Island women come tops at tourism awards

Yvonne Murray, formerly of Ness on the Isle of Lewis, scooped the Young Highland Ambassador of the Year title at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards recently.

Having worked for an independent television company in Aberdeen for a couple of years, where she worked on the recent BBC Scotland documentaries on Travellers as Assistant Producer as well as numerous BBC ALBA programmes, Yvonne is now based in Inverness where she is the marketing and events manager at Bogbain Farm, in the Drumossie area of the city.

She is the Director of the Inverness Whisky Festival, the Wild West Fest and is organising a new music festival with craft beer revolutionaries, BrewDog.

Bogbain was formerly a children’s activity centre but Yvonne masterminded its new development into focusing the company on becoming a top class facility for adults outdoor activities as well as being an arts and wedding venue.

Judges praised her creativity and success in steering Bogbain into more prosperous territory, as well as generating more tourism opportunities in the area.

Yvonne said of her success “To win the Best Young Ambassador at the 2011 Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards was not only a genuine shock, but also a very humbling honour.

“I can’t believe I won such a big award and am so proud to be winning it whilst representing Bogbain Farm. So many people throughout my life told me, and continue to tell me, I’d amount to nothing, and winning this gives me the confidence and assurance that I’m going in the right direction with the plans and aims I have.

“The added bonus of receiving Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland Scholarship and also the RBS Mentoring Training is absolutely amazing – I can’t wait to see what the next year brings and what more can be achieved from winning such a prestigious prize like this.”

Ina Davies, from North Uist, also walked away with the Best Leader award for her work at the Ramada Encore Hotel in Inverness.