Meet The Team

Marc CrothallMarc Crothall
CEO


Bio

Chief Executive – The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) – 54 yrs. young!

Appointed as the first CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) Marc has been at its helm since its inception in 2012. He is responsible for the day to day operations and leadership of the organisation which is acknowledged as being the overarching tourism industry trade body that is “the voice of Scotland’s tourism Industry”.

The STA has under its umbrella of membership circa 75% of the c20000 Tourism business that operate length and breadth of the country. The STA are also the lead strategic guardians and co-ordinators of Scotland’s national tourism Strategy Tourism Scotland 2020. The organisation delivers and variety of events across the country the largest being the annual Scottish Tourism Industry’ s Signature Conference in March each year which kick starts what will be in 2018 a month-long programme Scottish Tourism Month (STM) of industry events. In 2017 the Scottish Tourism Week (STW) programme engaged 11000 + people into the tourism conversation.
Marc is a lead member of the Tourism Leadership Group (TLG) and the industry representative on the Scottish Government’s High Level Tourism Working Group (TWG) chaired by the Cabinet Secretary. He also chairs the STA Council, the National Marine Tourism Development Group and sits on the Scottish Licenced Trade, Springboard Scotland and Interface advisory boards as well as being a member of the IOD Edinburgh Committee.

Prior to taking on what he describes as a very-unique job and one of the best in Scotland he has had 35+ years working in the front line of the Hospitality, Event, Sport & Leisure industries across the globe for both large high profile multinational organisations such as Gilbeys, Sheraton Compass, The Tussauds Group, Whitbread, David Lloyd Leisure and some leading medium and small rural business too.

He believes that “Tourism is Everyone’s Business” and providing a great customer experience investing in people, technology and service quality in any business are just three of the key ingredients to making Scotland’s visitor economy thrive and prosper.

His passion is rugby and he is a lover of all things Scottish especially his Glaswegian wife, his five Scottish born children 26yrs to twins of 9 and the nation’s food and drink. Although himself not born in Scotland and educated south of the border at Wellington College Marc has lived, breathed and spent most his working and family life in Scotland. Also with his family ancestry tracing back though Clan Sinclair he considers himself to be a well and truly adopted Scot!

Elaine TownsendElaine Townsend
Business Support Manager


Bio

What I do: My role is Business Support Manager

Date joined: June 2004

Likes: Seafood, musicals, wine, cruise holidays

Dislikes: Very hot and spicy food, over crowded trains

Hobbies: Tennis, gym classes, watching most sports, spending time with the family

Favourite Scottish holiday: Kenmore, 1995.  We stayed in a lodge overlooking Loch Tay – pure tranquillity, beautiful scenery, very relaxing.

TS2020 Team

Caroline WarburtonCaroline Warburton
National Strategy Delivery Coordinator


Bio

What I do:

I’m the Coordinator for the national tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020 (TS2020). The STA are guardians of the strategy on behalf of the industry so I’m responsible for keeping everything on track and making sure that everyone is working towards the TS2020 targets.

Date joined:

January 2014

Likes:

People (generally!), the great outdoors, live music and theatre, travelling to new places, good conversation, good wine with a good film and a good pizza.

Dislikes:

Celery, midges, litter

Hobbies:

My guilty pleasure is music, singing and amateur dramatics – I’m usually rehearsing for something and it’s a great antidote to work. The great outdoors – walking, wildlife-watching, kayaking, canoeing or anything else.  Not sure I should admit it, but I have an allotment!

Favourite Scottish holiday:

Too many to choose from: sea-kayaking off the Argyll coast, amazing hill-walking at New Year in Sutherland, Belladrum Music Festival, the list goes on…

Alan RankinAlan Rankin
Marine Tourism Project Manager


LinkedIn
Bio

Membership Team

Graham MacLennanGraham MacLennan
Membership and Commercial Business Development


Bio
What I do:
For 4 days a week I’m responsible for Membership and Commercial Business development and working to increase the broad range of membership within the STA. My role also involves making sure that current members are “feeling the STA love” and that they are happy with the role that the STA is performing, for both their business and Scottish tourism in general.  Outwith the STA I run two self-catering properties, one in Glasgow and the other in the Isle of Harris, so understand full well small tourism business owner issues.
Date joined:
September 2015
Likes:
My little boy James ( and his mum of course ), Caramel logs, football in general, The Wire (TV programme), a cold beer and a warmish whisky, wedding ceilidhs and good war movies.
Dislikes:
Rudeness and ignorant manners, salad cream ( the work of the devil ) and getting to the empty bottom of a bag of crisps.
Hobbies:
Travel when I can, playing football if I can ( knees and lungs willing ) and DIY where I have finally turned into my father, finding bits of wood or other such materials which will “come in handy”, leading to a shed half full of tools and half full of bits destined to still be handy in 2025.
Favourite Scottish holiday
I’m biased, but I can’t see passed a holiday on the beautiful beaches of the west side of the Isle of Harris, where my own parents come from. The journey itself through Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Lochaber ( passing Ben Nevis ), passing Invergarry and on through Skye, is one of the most beautiful journeys  in Scotland before the short ferry hop to Harris.

Ellen IngramEllen Ingram
Membership Relations and Events Administrator


Bio

What I do: 

I am the Membership Relations and Events Administrator for the STA and I am also a final year French and Journalism student at the University of Stirling.

Date joined:

September 2016

Likes:

I love spending time with my friends and family, speaking French, chocolate and cakes.

Dislikes:

I don’t like tomatoes, rude people and rum.

Hobbies:

I love travelling, learning about other cultures, acting and walking my dog.

Favourite Scottish holiday

In 2014 I spent a fantastic weekend in Inverness with my best friend. We had a great time exploring the city, taking a boat ride along Loch Ness and discovering little towns in the surrounding area

Communications Team

Mhairi ClarkeMhairi Clarke
PR, Marketing and Communications Manager


Bio
What I do:
I’m Comms Strategy creator, PR doer, I make sure that the STA is connecting and engaging with its Members on a meaningful level and that we occupy a great place in the minds of all our stakeholder audiences via strategic, consistent communication across a variety of platforms. Translation: I create opportunities for people to think great things about the STA so that we, as the industry voice can grow tourism in Scotland with support across every area that tourism touches.
Date joined:
May 2015 (previously freelance for STA)
Likes:
Travelling adventures with my son, my Miniature Schnauzer, writing for all sorts of stuff, white t-shirts, Karl Pilkington, Curb Your Enthusiasm, trainers, music, lots and lots of films, good people, exciting people, hilarious people, sunshine every day.
Dislikes:
Snakes, heights, most things relating to numbers, bad people, being cold
Hobbies:
Running, writing, anything to do with interiors, doing great fun stuff with my 11-year old monkey
Favourite Scottish holiday
Every holiday I’ve had in Islay since I was a child (with the exception of the one where I was left standing on the pier while my entire family sailed off in a big Cal Mac ferry…) but most notably the Summer of 2009 because it was hot every day, I ran every day and had the best fun with my family (before the year they left me on the pier…)

Gillian BrymerGillian Brymer
PR, Marketing and Communications Executive


Bio

What I do: 

I’m responsible for making sure that the STA stay connected and engaged with our members and stakeholders. As I am interested in all things digital therefore have started to focus more on the online elements of the STA comms strategy.

Date joined:

February 2014

Likes:

Summer, The Office, Jon Snow (the journalist not GOT's King in the North), Glaswegian comedians, a good night-in: good food, phone on silent, film and a bottle of Innis &Gunn ‘rum cask’ in hand.

Dislikes:

I'm terrified of heights, the fact that Caramel Freddos are no longer 10p and over packaged products.

Hobbies:

Attempting to ‘up-cycle’ old furniture/ pallets (this often leaves my flat looking like a construction site), cycling, exploring the outdoors and attempting to grow all types of fruit and veg on my small balcony (that I think is an allotment).

Favourite Scottish holiday

Hard choice…

My spontaneous weekend away in Fort William was excellent – jam-packed & easy to organise!

We took the West Highland Line from Glasgow to Fort William, which is one of the most scenic train route in Britain! Three and a bit hours later we got to our hotel, dumped the bags and had an active day; cycling, hillwalking and a quick visit to Nevis Range. We finished off our weekend on the shore of Loch Linnhe at the seafood restaurant, Crannog – I recommend tucking into their local seafood platter.