An Aberdeenshire woman is helping to inspire other young people to consider a career in tourism and hospitality through a new scheme run by Visitscotland.
*Nicola Downie, 25, who manages food and beverage at the Meldrum House, Oldmeldrum, is sharing her story as part of the tourist agency’s digital campaign, ‘Future Focus’.
Created as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, the campaign is highlighting the valuable role of young people in the country’s thriving tourism and hospitality sector.
From chefs to tour guides, event organisers to marketeers, a series of specially-created videos and blogs throughout the year will share the stories of those helping ensure Scotland is a must-visit destination.
Nicola has worked her way up the ranks in hospitality and successfully completed a degree in International Tourism and Hospitality Management at Robert Gordon University.
She has secured various roles at Meldrum House including assistant manager, banqueting manager and most recently food and beverage manager, overseeing three departments. In October, she will head off to École Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, recognised as one of the world’s best hospitality schools, having won the prestigious Hospitality Industry Trust Scholarship, .
Nicola said: “My favourite thing is the buzz – I thrive in a busy atmosphere. I feel like I always need a project to keep me going so it suits me that there is never a dull moment. There is always something going on to keep me on my toes.”
Scotland’s tourism industry accounts for around 217,000 jobs across 14,000 tourism businesses. Every £62,000 spent by visitors supports one job across Scotland’s economy.
Jo Robinson, Visitscotland regional director, said: “Nicola is a fantastic young tourism ambassador and we are delighted to share her story as part of Future Focus. She has shown that with hard work, enthusiasm and dedication you can really play a vital part in supporting local tourism, leaving visitors with lasting memories.
“We want to inspire the next generation to choose tourism as a career and join this, exciting and vibrant industry which is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy.”
Other tourism businesses are being urged to shine a light on their own young rising stars and join the conversation on social media using #FutureFocus and #YOYP2018.