• The WIT Committee

About Women in Tourism

Women In Tourism was created in June 2015 by a group of women who work across a range of tourism businesses in Scotland .  These passionate co-founders make up the current board, which is chaired by Susan Russell.

Women In Tourism Board Members

Susan Russell

Susan Russell

Chair & Policy Group lead

Susan has over ten years’ experience of destination and cultural tourism marketing. She joined Festivals Edinburgh in late 2008 and was involved in developing the first collaborative marketing strategy for Edinburgh’s 12 major festivals. She leads on planning and delivering major campaigns both within the UK and in key international cities. Susan sits on the Edinburgh China Ready Group, is Treasurer of Tourism Society Scotland, a Travel Massive Edinburgh Chapter Leader and is the Founder and Chair of Women In Tourism.

Jane Ali-Knight

Jane Ali-Knight

Vice-Chair

Dr. Jane Ali-Knight is a Director of the Edinburgh Institute: Festivals, Events and Tourism (EIFET) at Edinburgh Napier University. She is currently leading and developing EIFET operations in Scotland as well as lecturing at Universities internationally and facilitating training and development in the field including the successful Destination Leadership Programme (DLP).

Marion Mackean

Marion Mackean

Treasurer

Marion has nearly 30 years of experience in the hospitality service sector. Her career started with VS Orient Express Associated Hotels working in the North West of Scotland before taking up her first General Manager position with Scottish & Newcastle Retail in their Hotels & Restaurants Division. Following various rebrands across the portfolio, in 2004 Whitbread PLC merged with Travel Inn and re branded to become Premier Inn where she became their Cluster General Manager and looked after 540 bedrooms across 7 Premier Inns in Edinburgh.

Amanda Wrathall

Amanda Wrathall

Membership Group lead

Amanda has over 20 years’ experience in the events and hospitality industry and is Sales and Marketing Director at the world class Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
She started her career with Scottish & Newcastle and then moved to the South East of England for eight years working in the licensed trade before returning to her native Edinburgh in 2000. Since then she has worked with Marriott, IHG and Macdonald Hotels before spending six years at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. Her latest role sees her head up a team of 12 who are responsible for revenue generation within the EICC but play a key role in delivering economic impact to the wider city through attracting international business events.

Karen    Jacques

Karen Jacques

Events Group lead

Karen is a highly experienced sales and marketing professional with over 20 years experience in the hospitality sector. Karen now runs her own sales & marketing consultancy business and works with a number of different organisations within the tourism and hospitality sector to help them develop their business. In 2014/15 Karen undertook the Destination Leaders Programme and gained a further insight into the tourism sector in Scotland along with widening her industry network.

Lesley Judge

Lesley Judge

Comms Group lead

Lesley is a Chartered Marketer with 20 year’s business experience and runs her own marketing consultancy, Smart Tourism, which specialises in all aspects of digital tourism, destination development and industry engagement. A graduate of the first Destination Leaders Programme at Edinburgh Napier University, Lesley is co-host of monthly tourism Twitter chat #scotlandhour and an Edinburgh chapter leader of global travel meet-up community www.travelmassive.com

Diane McRae

Diane McRae

Diane has over 15 years’ experience within the Financial Services Industry, latterly at a senior level, within some of the top Finance Houses. Since leaving FS over 8 years ago, Diane has been part of the Hospitality & Events Team at The Royal Yacht Britannia. Diane has always had a passion for excellence and delivering the best customer service.

Anna Morris

Anna Morris

Anna is Founder and Managing Director of The Edinburgh Address, a Property Management Agency specialising in unique and high end properties for let to the corporate and holiday market, founded in 2008. The business aims to maximise property owners’ investments whilst offering guests exceptional accommodation and customer service. Anna’s passion for the tourism industry and providing a commitment to service excellence began whilst working for The Royal Yacht Britannia as a Merchandise Assistant.

Julie Grieve

Julie Grieve

Julie Grieve has experience in several sectors, but a move in 2012 to the tourism sector has her hooked. She set up the 5 star Old Town Chambers in Edinburgh and has since moved on to develop an app for the sector. Julie is a member of The Merchant Company of Edinburgh and sits on their Audit and Risk Committee. She is also Vice Chair of Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools in Edinburgh.

Margaret McNeil

Margaret McNeil

Margaret is Scottish Enterprise’s representative on the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) and leads on diverse projects offering strategic support to the tourism sector. She jointly developed the UK‘s first tourism destination leadership qualification – the Destination Leaders Programme, delivered by the Edinburgh Institute at Edinburgh Napier University, which to date has seen 40 professionals graduate from Edinburgh, St. Andrews and Argyll. The programme is currently in its third year with participants from Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Aileen Lamb

Aileen Lamb

Aileen leads Scottish Enterprise’s strategic support for the tourism industry focusing on destination development; data & digital tourism; working with partners including the Scottish Tourism Alliance to create a positive environment for growth in the Scottish tourism economy.

She has jointly developed the UK‘s first Tourism Destination Leadership qualification - Destination Leaders Programme and has delivered a range of successful projects in a range of Scotland’s growth industry sectors including Food & Drink; tourism, technology & infrastructure. She is a non-executive Director at National Museums Scotland Enterprises Ltd.

Shona Clelland

Shona Clelland

Shona started her career managing the box office at Assembly Rooms Edinburgh in 1987. She went on to work in production with Scottish Television and in a variety of roles with several arts festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe. Since her return to Assembly Rooms Edinburgh in 2005 to take over the running of the venue, Shona has played a key role in the plans for a £9.3 million restoration of the A Listed venue, putting in place a robust business plan and ensuring the building is retained for future generations to enjoy.