Scottish Borders tourism is losing a valuable and ‘weel kent’ face as Sandi Hellowell, regional director for VisitScotland, steps down following 17 years in the local tourism industry.
Following three years as regional director for the Scottish Borders Sandi is retiring this month.
Sandi, who previously worked as a teacher, first joined Scottish tourism in 1994 and has covered a variety of roles.
These include information centre manager for both Kelso and Melrose, providing services to visitors; a tourism training coordinator providing support and skills development to tourism businesses; strategy and partnership executive at VisitScotland working with area tourism partnerships and her current role as regional director for the South of Scotland.
New regional director Paula McDonald has 14 years experience in the tourism industry with her expertise including business development, sales, marketing and PR and operations management.
Describing herself as a ‘truly proud Scot’, Paula has worked in both hotel and conference sectors including Hilton Hotels, Malmaison in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, Edinburgh International Conference Centre and Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
Her previous roles have included head of sales at the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, sales manager for the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre and resident manager at Malmaison.
Sandi said: “Whilst I am officially taking a back seat I shall continue to be an active ambassador for tourism. With my new found spare time I aim to be a tourist re-acquainting myself with as many areas of Scotland as possible as well as enjoying what is right on my doorstep. I am sure that Paula will enjoy the role with VisitScotland, as I have, and I wish her all the best.”