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. The organisation was created to motivate, inspire, support and encourage women across the sector, and  support the next generation of industry leaders. WIT continues to grow and develop, becoming a membership organisation in 2017. The Women in Tourism board, chaired by Susan Russell, welcomed a new member for 2018, and created a special role for a young board member to join the team for a year, in celebration of #YOYP2018 – Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. In December 2019 WIT has added four new board members to strengthen and grow the organisation strategically.

Women In Tourism Board Members

Susan Russell

Susan Russell

Chair & Policy Group Lead

Susan has spent her career working across destination, cultural tourism, events and travel technology marketing. She joined Underbelly in July 2020 as the company‘s Head of Marketing & Communications. As the producer of Edinburgh & London‘s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay they are also a major venue at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.. Susan sits on the Scottish Governments Tourism Recovery Taskforce, is, 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

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.

Aileen Lamb

Aileen Lamb

Membership Group

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.

Lesley Judge

Lesley Judge

Comms Group Lead

Lesley currently works at Edinburgh Innovations Ltd where she project-manages the Traveltech for Scotland Cluster, in addition to developing tourism industry engagement for Interface, matching businesses with academic expertise. She has led on digital and data-driven strategies for diverse tourism networks and organisations. A graduate of the Destination Leaders Programme and a Chapter Leader of global travel network Travel Massive, Lesley has helped build a 700+ community for Edinburgh along with her industry colleagues. She is an active board member of Women in Tourism, leading on digital communications and assisting with the delivery of virtual and physical 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.

Julia MacGregor

Julia MacGregor

#YOYP2018 Board Member

Julia is the Social Media & Online Reputation Manager at Apex Hotels. After studying journalism, she was hooked by the world of public relations. Based in Edinburgh, since graduating she has enjoyed working for a number of organisations across the tourism and leisure industry, before taking on her current role at Apex Hotels. One of the reasons Julia was eager to play a role in the Women in Tourism organisation was to help to highlight the opportunities and variety of career paths available for the younger work force. Outside her 9-5, she is a keen freelance writer, and a passionate foodie and traveller, both of which come through in her blog, Fizz and Pheasant.

Stephanie Stubbs

Stephanie Stubbs

Stephanie is Deputy Managing Director of Hickory Food and has over 10 years of experience working across the hospitality and tourism sector. Most recently in her promoted role as Deputy Managing Director Stephanie is responsible for delivering the strategic objectives of the business, and effectively leading the change management programme to deliver growth across the brand portfolio.
As an advocate for diversity in the workplace and as part of a 3-year diversity plan during 2017 she led the company to win Best Place for Women to Work at the Business Women Scotland Awards & Women in Tourism Awards, as well as Employer of the Year at The Business Women Scotland Awards.

Alyce Paton

Alyce Paton

Alyce is currently the Visitor Experience Manager at the award-winning Camera Obscura and World of Illusions visitor attraction in Edinburgh. This involves management of all aspects of the visitor experience; including strategic planning, budgeting and KPI setting and operational management of the technical and guiding teams. Her career in tourism in Edinburgh over the past eight years has included studying for and receiving an MBA from Edinburgh University, winning a prestigious HIT Scholarship and being awarded the ASVA (Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions) Rising Star Award.

Lindsay Neilson

Lindsay Neilson

International Chapter Development Lead

Lindsay is the Senior Corporate & Incentive Manager in VisitScotland’s Business Events team, and has spent 20 years working in destination, tourism and hospitality sectors. With a focus on marketing and communication roles, she started her career in the premium drinks industry in France, before moving to tourism at the end of 2007. She is a keen enthusiast in mentoring and public speaking skills development, being a past president of Capital Communicators Toastmasters club.

Kerry Watson

Kerry Watson

Regional Development Lead

Kerry has over twenty years’ experience working in the tourism industry, mainly in the sales and marketing promotion of Scotland as a Business Events destination. After spending fifteen years at VisitScotland in the Business Events team, her current role as Sales Manager in the Accommodation, Conferences and Events team at the University of St. Andrews oversees the marketing and sales activity of all of the University venues and accommodation, as well as supporting academics in the bidding process to bring conferences to Scotland and to host them at the University of St Andrews.

Julie Grieve

Julie Grieve

Julie Grieve Is the Founder and CEO of Criton; the UK’s first DIY app builder for the hospitality sector. She has experience in several sectors, but a move in 2012 to the tourism sector had her hooked. 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.

Shona Clelland

Shona Clelland

Secretary

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.