Andrew Thomson – head of the Royal Yacht Britannia's hospitality and events team, as well as its luxury 23-cabin floating boutique hotel Fingal, berthed on Edinburgh's Leith waterfront – has been elected to lead the Institute of Hospitality's Scotland branch as chair.
At last week's Annual General Meeting, Thomson formally took over the chairmanship from Gordon Mackintosh, general manager of the 95-bedroom Carnoustie Golf Hotel & Spa, on the Angus coast near Dundee.
Meanwhile, Ken Alexander, a member of the organising committee for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a lecturer at both City of Glasgow College and Ayrshire College, was elected to the newly created position of vice-chairman.
Thomson said: "I am delighted and honoured to have been elected chairman of the Institute of Hospitality Scotland branch. As Scotland's hospitality industry recovers from the unprecedented challenges of the Covid pandemic, membership of our worldwide professional body is more important than ever. The Institute's priority is to nurture future and existing talent in the industry through promoting lifelong learning and inspiring hospitality professionals to perform at their very best…
"I am very excited about continuing and building upon the excellent work of my predecessor Gordon Mackintosh, whom I'm pleased is remaining a member of the Scotland branch committee. We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for his inspirational leadership at such a difficult time for our profession."
Alexander added: "It is a great privilege and honour to have been elected vice-chairman. I look forward to continuing to forge links with the education sector and with all the different sectors that make up Scotland's exciting hospitality industry, while ensuring that people development remains at the forefront of our profession.
"We urgently need a new cohort of talented hospitality, tourism and event management students as we rebuild our businesses in readiness for what promises to be a post-Covid boom for the industry, and because of a hard Brexit that has resulted in the departure of many EU staff. Toward this end, I am delighted to report we are relaunching the IoH Scotland branch's popular ‘Quaich' awards for Scotland's top hospitality and tourism students."