Debbie Taylor, the new chairman of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Scotland Committee, has vowed to boost Scottish tourism during her two-year term.
Taylor, managing director of the Old Course in St Andrews, told Caterersearch she was delighted to have been appointed to the role at a time when tourism plays a very important part of the Scottish economy.
"The BHA represents 3,000 businesses, making it a really strong voice for the Scottish hospitality industry and I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed chairman," she said.
"We want to double the contribution tourism makes by 2015 and that's a great ambition that is shared by the whole industry."
Taylor, who won the Manager of the Year award at last year's Cateys, added that the Scottish Government "is listening" and working with the BHA to meet that target.
"Tourism Minister Jim Mather and the Scottish Executive are onboard and recognise the important role tourism plays within Scotland so government wants to engage and help drive the industry over the coming years."
However, Taylor warned that there will be challenges, singling out the new Scottish licensing legislation and attracting a skilled and motivated workforce as the most pressing issues.
"Staff retention is one of the biggest challenges the industry faces and getting employers to invest in training is key," she said
"I hope to be a good ambassador for the industry and create good relationships between operators and supporting bodies such as Springboard and People 1st."
By Kerstin Kühn
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