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The Visit West Lothian Team

The Visit West Lothian Board are committed to helping promote West Lothian as a Visitor Destination. They meet regularly throughout the year to work on specific projects and plan the strategic direction for West Lothian.  They also benefit from the support and knowledge of a wider network of individuals who support VWL's activities in an Advisor capacity.

  • Tony Foster

    Board Chairperson

    Tony worked for many years in students unions in Edinburgh and Paisley and cinema marketing in Glasgow. He is the elected Chairperson of the Visit West Lothian Board as is passionate about increasing the reputation of West Lothian as a visitor destination. Tony is Chief Executive of Kirknewton Community Development Trust (KCDT) which is a non-profit making organisation formed in 2006, with Tony joining the team in 2011. The KCDT is currently working on a housing project and Charles Jencks art installation.

  • Robin Chesters

    Vice Chairperson

    Robin is the Director of Almond Valley Heritage Centre, Livingston which was created in 1990. With such a wealth of knowledge and having worked in the West Lothian tourism industry for the last 20 years, Robin's local knowledge and tourism experience is very beneficial for Visit West Lothian. As a social enterprise, they have built a sustainable business that involves and serves both our visitors and the wider community and they have ongoing and ambitious plans for continued progress.

  • Provost Tom Kerr

    Board Director

    Cllr Kerr was first elected as councillor in 1992 and has been Provost for West Lothian Council since 2007.  Tom's career was spent in seafaring and marine consultancy which took him to many destinations across the globe.  Cllr Kerr is passionate about West Lothian and is keen to strengthen the role that tourism can play as part of the wider economy.

  • Geraldine Hamilton

    Board Director

    Geraldine is the owner of Crosswoodhill Farm Holiday Cottages near West Calder. With 4 fabulous self-catering properties, and with award success, Geraldine is known for her commitment to high standards. She is also a board member of the Association of Scottish Self Caterers (ASSC). The ASSC is committed to the principles of quality, and to promoting high and consistent standards in self-catering. 

  • Stephan Riegel

    Board Director

    Stephan Riegel is director of "Hospitality Advisory Services (HAS)" which was launched in 1999 and is based in West Lothian. HAS provides operational assistance and works hands-on with SMEs in the hospitality and tourism industry. Stephan worked internationally for many years before settling in Scotland. The main reason for joining the Board of Visit West Lothian was to assist with developing the medium to long-term strategic focus for the company. Stephan is also very interested in enhancing tourism development in West Lothian and improving service levels and professionalism.

  • Professor John Ensor

    Board Director

    John Ensor is a Professor in Marketing at the Business School, Edinburgh Napier University. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and also holds Chartered Marketer status. Prior to working in higher education he had 12 years senior management experience in the retail sector. John's main research and knowledge transfer interests lie in the areas of strategic marketing, tourism marketing and organisational creativity and innovation. He has published three books and a number of articles in these areas.

  • David Allen

    Board Director

    David is one of the Chief Directors of People 1st for Scotland and has extensive knowledge and experience of skills and development. He has over 23 years of experience successfully managing, developing and growing leading hospitality and tourism related businesses across Scotland and the UK. Having lived in West Lothian his whole life, David's role on the board is very important as he has local knowledge of tourism in the area and knows where best to target specific projects and strategies.

     

  • Emma Chalmers

    Board Director

    Emma is the founder of Mary's Meanders Tours which is based in Linlithgow and offers Outlander themed and Ancestral tours across Scotland and guided walks of Linlithgow. Emma has over 15 years of running her own businesses; Ireland's first Concierge company followed by a children's party business here in Scotland. Providing a top class level of customer service has been a theme throughout and continues with Mary's Meanders. Emma is passionate about raising West Lothian's profile and bringing more visitors to our county.

  • Dave Rice

    Board Director

    Dave grew up in West Lothian and has lived here for most of his life. With a lifetime in sales and marketing he has worked in or around the travel industry for many years.  A history in travel journalism has also given him experience of how other tourism communities approach things. Dave is Director and co-founder of Dogtag, an internet-based niche-market sports travel insurer, highly focused on customer relations and membership retention. Amongst other things, Dave brings his knowledge of web marketing and competing in the murky world of the internet search engine. His wife having retired from farming, in 2016 she and Dave launched a self-catering holiday log cabin which is already showing good results and they now have ambitions to expand the operation.

  • Neil Mackinnon

    Board Director

    Neil is a Chartered Accountant who runs Arm in Arm Accounting, a Chartered Accountancy practice based in Linlithgow. He was previously Finance Director at Sun Microsystems' computer manufacturing plant  in Linlithgow, and CFO of Certus Group based in Edinburgh. He has lived almost all his life in West Lothian and will bring a wealth of financial experience to support Visit West Lothian.

  • Gaurav Malhotra

    Board Director

    Gaurav has extensive knowledge and experience in the hospitality industry which makes him an essential representative of the food and drink industry for the board. He previously managed a number of restaurants including The Bayleaf, Ashoka Shak and The Casual Dining Group. Gaurav currently runs the Bus Stop Cafe located in the heart of Bathgate.  Gaurav can contribute his knowledge of the Food and Drink industry to the Board in order to ensure we are doing all that we can to promote and realise the potential of the food and drink sector in West Lothian as part of the visitor industry.

  • Manuela Calchini

    Non-Executive Board Director

    Manuela is one of our Non-Executive Directors on the board and works for VisitScotland which gives her a wealth of knowledge regarding the national tourism industry. This experience helps in ensuring the board are aligned to the national agenda and fully up to speed with VisitScotland's current performance and activities. She has extensive knowledge of the sector and is committed to helping develop and galvanice the visitor industry in West Lothian.

  • Amy Mack

    Non-Executive Board Director

    Amy is the Regional Tourism and Community Manager for Historic Environment Scotland and can provide a national perspective of the organisation she works for and how this can help inform West Lothian's activities.  West Lothian benefits from a number of Historic Environment Scotland properties including Linlithgow Palace, Cairnpapple, Torphichen Preceptory as well as neighbouring Blackness Castle which Visit West Lothian works closely with. 

  • Catherine Bowie

    Advisor

    Catherine is a qualified trainer for the WorldHost Customer Service Training Program. She has extensive knowledge of the Tourism Industry and has knowledge of strategies which are effective. She can provide training to businesses regarding customer service and with her skills and knowledge and can create a more sophisticated service standard for all businesses.

  • Anna Young

    Tourism Executive

    Anna is the Tourism Executive of Visit West Lothian and has significant experience and knowledge in the local tourism sector.  Anna's studies include a Geography Honours degree from Strathclyde University followed by an Msc in Urban Regeneration at the University of Glasgow.  More recently Anna completed an executive certificate in Destination Leadership at Edinburgh Napier University which provided plenty of useful learning which could be applied to West Lothian.  Anna is committed to working with West Lothian's visitor economy to help it realise its true potential.  

  • Cameron Spence

    Tourism Assistant

    Cameron is currently studying Business Studies at Edinburgh Napier University and is carrying out a 12 month work placement at Visit West Lothian as part of his studies.

    He provides assistance to Anna and advertises West Lothian on social media platforms and the Visit West Lothian website.