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Published on Tuesday, March 30, 2021

South of Scotland Destination Alliance appoints first CEO

The newly established South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) has appointed its first Chief Executive.

Ross McAuley, a Scot with more than 20 years international commercial and marketing experience, will take on the leadership role in May.

In addition to driving forward the SSDA's ambitious destination development plans, which include increasing tourism spend in the region to £1 billion by 2030 and creating 6,500 new jobs, he will oversee the SSDA's commitment to enabling the region's tourism and hospitality industry to recover in the wake of Covid-19.

He has a strong track record in destination management having previously led global tourism initiatives in the Middle East including nine years at luxury hospitality brand Jumeirah Group, followed by building a successful global travel and tourism consultancy business.

He joins the SSDA team, led by Project Manager Jemma Reid, who  brought together Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders as one destination through Scotland Starts Here, a marketing campaign and information hub.

Now featuring over 1000-member businesses, the campaign enters a pivotal phase of SSDA's marketing and product development.

"The South is the hidden gem of Scotland, overlooked in the past as a destination but with enormous potential to engage and inspire. By bringing Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders together, we're creating a new destination with the scale to bring tourism spend to local communities," said McAuley.

 "I believe that tourism will bounce back strongly - I can't wait to join the team and help develop a sustainable tourism strategy."

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