Tourism St Andrews (the St Andrews Local Tourist Association) recently held one of their regular virtual meetings where members heard updates from the committee and individuals and organisations within the tourism industry sector.
The meeting was a particularly significant one in that it was the last meeting with local businesswoman Debbie MacCallum as Chair of the association. During a highly successful tenure in the role, Debbie was appointed a Tourism Regional Ambassador at the 2019 Scottish Thistle Awards and has recently been listed in the Top 100 Women in Tourism. Debbie had advised the committee earlier in the year that she intended stepping down as Chair towards the end of 2020 to spend more time working with her businesses and The Hamish Foundation – the local charity that she is both one of the founders and trustees of. Daphne Biliouri-Grant, has taken on the role of Chair of Tourism St Andrews effective 1st November 2020.
Commenting on the announcement, Debbie said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Tourism St Andrews, helping build the group’s membership and leading a number of key projects which I hope have helped develop our local tourism economy over the last few years and also helped make our wonderful town of St Andrews an attractive destination to a wide range of visitors.
“I would like to thank committee members past and present, the local businesses and organisations and all the individuals I have worked with for their time and support. This year has been one of extreme challenges for us all and it has had a significant detrimental impact on the tourism sector. However, we must all continue to work together and, after a short break, I will be continuing initiatives with The Hamish Foundation and, of course, still be an active member of Tourism St Andrews”.
During Debbie’s tenure as Chair of the association she has initiated, delivered and overseen a number of impressive projects which include:
- staging of the Kelpie Maquettes over a summer season in St Andrews
- setting up of the 'Ask Andrew' volunteer guides
- development and implementation of the St Andrews Destination App
- creating the Cruise2StAndrews initiative promoting local businesses to cruise ship passengers
- St Andrews Beach Wheelchairs and accessible tourism initiatives
- Access Guides for local businesses
- Oor Prince Wullie installation in 2019
- “Pop in The City” - the first project of its type in Scotland
- development and deployment of the “StaySafe St Andrews” COVID Charter 2020
Daphne Biliouri-Grant, who takes over as Chair of the voluntary group, is currently the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Fife Women’s Aid, and a Trustee with Impact Fund Partners, the St. Andrews Community Trust and the St. Andrews Environmental Network. She is also the co-ordinator of the ‘Towards a Sustainable St. Andrews’ initiative aimed at raising awareness about sustainability and how various stakeholders both locally, nationally and internationally can implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
For over 25 years Daphne was working in the area of due diligence, reputational risk management and corporate governance and was the co-founder and Director of a successful reputational risk management consultancy, advising government and corporate clients on issues of corporate governance, sustainability, political risk and reputational risk, particularly in emerging and frontier markets. She has extensive international experience and an understanding of how reputation plays a defining role in term of business success and she is able to assist companies and organisations in incorporating elements of reputational management not traditionally perceived as part of a company’s growth strategy.
Daphne said on her appointment: “I am delighted to take over as Chair of Tourism St Andrews and ensure that the association will provide the assistance that is needed to our current members and engage with potential new members, particularly under these challenging times. I am also hoping to increase collaboration with other local tourism associations and promote the concept of sustainable tourism as the way forward. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I am determined to continue the positive legacy that has been established and develop a viable growth strategy for TSA.”
Tourism St Andrews is currently pulling plans together for the 2021 season and has a Festive social media campaign with some exciting content planned for over December. For more information on the group visit www.tourismstandrews.co.uk