by John Porter
Beppo Buchanan-Smith - Snapshot
Beppo Buchanan-Smith is managing director of Eriska Enterprises, which runs the Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa and Island in West Argyll, near Oban. He is the second generation of his family to run the business, which was founded by his parents in 1973, and has expanded into a leisure operation which now includes a golf club and spa.
Beppo Buchanan-Smith - Career guide
Beppo Buchanan-Smith was born into the hotel business, growing up on the privately-owned island of Eriska at the mouth of Loch Creran, - and the location of the family hotel. He took over the business in the 1990s, and on his watch the Isle of Eriska has evolved into a 25 bedroom 5 star red resort, with a range of leisure facilities and a 3 AA rosette restaurant.
The business holds the Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme and was named Hotel of the Year - Independent Catey in 2008. Buchanan-Smith is a Master Innholder and was chairman of Pride of Britain Hotels for three years He currently chairs the Visit Scotland Quality and Grading Advisory Board and the Scottish Food Champions Initiative, launched by the Scottish Government to promote the use of local produce. He also sits on the BHA Scottish Executive.
Beppo Buchanan-Smith: What we think
There are probably few better examples of the unique appeal of Scottish tourism than the Isle of Eriska hotel and resort, just as the Scottish hospitality sector has few finer advocates than Beppo Buchanan-Smith.
Just in case stunning views overlooking Loch Linnhe and the Morvern Mountains, five star rooms and local food cooked to 3 AA rosette standard wasn't enough, the spa, gold club and private helipad all help to make the experience memorable, as the long list of awards won by the business attests.
If Buchanan-Smith had simply continued and expanded on his parents' legacy in making Isle of Eriska a premiere leisure destination, his position as one of the leading lights of Scottish hospitality would be assured. Under the stewardship of Buchanan-Smith, working in partnership with his wife Seona, the business has flourished, turning over around £2m a year and employing around 55 staff.
Beyond that, Buchanan-Smith also champions the wider cause of Scottish tourism. He is involved in a wide range of industry events and initiatives, and is a strong advocate for persuading young people to view hospitality as a career. This is underscored by Isle of Eriska's Investors in People status and its accreditation as a Vocational Qualification Centre accreditation status.
The importance of sustainable tourism to the Scottish economy is also recognised, with the business winning the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Environment Award in 2010 and a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme in 2012.