UKH Scotland appoints new chairman

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Championing hospitality: Chris Wayne-Wills becomes UKH Scotland chairman
Championing hospitality: Chris Wayne-Wills becomes UKH Scotland chairman

Related tags ukhospitality Scotland Social responsibility

Crerar Hotels chief executive Chris Wayne-Wills has been appointed UKHospitality Scotland chairman as the sector grapples with unprecedented financial pressures and workforce shortages.

Wayne-Wills, who took over the position from Loch Melfort Hotel, Argyll, owner and proprietor Calum Ross, said he was “delighted” to have been elected as UKHospitality (UKH) Scotland chairman.

He said he looked forward to supporting hospitality’s move towards recover, adding, “our businesses are bearing the brunt of the current economic challenges, but collectively we are resilient, innovative and determined to succeed.”

He vouched to work with the Scotland executive director and London team to ensure members and businesses had their voices heard on issue that mattered.

He continued: “Our sector is one of Scotland’s greatest economic success stories, delivering jobs, enhancing communities and showcasing the very best of our country to guests and visitors. 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 to which I am so passionate and committed."

Problem solving

“My priorities are to push to end the staffing challenges so many of our businesses are experiencing, by working to enhance the sector’s reputation as a career of choice; to 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," he added.

Wayne-Wills has more than 25 years of experience in senior management positions in the hotel and tourism industry. He started his career as sales manager before becoming a general manager, and has worked in large city centre hotels, resorts with golf & spa businesses and various multi-property leadership roles.

His experience in Scotland includes the Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh, general manager and Macdonald Hotels regional managing director for Scotland. He was also chief executive of the Macdonald Aviemore Resort and oversaw an extensive investment and repositioning project.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said it was “wonderful” to see someone of Wayne-Wills’ pedigree and calibre elected as chairman.

She continued: “For almost 11 years our previous chairman Calum Ross worked tirelessly, making the case for our members and sector – in particular providing vital leadership during the pandemic. On behalf of our members and colleagues at UKH I would like to publicly thank Calum for all he has done."

Helping businesses thrive

She concluded: “With Chris now at the helm, we move to securing the recovery for hospitality. Scotland’s sector is crucial to the UK’s hospitality and tourism offer and I am certain that Chris, working with our executive director for Scotland, Leon Thompson, will deliver the results our businesses need in order to recover and thrive.”

Wayne-Wills also previously held the position of regional general manager for QHotels, where he was responsible for multiple businesses including Slaley Hall in Northumberland and the Westerwood in Cumbernauld.

During his time working with QHotels he was also General Manager of the Midland Hotel in Manchester, an AA 86% Silver Star hotel, which was the highest graded large four star hotel in the UK and the host hotel for the Conservative Party Conference.

Furthermore, as Cluster General Manager for Marriott International he oversaw all managed Marriott Hotels in Scotland and the North of England. He was awarded the Marriott International special recognition award for outstanding commitment in 2018.

What’s more, Wayne-Wills was one of the first recipients of the HIT Scotland Leadership Scholarship in 2008 and attended the General Manager’s Programme at Cornell University. He is now a trustee of HIT Scotland, a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and sits on the Institute of Hospitality Scotland Board.

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