Tag: Skye

News

HITA AWARD HELPED ME PURSUE NEW GOALS

Charlotte Davies, Sommelier & Assistant Restaurant Manager at The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye, and winner of HITA’s 2017 Rising Star Award

During the Year of Young People 2018, it is really important that more of my contemporaries are given the recognition they deserve and opportunities to advance their careers, across all sectors.

We are the new generation that will be setting the bar even higher for standards and innovative new ideas to ensure that Scotland as a whole continues to thrive.

It is also a time to demonstrate that the tourism and hospitality sector is no longer a ‘stepping stone’ job that you do just to earn a bit of pocket money (although that is fine too if that’s your reason for doing it). It’s a career with incredibly fulfilling job prospects that can take you anywhere in the world if you work hard enough.

There are so many qualifications and apprenticeships that you can take now if you like to learn in a college setting or if, like me, you can dive straight in and learn on the job with the right mentoring and practical skills.

There has been a gradual shift over the past few years, but I’m really hoping that, with schemes like HITA, the general attitude and assumptions about hospitality will be seen in a completely new light.

I love my role in hospitality and working with wine (and other beverages!) and I love that every day is different and comes with new challenges.

Hospitality is a career for people who are innately caring and want to create an impeccable experience for their guests. Hospitality is a career for those who want to help make incredible memories.

I hope that more young people will see tourism and hospitality as a career choice and also more will be recognised for the important role they play in the sector.

Winning the prestigious HITA Rising Star award last year was a major achievement for me and has given me the extra motivation to pursue new challenges and goals.

I recently entered the Gold Service Scholarship 2018, the UK’s most prestigious Front of House award. Like HITA, it was a great experience and provided a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues within the sector. It was also amazing to represent the whole of the country as the only Scottish finalist.

As well as representing Scotland, I have been given access to incredible opportunities that, without these types of awards, I would never get the chance to experience. For example, this year I will be visiting the famous sweet wine area of Tokaji in Hungary, visiting Mosel in Germany and get to enjoy a chocolate master class.

The HITA honour also gave me the incentive to pursue my next level of wine qualification, the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced. It will be a tall order to achieve but, having a few people around you that believe in your capabilities, can make all the difference.

The Three Chimneys, and particularly General Manager Paul Hughes, have been incredibly supportive of my involvement in all of these competitions and helping to train and prepare me for them.

There has been a lot of hard work and travelling involved, but it has been worth every minute of the extra time and all the miles.”

I would encourage any young person working in the sector to enter for HITA – and also businesses to nominate members of their young workforce. It could be a milestone in an incredible career journey.

 

News

CHAMPIONS OF TOURISM ANNOUNCED!

Sixteen outstanding tourism businesses and individuals were revealed on Friday at the eighth annual Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) ceremony and gala dinner at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness.  HITA recognises and rewards businesses and individuals offering superior service levels and customer awareness throughout the Highlands and Islands tourism industry.

Amongst the list of outstanding winners, owner and managing director of the Cobbs group, based at Loch Ness, Fraser Campbell, was awarded the coveted HITA Highlands and Islands  Ambassador of the Year award.

The 2013 Awards were opened by HITA Chairperson, Marina Huggett, Minister of Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing and Chairman of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Stephen Leckie, following entertainment from magician, Clive Grewcock, the Black watch 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and Pipe major Richard Grisdale, and musicians, Ruairidh McDonald and Colin and Alan Train, before the winners were announced. The awards were presented by the master of ceremonies, Robert Lovie.

The full list of HITA 2013 winners are Best Bar, Café or Restaurant Award winner – Café Artysans, Inverness, Best Cultural Event Award winner  – Tiree Music Festival, Tiree, Best Sporting Event Award winner – Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland’s Culloden Run, Inverness, Best Shopping Experience – Johnstons of Elgin, Elgin, Best Guest House or B & B Award  Wemyss House, Tain, Best Hotel Award winner  – Duisdale House Hotel, Isle of Skye, Best Self-Serve Accommodation Award – Whitefalls Spa Lodges, Isle of Lewis, Best Tour Operator Programme award winner – Wilderness Scotland, Aviemore , Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Boots N Paddles / TreeZone, Inverness, Marketing Campaign of the Year  Award – Wilderness Scotland, Aviemore, Best Partnership in Tourism award winner – Highland Experience Tours, Highland-wide operation, Best Nature Based Experience Award – Aigas Field Centre, Inverness-shire, Best Visitor Attraction Award – The Glenlivet Distillery Visitor Centre, Ballindalloch and the winner of the Training and Skills Development Award – Frankie’s Fish & Chips, Shetland.  Andrew Whitehouse, Café Artysans, Inverness and Gordon Pearson, WOW Scotland, Inverness were awarded HITA Best Young Ambassador of the Year 2013.

Each of the HITA winners* were automatically given a place on the shortlist of VisitScotland’s national tourism awards scheme, the Scottish Thistle Awards, providing the opportunity for HITA winners to be acknowledged nationally for their achievements. The Scottish Thistle Awards will be held on 15 November this year.

Marina Huggett, chairperson of HITA said: “In this our eighth year of operation, the HITA Board is delighted to report our biggest number of registrations for the awards. This high level coupled with the excellent quality of applicants made the task of our independent judging panel even more challenging.

We would like to say “well done” to every one of our finalists and to the winners “congratulations”. The hard work and determination of businesses like theirs is what puts Scotland on the map and helps us become a “must visit” destination.”

For more information please log on to www.highland-tourism-awards.co.uk

News

CALL FOR 2013 AMBASSADOR NOMINATIONS

From award-wining food writers and hoteliers to kilt makers and even the Loch Ness Monster, The Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) have received a wealth of worthy nominations over the years for their highest accolade, The Highlands and Islands Ambassador of the Year Award.
The HITA board are now calling for nominations from the community for the 2013 Ambassador of the Year Award, presented at the HITA ceremony and gala dinner on 4 October at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness. The award is traditionally kept under-wraps until the night of the awards ceremony and no short-list is drawn for the category.

Marina Huggett, chairwoman, HITA, encourages nominations for potential 2013 Ambassadors from across the Highlands and Islands and highlights the importance of the accolade: “The Highlands and Islands Ambassador of the Year award is a very significant one in our programme. It is the people in our industry that drive excellence forward and these people must be recognised and encouraged to keep going.

“We know that many of our previous Ambassadors feel that receiving the award has enabled them to further their tourism mission and gain greater profile for the tourism work they are involved in. For this award, we are looking to identify an individual who has dedicated their time and energy to making a marked difference to tourism in the Highlands and Islands.”

The criteria states that nominees for this category should be 31 years or over on 1st November 2013 and should have demonstrated commitment in their chosen field and business community. They should have a track record of inspiring and leading others to create a more sustainable tourism industry.

Previous HITA Highlands and Islands Ambassadors have been Shirley Spear of award winning restaurant ‘The Three Chimneys’ in Skye in 2012, Grant Sword, director at the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch and partner at Castle Stuart Golf Links in 2011, Lady Claire Macdonald, acclaimed cook and food writer in 2010, Gavin Ellis, owner of the Knockomie Hotel, Forres in 2009, Freda Newton, managing director of five star visitor attraction, Jacobite, Inverness in 2008, Duncan Chisholm, kilt maker, in 2007, Hamish Swan, chairman of CairnGorm Mountain Ltd (1997-2011), in 2006 and Willie Cameron, director, business development director, Cobbs Group in 2005.

Those wishing to nominate should send the name of the nominee and write, in 750 words or less, what the candidate has contributed to tourism in the Highlands and Islands. Nominations should be sent to info@highland-tourism-awards.co.uk by Friday 30 August 2013.

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