By Ian McConnell

CRERAR Hotels chief executive Chris Wayne-Wills has taken on the role of chairman of trade body UKHospitality in Scotland.

Mr Wayne-Wills, who has more than 25 years of experience in senior management positions in the hospitality sector, succeeds Loch Melfort Hotel proprietor Calum Ross in the role.

The new chairman highlighted the resilience and innovation of businesses in the sector as he flagged current challenges.

Mr Wayne-Wills also underlined his determination to tackle staffing challenges and push for business rates reform.

He said: “I...look forward to playing my part in supporting hospitality move towards recovery. All of our businesses are bearing the brunt of the current economic challenges, but collectively we are resilient, innovative and determined to succeed.

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“Working with the executive director in Scotland and the wider team in London, I will help ensure that our members and businesses have their voice heard on the issues that matter. Our sector is one of Scotland’s greatest economic success stories, delivering jobs, enhancing communities and showcasing the very best of Scotland to our visitors.”

Mr Wayne-Wills added: “There has never been a more important time for our sector to speak with one voice and I look forward to working to benefit the industry I am so passionate and committed to. My priorities are to push to end staffing challenges by working to enhance the sector’s reputation as a career of choice, press for reform of business rates to make them fairer for hospitality, and to continue to argue for the reduction in regulatory and policy burdens.”

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Mr Wayne-Wills worked at Marriott International, Macdonald Hotels and QHotels before taking the helm at Crerar, which has seven properties in the four and five star categories, in April 2020.