THE Scottish Tourism Alliance has appointed a new chair.

Rebecca Brooks, managing director of travel firm Abbey UK, steps into the role vacated by veteran Scottish hotelier Stephen Leckie. Mr Leckie was recently named the new chairman of VisitScotland.

The STA said Ms Brooks, who is also a director and owner of the Abbey Group, brings a wealth of experience to the role, having been a leading figure in the Scottish tourism industry for more than two decades. She has served as vice chair of the STA since October 2022.

A graduate in modern history from the University of St Andrews, Ms Brooks has been a non-executive director of the STA since 2010, served as a non-executive director on the VisitScotland board from 2015-2022, and was recently appointed as chair of UKinbound.

She is also a former chair of the Scottish Destination Management Association, sat on the Scottish Government-appointed tourism recovery taskforce in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is a current member of the UK Tourism Industry Council.

Ms Brooks, who has twice been named among Scotland’s Top 100 Women in Tourism, said: "I am thrilled to be stepping into the role of chair of the STA, having worked so closely with Stephen Leckie over many years and remain committed to driving forward the organisation’s mission to influence government policy to enable Scotland’s tourism industry to flourish and reach its full growth potential.

“Our focus will continue to be on deepening collaboration between private sectors, public bodies and governments to ensure Scotland can become a world leader in 21st century tourism and galvanising the industry as the leading representative body for Scotland’s tourism businesses.”

Marc Crothall, chief executive of the STA, said: "The STA board and team are delighted to welcome Rebecca Brooks as the new chair of the Scottish Tourism Alliance. Rebecca's experience and position within the Scottish tourism landscape positions her perfectly to lead the STA into its next phase.

“We acknowledge the exceptional leadership of Stephen Leckie, under whose guidance the organisation has seen significant milestones, including the launch of two national tourism strategies. Stephen’s legacy is one of visionary leadership, boundless energy, and passion for Scottish tourism. His leadership inspires so many within our sector, and while we bid him farewell, we look forward to the fresh perspectives and strength of leadership that Rebecca will bring to the table.”