Susan Morrison, Chief Executive of The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, has been appointed as the new Chair of the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA), the body which represents the interests of the visitor attractions sector in Scotland.
The appointment was confirmed at ASVA’s recent two-day Autumn Conference at the Crieff Hydro Hotel in Perthshire.
Having spent her whole career in the visitor attraction sector, Susan has been Chief Executive of The Scotch Whisky Experience since 2018, following 14 years as a board director and 19 years as General Manager.
Susan studied languages at Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Vienna Universities and made her way into the tourism industry largely as a result of her linguistic ability.
Over the past 10 years, Susan has overseen more than £9 million of reinvestment in The Scotch Whisky Experience. The attraction welcomed almost 385,000 visitors through its doors in 2018, making it Scotland’s most-visited whisky attraction. Her commitment to the Scotch whisky industry was recognised in 2000 when she was made a Keeper of the Quaich, and again in 2010 when she was promoted to one of only five female Masters of the Quaich.
Speaking about her appointment as the first female Chair of ASVA, Susan said: “This is both an exciting and challenging time to be taking over as Chair of ASVA. I firmly believe that Scotland is incredibly well placed to make the most of all its wonderful attractions which create a unique proposition for local, domestic and international visitors. Working between two of Scotland’s strongest sectors of tourism and Scotch whisky has given me a great insight into how iconic Scotland is on the world stage, known for the beauty, history and culture of the country and of course its most famous export. I’m grateful to be in a position to chair such a collaborative organisation and look forward to helping Gordon and the ASVA team progress in the future.”
Welcoming Susan to her new post, Gordon Morrison, CEO of ASVA, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Susan is taking over at the helm at such a crucial time in ASVA’s development. We have a comprehensive strategy in place to help support and inspire Scottish visitor attractions to deliver sustainable, world class experiences, through promoting best practice, sharing experiences, supporting innovation and driving change. Susan will be key to helping us achieve our ambitious goals moving forward.
“In welcoming Susan, I’d also like to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of our previous Chair, Douglas Walker, Commercial Director at Dynamic Earth, who led ASVA so ably during a sustained period of growth in both our membership and services”.