An industry veteran with experience across the world has been unveiled as the new chief of a Scottish hotels group.

Highland Coast Hotels said Guy Crawford will take over the helm as chief executive in April.

Mr Crawford held similar roles at Jumeirah Hospitality Group in Dubai, Forte Heritage Hotels and Le Meridien Africa, Caribbean and Indian Ocean.

Mr Crawford joins the business after the recent relaunch of Royal Marine Brora and ahead of the introduction of two newly refurbished properties to the collection.

The Tongue Hotel and Plockton Inn will re-open to visitors in April 2023 following extensive renovations. 

The focus will be on “creating great experiences around the NC500 for discerning travellers visiting from around the globe".

Mr Crawford said: “The Scottish Highlands is not only one of the most beautiful corners of the earth, but the region holds so many personal family connections and memories for me. I’m passionate about enhancing local community life and sustainable tourism.”

David Whiteford, chairman at Highland Coast Hotels, said: “We’re incredibly fortunate to be welcoming Guy to Highland Coast Hotels. Over the last four decades, he’s gained a global reputation as one of the hospitality industry’s most respected leaders.”

As part of the leadership changes current chief executive Roddy Watt will step back from involvement in day-to-day operations and focus on development of the business through investment and acquisition.

'Highest price ever paid' for a home in Scotland

"Scotland’s most expensive home" has changed hands during an extraordinary period in the country’s top-end market, Savills said.

The agent said the “highest price ever paid for a residential property in Scotland”, which was a historic castle for sale at offers over £8 million, bolstered a record year in the £1m-plus bracket north of the Border in 2022, the agent said.

Highlands and Islands housing crisis hampering economic growth

Soaring house prices and a surge in buy-to-let holiday homes in the Highlands and Islands are driving workers away and hampering growth in lucrative industries, experts have warned. 

Registers of Scotland data shows that while average prices across Scotland rose by 89 per cent in 2022 compared to the 2004 baseline, the increase was as high as 168% in  Shetland, 135% in the Western Isles and 107% in the Highlands.

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