The chief executive of Crerar Hotels has become the chairman of UKHospitality Scotland.
With more than 25 years of experience in senior management positions within the hospitality sector, Chris Wayne-Wills follows in the footsteps of Calum Ross, owner and proprietor of the Loch Melfort Hotel, who is stepping down after 11 years.
UKHospitality Scotland is the country’s largest hospitality trade body and represents restaurants, bars, hotels, tourist attractions and nightclubs.
Wayne-Wills said: “All of our businesses are bearing the brunt of the current economic challenges, but collectively we are resilient, innovative and determined to succeed.
“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.
“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,” he continued, adding: “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.”
Beginning his career as a sales manager, then working his way up to general manager and progressing to further senior positions, Wayne-Wills’ experience in Scotland includes general manager of the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh and regional managing director for Scotland at Macdonald Hotels.
As regional general manager for QHotels, he was responsible for multiple businesses, including Slaley Hall in Northumberland and the Westerwood in Cumbernauld.
As cluster general manager for Marriott International he oversaw all the brand’s hotels in Scotland and the North of England, before taking the helm at Crerar Hotels in April 2020.
Since becoming chief executive, he has overseen investment across various properties, including Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, the Glencoe Inn and the newly-rebranded Balmoral Arms.
Wayne-Wills is also a trustee of HIT Scotland, a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and sits on the Institute of Hospitality Scotland board.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, commented: “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 – so on behalf of our members and colleagues at UKHospitality I would like to publicly thank him for all he has done.
“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.”
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