Hospitality Industry Trust (Hit) Scotland today handed out a record 200 scholarships to workers and students across the industry.
Now in its fifth year, the scholarship scheme has grown from recognising just eight scholars in its first year.
The latest awards, made at today's Emerging Talent Conference, mean Hit Scotland has awarded a total of more 500 scholarships.
The scheme, which involves work placements in businesses such as Gordon Ramsay Holdings, hotel group Jumeirah and leaders in the whisky industry, costs the charitable organisation around £250,000. It is estimated to be worth nearly £1m in terms of training, staff retention and future income.
The scholarships also take people to learning institutes, including the Ecole du Hotelier in Lausanne and the Disney Institute in Florida
One scholar has won a place to Ivy League Cornell University's General Managers Programme, the world's best course for hotel managers.
The scholarship scheme is paid for through corporate sponsorship from companies including food supplier Brakes, Enterprise Rent a Car and recruitment website caterer.com. Money is also raised through events such as the industry dinner held in April.
David Cochrane, chief executive of Hit Scotland, said: "Scotland has unique beauty and heritage, but if visitors leave with a negative perception because of poor service then it damages our reputation forever.
"The scholarship scheme is an industry led initiative to tackle this head on.
For the full list of winners go to www.hitscotland.co.uk
By Daniel Thomas
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