Michael is the CEO of ASVA, with responsibility for the vision, strategy, operational performance, and leadership of the organisation.
“I joined ASVA because simply put, the attraction of attractions was irresistible, and it is a real privilege to support our attractions that are a key part of the global identity of Scotland. ASVA is led by the needs of its members and by delivering outstanding value will always be a must-join organisation for attractions and trade businesses. As well as working to overcome the short-term challenges in tourism, we are forward-thinking and will highlight opportunities created by technology and support the sustainable transition of the sector. We will be clear, transparent, and responsive and deliver our vision, to support Scottish visitor attractions to deliver outstanding experiences for each and every visitor.”
Formerly CEO of Visit Inverness Loch Ness, Michael spent four years leading this world-renowned destination. During that time and despite the challenges of the pandemic, the organisation doubled its staff size and return on investment for its members. The five-year Business Plan was fully delivered within four years. Among other performance outputs, this included reaching 23M people annually through social media. Michael also led the destination to be a global leader in sustainability, built on a foundation that included becoming the first carbon-neutral Business Improvement District in the UK. The profile was also significantly raised with one piece of media coverage per day on average during the last twelve months in post. The organisation was recognised for its performance with the ITB Earth Award, Destination Management Organisation of the Year by UKInbound and the Highlands and Islands Climate Champion. Michael was also awarded the IoD Sustainability Director of the Year and was voted a top speaker at the national tourism conference and at an international conference in Toulouse.
In addition to his executive role, Michael is a board member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and a representative on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Leadership Group. He has also been a judge of the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards as well as Chair of the Highland Tourism Partnership. Lastly, he is currently Vice-Chair of High Life Highland, the largest charity in the Highland turning over £32M, with over 700FTE’s. The charity delivers a broad range of activities, including leading the development of Inverness Castle, which will see it transformed from a court and prison to a leading visitor attraction.