A visitor experience support and recruitment co-ordinator at The Scotch Whisky Experience has scooped the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions ‘Rising Star’ Award.
Alison Shearer has been chosen as the winner of this year’s award, which is open to people aged under 30 working in Scottish tourism.
Alison joined The Scotch Whisky Experience in 2010 as a seasonal visitor assistant and on completion of her MA degree in Japanese and Linguistics in 2013 she joined on a full-time capacity.
She progressed through the ranks, conducting the attraction’s specialised masterclass tours and graduating to the tasting team in 2015.
Later that year Alison was promoted to office and recruitment co-ordinator. Her considerable aptitude for administration led to the creation of a new role within the business – her current one.
One of Alison’s key roles is to co-ordinate the company’s training programme. One recent notable achievement has been the introduction of a comprehensive training and development record, which allows SWE’s management team to access shared information on the progress of individual staff members and provides consistency of development across all departments in the business.
In addition, Alison has volunteered to conduct tour training with new members of the team, putting her own tour guiding experience to good use and honing her skills as a trainer, and has developed team training sessions including an insightful presentation on Japanese whisky based on her knowledge of the country and her passion for the product.
Alison also continues to display a commitment to developing her own product knowledge.
She has recently undergone additional tasting team training to allow her to conduct SWE’s advanced ‘Blend Your Own’ sessions, and this year put herself forward as a host for the attraction’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo hospitality packages, which included hosting a whisky tasting for 80 guests each evening and escorting them to the Castle Esplanade for the performance.
Alison said: “Receiving the Rising Star award from my peers is a tremendous honour. I am relishing being part of such as fantastic team here at The Scotch Whisky Experience and look forward to playing my part in developing the business in the future”.
Angela Dineen, deputy general manager at The Scotch Whisky Experience said: “Alison continues to display a strong desire and commitment to deliver exceptional customer service and constantly looks for ways to improve how we operate as a business with a view to enhancing the overall customer experience.
“We believe she has a very bright future within our industry and is certainly a rising star in our eyes.”