Gavin Baxter is going places in tourism industry

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AN events management student from Queen Margaret University (QMU) has graduated with flying colours after winning a new university scholarship to address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in the events and tourism sector.

Gavin Baxter, 27, was awarded the scholarship by QMU, which is geared towards LGBT studies in the tourism and events industry.

With its specialisms in tourism and events, QMU has teamed-up with US-based TravelAdvocates to offer the scholarship to up to two students a year over the next three years.

The TravelAdvocates LGBT Studies Travel and Research Scholarship helps QMU students carry out their own independent research into the current LGBT issues affecting the tourism and events sector.

Gavin used his scholarship to help fund his final dissertation project, which focused on what motivated people to attend this year’s Edinburgh Pride Festival, including post-Brexit political and social factors.

While a student at QMU, Gavin also got the opportunity to work and travel in both the United States and Canada via the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Education Foundation, including working as a Conference Coordinator at The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference in Washington D.C.

Gavin graduated with a BA (Hons) Events Management at QMU’s recent graduation ceremony in Edinburgh and is now working as a conference host for Crowne Plaza Hotels in Edinburgh city centre and hopes to develop his career in the events industry by continuing to travel internationally and work on large scale major events in the future.

Commenting on his scholarship success and QMU experience, Gavin said: “This scholarship has been a fantastic addition to the awards that are given by QMU and their sponsors. It doesn’t just give you the chance to enhance your studies for your coursework, but it gives you the opportunity to meet inspirational and fantastic people that can help you within your career.

“I recently spoke to the sponsor from TravelAdvocates to express my sincere thanks and I really encourage future students and recipients of this award to make good use of it as it can do wonderful things for your education and career.

“QMU has changed my life. From being the shy individual and being scared to express my passion for the events industry, the lecturers, students’ union and fellow students have helped me come out of my shell and celebrate the amazing opportunities that have come my way in the past two years.”

The university will continue to fund scholarships that support both LGBT and other minority groups who wish to pursue these studies in the future.