Alan Rankin

Alan has operated at Chief Executive level for 20 years and at national strategic level in Scottish tourism for 15 years. He is a respected strategist, operator and innovator who has a track record of success. Summary document available to download here

2014 Principal Coigach Consulting Ltd
Having gained experience of working with wide cross section of national agencies, funding streams, large and small business operators, community and sector  groups I have established Coigach Consulting. Through the new consultancy service I will work with businesses, destinations and public agencies across Scotland supporting and developing a strengthening tourism economy.

2007-2014 Chief Executive Cairngorms Business Partnership
Moved to lead an area DMO in 2007 recognising the power of ‘the destination’ to drive forward improved product, improved service and collaboration that would lead to business growth. As Chief Executive I took the organisation through strategic change from a local Tourism DMO to a highly respected Park-wide business group. Initiated and managed the merger of local Chamber of Commerce and DMO. In partnership with private and public sector stakeholders successfully created a wide range of innovations that have had led to the strengthening of tourism and wider economic development across three areas of; Marketing, Economic Development and Advocacy.

2004- 2007 Chief Executive Scottish Tourism Forum
Involved at senior level in developing tourism industry strategies. Successfully took the national tourism trade body through a period of change doubling membership and successfully raised the standing of STF within the industry, the public sector and the media. Created and delivered the first Scottish Tourism Week, managed public sector contracts, industry seminars, conferences and workshop programmes.

2003-2004 Alan Rankin Consulting Services ARCServ
Consultancy services to tourism and retail operators providing resource to funding applications, project management and feasibility study projects including: Crieff Pharmacy purchase, Science Centre Review and Big Tree Country merchandise project.

1996- 2003 Chief Executive Dundee Heritage Trust
Recruited by Dundee Heritage Trust to take the Trust’s trading company from a curatorial led organisation to a commercial trading company. Successfully took two visitor attractions to five star grading and through strategic change formulated and directed personnel and commercial restructuring and delivered a successful events programme. In 2001 devised and brought a fleet of tall ships to Dundee creating a one-off festival attracting 50,000 people and contributed £2.1m to the economy.

1995-1996 Operations Manager Pepkor (SA) Your More Store
Management of 110 discount retail stores with sales of £31m and 1200 staff. Sharp focus on volume sales, staff management, and fast moving operational challenges.

1986 – 1995 Director Gibson of Perth Ltd.
Divisional main board director managing £4m turnover of products sourced from overseas and supplied to national DIY multiple customers. Commercial Director responsible for sales and marketing to national multiple retailers and product development. Commercial Director, responsible for product sourcing, shipping, warehousing, packaging and distribution.

 Interests outside work
Life is not all about work and through an active and competitive approach to most activities Alan enjoys the great outdoors, the sea, islands and running. Alan believes that energy produces energy!

  • I maintain a keen interest in sport through sailing, hill running and walking.
  • Charity re-enactment of RL Stevenson’s Kidnapped in 2016
  • Singlehanded charity sailing voyage around UK and Ireland 2013
  • The first person to single-handedly circumnavigate Scotland by sail and cycle, 2006.
  • Four times class winner of the Scottish Islands Three Peaks Race.
  • Past Chairman Ocean Youth Trust Scotland sail training charity.
  • International athlete and seven times Scottish Decathlon Champion.
  • I have a keen interest in the history and environmental and ecological issues affecting Scotland and in particular the West Coast.


Business Collaborations

  • Track record of successful and creative organisational restructuring, leadership and management.
  • Cairngorms Business Partnership seen as one of Scotland’s most enterprising and innovative local membership organisations: restructured and designed a membership engagement structure appealing to multiple sectors resulting in increase in membership from 110 to 360 members.
  • Aviemore and the Cairngorms DMO: restructured membership proposition taking membership from 42 to 110.
  • The Scottish Tourism Forum wholly overhauled the membership terms and structures resulting in repositioning of the organisation and doubling membership.
  • Repositioned Dundee Heritage Trust from that of a curatorial led organisation to a commercial body deriving new incomes from trading activities across retail catering, conference and events.

Revenue Development

  • Pushed retail sales growth in visitor attractions, membership sales growth, sponsorship revenues, advertising revenues and
  • Built private sector revenues and managed a range of print publications and digital advertising channels driving advertising sales and membership incomes.

Print Management

    • Led the acquisition of tourism print titles and paid for advertising monthly and annual tourism guides.
  • Led multiple tourism leaflet development, design, print and distribution projects across many sectors.

Business Communications

  • Successfully initiated mail newsletters and communications between membership groups and sector specific groups utilising traditional email and emerging social media channels along with B2B web sites.

Public Sector Stakeholder Engagement

  • In-depth knowledge and first hand dealing with the main public sector partners of Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Visit Scotland, Local Authorities, Forestry Commission Scotland, SNH and NGOs

Multi stakeholder project management

  • I have managed many large scale public/private funded projects including ERDF, ESF, Enterprise, Visitscotland Growth Funds, Heritage Lottery Fund, revenue grants, capital grants and project grants.Extensive knowledge and understanding of public and private stakeholder demands

Marketing and Promotion

  • Contributed at the heart of tourism strategy developments around sustainable tourism and destination led strategies
  • Devised and implemented a wide range of venue, product and destination marketing initiatives. Using a wide range of digital, print, press advertising, PR and partnership marketing tools have delivered success with year on year growth of web traffic and onward referrals to member businesses
  • Partner programmes with Merrell and PENTAX

Web and Social Media

  • Alan has a track record of delivering high value digital solution across web, App and Social media channels
  • Build high preforming destination websites attracting year on year traffic growth.
  • Developed App based platforms
  • Led destination Facebook and Twitter communication channels reaching in excess of 1.6m per annum.

Event Creation

  • Created a yearlong series of events to celebrate the centenary of the launch of RRS Discovery attracting a wide range of partners, sponsors and stakeholders including NASA, British Antarctic Survey, Welcome Foundation, Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council
  • Devised from concept and secured funding to create the Dundee Tall Ships Festival. The event attracted twelve tall ships and brought 50,000 to Dundee waterfront generating 31.2m for the economy

Innovation in Tourism To date have introduced the following innovations to the Scottish tourism industry:

  • Created the first Destination Management Organisation/Chamber of Commerce membership organisation in Scotland
  • Introduced several features to destination website in advance of national agency adopting similar services
  • Tall Ships Events in Dundee attracting 50,000 visits and bringing £1.2m to local economy.
  • Devised and introduced Scottish Tourism Week in 2004
  • Introduced the concept of e-commerce workshops in 2002
  • Introduced the first destination Business Barometer drawing business and customer trends
  • First National Park in the world to have a business led App directory and events calendar
  • Devised and introduced the innovative Make it Yours business engagement campaign within the Cairngorms National Park

 Retail Knowledge

  • Operations Manager of a 120 store group across Scotland and North of England. Retailing at the sharp end of the discount sector building an absolute understanding of challenged facing retailers operating on fine margins and seasonal footfall.
  • Spent 10 years in supply to multiple retailers sector developing product ranges sourcing from around the world, branding and distribution.