She is also a Member of the British Council Scotland Advisory Board and spends four days per year in that position. Neither position is remunerated. Mr Hagan is a non-executive Director on the Board of David MacBrayne Limited for which he receives £314.00 per day for a time commitment of approximately three days per month. Mrs Brooks, Mrs Craig and Mrs Jameson do not hold any other Ministerial public appointments.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.

Mr Hagan is currently an Independent Councillor with Orkney Islands Council. Professor Anderson, Mrs Brooks, Mrs Craig and Mrs Jameson have not taken part in any political activity in the last five years.


VisitScotland is the lead Scottish Government Non-Departmental Public Body responsible for growing and developing Scotland’s visitor economy and for advising Ministers on policy. It has wide statutory powers to promote tourism and has a budget of around £50 million per annum. It is funded in part by the Scottish Government, and the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism makes appointments to the Board which currently has nine members including the Chair.

VisitScotland has a strategic role as the lead public sector agency providing leadership and direction for the development of Scotland’s tourism economy to get the maximum economic benefit for Scotland.Its core purpose is to grow and develop Scotland’s visitor economy sustainably through its core activity of marketing and events and by working in partnership with businesses and communities.

VisitScotland is a national organisation with a number of regional offices. Local activities are led by a team of Regional Directors and Island Managers.

Notes to Editors

    • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
    • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
    • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
    • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
    • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
    • For holiday information on Scotland go to
    • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit