Networking & Events

Meet the Board

Introducing the SCOTO Board. Learn more about their backgrounds and passion for community tourism.
Our directors are
Russell Fraser (Chair)
Russell Fraser (Chair)

Loch Ness

"I’m Russell and I live in Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness, which lies within Glen Urquhart. You may have heard of our famous pile of old stones, Urquhart Castle and oh, yeah, our wee Loch is allegedly secreting a monster! 

I’m fortunate to be able to call Glen Urquhart my home and it’s vitally important to me that everyone visiting my home has the best and most immersive experience possible, creating memories to last a lifetime. 

I was lucky to have been on the HIE funded, ‘communities leading in tourism course’ where I got to meet inspirational colleagues from across Scotland, that I now call friends. 

It was their enthusiasm that sparked my initial idea of retaining and harnessing a network of community tourism organisations and knowledge sharing across Scotland.

It is also their skills, drive, knowledge and passion that has taken SCOTO to where it is today and I’m immensely proud to be a part of what everyone has worked so hard to build. 

As manager of Loch Ness Hub & Travel, (a community benefit society), I love being at the coal face of community tourism as it provides a platform to deliver that temporary local experience that SCOTO proudly promotes.

I’m past chair of Glen Urquhart Shinty Club and honoured to currently be Chair of Glen Urquhart Highland Gathering & Games, I also sit on the board of directors of Visit Inverness Loch Ness and an ambassador for Highland Tourism. 

If you’re ever passing through Drumnadrochit, feel free to pop into Loch Ness Hub visitor information centre and say hello, you can even use our community owned toilets next door and make a wee donation!"

Melanie Allen
Melanie Allen

Dumfries & Galloway

"Being part of the conversation on community tourism is really important at the moment and so I was delighted to have the opportunity to join the SCOTO Board.

As an alumni of the first co-hort for the Communities Leading in Tourism Programme, I’ve been inspired by the amazing initiatives, projects and stories unearthed by this journey.

There is something quite special when you bring people together to look at the ‘art of the possible’ with a mutual benefit in mind – putting people and our environment as equals to profit is one of the most empowering approaches to local enterprise – mix that in with visitors and the magic starts to happen.

Originally from Derbyshire, I moved to Scotland in 2016 and established Nithbank Country Estate, a 5* luxury tourism business with a sustainable, responsible and local focus.  My guiding light was the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, a UNESCO designated world class environment in SW Scotland, with a remit to promote living in a way that supports people and nature  - If you live, work, learn or play in the Biosphere then it belongs to you!

I was elected Chair of the Biosphere in 2021 and since that time have steered the organisation through its 10-year periodic review with UNESCO, extended the boundary area & marine environment to abut the Isle of Man Biosphere, and steered the development of a new 10-year strategy and operational plan.

My background spans several specialisms through working in the big corporate world to running a micro business, including: agriculture, renewable energy, property development, communications, digital marketing and of course tourism and hospitality – so completely adept on conversing on a wide range of topics, including the challenges & opportunities of public loos!

I also enjoy travel and being on the other side of the job – a busman’s holiday – the best adventures are ones where you chat with the locals, discover something unexpected, or experience that wee local gem that lingers in your mind for a wee while!"

Fiona Drane
Fiona Drane

Scottish Borders

"I have always loved selling Scotland from a young age.  So much so my mum said to me when I was waxing lyrical about Scotland to my French exchange student aged 14 that I should join the Tourist Board.  A few years later that is what I did working for the National, Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Tourist Boards before setting up a marketing consultancy with colleagues in 2007.


Working for the Scottish Borders Tourist Board changed my life as a city girl (born in Glasgow then lived in Edinburgh) I’d always wanted to live in the countryside.  Since moving and working here in the Scottish Borders for the past 23 years I realise how valuable the strong sense of community is but equally how fragile.  I am passionate about playing my part in making communities great places to live, work and visit with the community at the centre of that.  As well as working with rural tourism businesses I more recently have worked with community groups and see how transformative these projects can be and how inspiring.  As soon as I found out about SCOTO I was immediately excited and wanted to be part of the journey and I am delighted to being more formally part of this.  I have been so struck by the friendly sharing of information, the innovation of some of the community projects and the friendliness.


Finally, I am also a Trustee of Gunsgreen House in Eyemouth and a founding member of the Scotlandhour team on twitter which takes place last Wednesday of each month 9pm to 10pm and shares via a monthly theme what a great country Scotland is.  So, a bit older than 14 now but my love for promoting Scotland has only grown."

Emma Guy
Emma Guy

Scottish Borders

"I live in the Scottish Borders and my current focus is as Project Manager for the Mountain Bike 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in the South of Scotland in summer 2023. 

I have real passion for the power of communities, grown initially through The Hub in the Forest - a community tourism business rooted in the Tweed Valley and then cemented through the Communities Leading Tourism course run by the Social Enterprise Academy.  This led to me becoming the coordinator who helped scope out what SCOTO should be and then I became a founding director.  I am also a SOSE Board member – and am incredibly passionate about the South of Scotland.

I am a former professional downhill mountain bike athlete and graduate of Edinburgh College of Art."

Natasha Hutchison
Natasha Hutchison

Wester Ross

"I live in the northwest Highlands, near Ullapool. I admired the vision and mission of SCOTO as it developed, and was pleased to join the board in 2023. 

I’m the General Manager of the Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere, with a vision to create a sustainable and positive future on a landscape scale. Tourism is a big part of life in the Highlands, and much of our work has focused on identifying the balance between development and conservation to ensure the wellbeing of our people and place for generations to come. I also operate a small B&B, where I enjoy welcoming folk from all over the world, who are always interested in learning about our special place."

Norma Lyall
Norma Lyall


"I think my DNA is in the Angus soil. I really do love where I live and work. I’ve been connected to SCOTO since it’s inception, the Communities Leading in Tourism learning that we were part of really has led to great things.

Community and rural tourism has been at the heart of many projects I have worked and volunteered on. In most recent years the Glenesk Folk Museum and also a wonderful CLT transnational project with Meetjesland in Belgium and Bazinul Dornelor in Romania.

I’m a firm believer in life long learning and sharing knowledge. I am self employed, Flourish 9 is my business name. Currently I am  a development worker for Angus Tourism Cooperative, a membership organisation. 

One of my joys is being a trustee at a Murton Trust for The Environment and Education, a wonderful place that supports many young people in diverse ways through outdoor learning. My passion for local food and drink led to me being a joint founder of Appetite for Angus food and drink network.

Outdoors is where I thrive. I am immersed in my local community and when travelling love to do the same. Always curious to see what’s round the corner or have a good blether with the locals, an authentic meaningful connection is definitely a lasting one, particularly if there is food involved!"

David McCubbin
David McCubbin


"Hello! I live and work in Cullen on the Moray Firth coast, having relocated here in 2015 from Somerset. I have been delighted to be involved in SCOTO since not long after its launch attending the monthly gatherings and taking part in different SCOTO projects and initiatives. It is a wonderful organisation that was much needed to support the amazing work that happens at a community level and without which, tourism would be much poorer. I was honored to become a Director in April 2023. I am the Chair and an active volunteer of Discover Cullen (Cullen Voluntary Tourist Initiative) and currently work for tsiMORAY on a Facilitating Collaboration for a Just Transition project.

My background is in tourism having worked in both public and private sector roles and most recently, community tourism. I have held roles in a theme park, steam railway, aquarium and a sea school, and as a DMO Coordinator in Somerset and DMO Business Engagement Executive in Aberdeenshire. Since 2016 I have been the Chair of Discover Cullen. Discover Cullen operates a seasonal Tourist Office in Cullen town centre, supports the local tourism industry and organises the annual Cullen Skink World Championships."

Hello! I’m based between Callander near Stirling and Tarbert, Loch Fyne. I’ve been involved with SCOTO from the outset, having been the Social Enterprise Academy’s tourism adviser on the HIE funded Communities Leading in Tourism programme 2019-2022. I enabled the scoping work exploring the idea of SCOTO and am now Exec Director. I run my own business, ruralDimensions Ltd, here in Callander and am a trustee with the Callander Youth Project.

My background is in planning and landscape design, and I devoted a significant part of my career to the establishment and early development of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park from 1994 through to 2009. My focus was on the well-being of the businesses and communities within the Park and destination development and management. I have always been fascinated with people and place and believe community tourism, although not new, is of this moment. If anything, the pandemic has demonstrated that localness is a very powerful concept - and whether living somewhere or visiting, embracing that sense of localness will pay dividends.”

Catriona Waddington
Catriona Waddington


"Hi, Catriona here. I live in Unst, the northernmost inhabited island in Shetland. I'm proud to say that I have been involved with SCOTO since it was mooted for the very first time by our Chair Russell during a session on the Communities Leading in Tourism course. I'm now a Board member and the company secretary.

I'm the Chair of a charity called Wild Skies Shetland which encourages locals and visitors to appreciate the wondrous, ever-changing skies in Shetland – everything from the midnight sun to the northern lights, plus wild storms, dark skies and an amazing frequency of rainbows! We have a Sky Trail and a planetary trail on the island of Unst and organise various sky-related events. My professional background is in international health, and I currently work on a project that supports surveillance of antibiotic resistance in 24 low- and middle-income countries – that just shows that you can get involved in community tourism, whatever your background!

We always describe Wild Skies Shetland as a "lightsome" organisation. We do fun things that keep our volunteers, neighbours and visitors happy. After all, tourism is about enjoying yourself."

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