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Sheena Kitchin, Craft Tourism Manager (p/t)

Meet Sheena Kitchin, the Craft Tourism Manager for Craft Scotland.

Sheena KitchinWhat do you do at Craft Scotland? 

I was appointed to the new role of Craft Tourism Manager in February 2013 with a remit to create a tourism strategy and action plan for 2014. This is going to involve some research and lots of communication to find out what will be mutually beneficial to both craft and tourism sectors.

How do you help Scottish craft or makers?

I want to introduce tourism professionals to the variety of ‘craft experiences’ they can include in their visitor itineraries.  This will create opportunities for craft makers to gain new audiences and raise the profile of craft within the tourism industry in Scotland and further afield. I hope that makers will come forward with their own suggestions for engaging with tourists so that we can develop a ‘bank’ of ideas to help tour and hospitality operators plan their programmes.

What are your top three professional achievements?

1. Creating a quality tourism business on a shoestring from scratch

2. A large file of testimonials from happy customers worldwide

3. Appointment to the Board of VisitScotland

What are your top three craft moments?

1. Buying my first piece, a ceramic lamp base, from a maker in Islay

2. Helping a silversmith friend at Craft Fairs

3. Commissioning unique pieces directly from makers for conference and incentive clients

What are your top five skills tags?

1. Tourism experience

2. Marketing

3. Communication 

4. Strategic planning

5. Collaboration

What's your background?

I was an airline management trainee long ago and that fostered my love of discovering destinations. When I started my first tourism business I had to learn very quickly what Scotland could offer to different types of visitors. More than 25 years later I’m still learning, and loving the variety and quality in this country. I was Managing Director of Destination Scotland for 15 years during which time we organised hundreds of fabulous experiences for visitors from all over the world.

Since then, I have worked with all kinds of tourism companies as a consultant in business or product development. I also managed the Food Tourism Scotland project, which encouraged hospitality businesses to serve the type of food visitors hope to find here. It involved highlighting food opportunities and helping to connect food suppliers with new tourism business customers – something I hope to be able to do now with craft makers.

Tell us something surprising about you:

I’ve been used as ballast in a helicopter during airworthiness tests!

Finally, what's your favourite beverage

During the day I'll have tea or water, but in the evening I like to relax with a glass of wine. A single malt late evening can also go down well!

Sheena Kitchin

Contact Sheena:

Get in touch with Sheena with any questions about Scottish craft tourism.

Sheena Kitchin
Craft Tourism Manager

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