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IWD2022 – Meet Emma Clark

On Tuesday 8th March 2022 we celebrate the achievements of women from around the world on International Women’s Day.  A moment to recognise the historical, political and cultural achievements of women – it’s also an opportunity to shine a light on those who are leading the way in our industry today.  In recognition of #IWD2022 we caught up with a few of our members to find out what inspires them, how the pandemic has impacted their business, and who they look up to.

In the first of this series, please meet Emma Clark, who is based on the Isle of Islay.  Emma and her husband Graeme are the owners of Glenegedale House, an award-winning 5-star guesthouse.

What inspires you to work within Scottish tourism?

The fact every day is different, every day is new, every day changes. Seeing the pure joy on guests faces when they savour each taste and hear the stories behind the produce or even better, meet the producers. When a guest shares their experiences that they had throughout the day with you. Helping them create memories that will keep them going until their next adventure.

How has the pandemic impacted your business?

The pandemic impacted our business hugely by halting larger growth that we had planned however in many other respects it made us push harder to try new things. To upsell and look at our business and how it can work be>er financially while ensuring the guests experience is not hampered. Other than when we were forced to close or had greater restrictions placed on us the pandemic has aided our business and we cannot look back unless it is to grab a lesson and run forward with it. Covid has made us more determined more focused and more driven than ever to ensure every moment counts both for us and our guests. 

What are your hopes for you, your company and the industry this year?

Our hopes for the business are to grow and to continue to be able to trade hopefully with no impactful restrictions.  My hope for me…selfishly it is to be able to stay strong and positive. It has not always been easy, I have to admit, and like everyone I have the odd day, but on the whole I want to remain optimistic and happy. My hope for the industry is to remember the absolute determination we had to work as one during the pandemic. To be united and work as a team and to support each other. 

Which female leader do you admire most, and why?

The female leader I admire most is a tricky one as I have a few that I fan girl over…. Marina Hugget, She holds herself with such decorum and finesse, and her team wholeheartedly respect and love her. Aileen Lamb is my epitome of strength, wit and being in control, and her lippy is always perfect! 

Is there a woman within the tourism industry you recognise as doing great things at the moment?

Sheila Gilmore, I have no idea where she gets her energy from but she has such a determination to ensure visitors to Arran have a restriction-free journey and amazing time on Arran.