STA News Keep up to date with all the latest news

High profile Board appointments strengthen the voice of Scottish tourism

03 Jun 2015

Following the release of tourism figures highlighting a further year of growth in Scottish Tourism expenditure, the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) is delighted to formally announce the recent appointment of three high profile board members.

Recently appointed are Alison McRae, (Projects Director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce), David Lonsdale (Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium) and Henk Berits (Director of Marketing & Commercial Services at the National Trust for Scotland).

The new Board members provide further strength to the organisation that is acknowledged as being the voice of the tourism industry in Scotland and leads on industry matters.

This announcement comes as the Scottish tourism industry looks forward to the start of what they hope will be another strong summer season. Figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics showed that tourism visits to Scotland increased by five per cent in 2014, which led to an increase in tourism expenditure, news that has helped fuel a mood of confidence throughout the industry.

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said:

“These recent Board appointments demonstrate how far the STA has grown in stature by being able to attract such industry experts onto our board in what is such a diverse industry. It’s by collaborating with and strategically drawing together leaders from across differing sectors of industry that will enable us to showcase the economic and cultural significance of tourism in Scotland and drive forward the National Tourism Strategy.”

The Scottish Tourism Alliance was formed in 2012, an evolution of the Scottish Tourism Forum which was established in 1998 to act as the ‘voice of the tourism industry in Scotland’. Since that time membership has trebled, the organisation now has around 75 per cent of the 21,000 tourism businesses under its umbrella (either directly and indirectly through association) which provides weight to its credibility and being a truly representative voice.

The announcement comes a week before the STA Midsummer Conference, which takes place on 11 June at The Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort (Cumbernauld). Fergus Ewing MSP Minister for Business, Tourism & Energy will deliver the opening keynote address and take questions from delegates before a number of other presentations. The theme of the conference will focus on how destinations have benefited from BIDS and working in collaboration. The STA will also announce the launch of a new free business support helpline available to STA members at the conference. Tickets for the conference start at £42 and can be purchased at


Biographies of Board Members:

David Lonsdale

Henk Berits

Alison McRae



For more information or images contact Martha Bryce on or 0131 225 7205.







Notes to Editors

With overseas and domestics visitors combined over 15 million tourists visited Scotland last year and spent over £4.7 billion.

The primary role of the STA is to represent the views of industry and be the ear and voice of the tourism industry. The organisation also leads the facilitation and co-ordination of the ongoing development and delivery of the National Strategy: Tourism Scotland 2020, industry wide. The strategy ambition being to make Scotland a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience.

One of the Scottish Tourism Alliance’s key objectives is to help support individual businesses, marketing services, trade associations, local area tourism groups and any organisation with an active interest in tourism to realise their potential by maximising on the opportunities that are coming our way this year and to build on this to ensure future growth of our industry.

The role of the STA is also to “lead on industry matters”, collaborating with and representing industry views to government and agencies, bringing public and private players together to encourage the voicing of opinion about problems and priorities to find solutions. The STA also acts as the united voice of the Scottish tourism industry to represent the “bigger” issues and bring about the changes needed at all levels to ensure future growth of the tourism industry and the economy.

The STA also provides a number of platforms for networking across industry sectors through regular events.

Last Modified: Monday 01 August 2016 08:03
Related Articles: ​STA responds to Scottish Government's tourist tax plans New Scottish Charity for Hospitality Calls for Culture Change Getting down to Business - Shortlist for Best Business Event at Scottish Thistle Awards unveiled New Scottish Charity Is Asking Employers To Back Health this Blue Monday ​Scottish Government announces £300k funding boost for Ayrshire & Clyde tourism Secure your place at Scotland's tourism industry conference 2019 STA responds to Scottish Government draft budget Tourism At The Top STA responds to Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Tourism Tax Survey Rising stars of tourism Young talent recognised at Scottish Thistle Awards