Glasgow Airport's head of human resources, Craig Martin, has been appointed as the new chair of Glasgow Welcomes, the city’s tourism service initiative.

Craig, who has been vice chair of Glasgow Welcomes for the past two years, takes over the top role from well-known city restaurateur James Rusk.

Owner of award-winning The Butchershop Bar & Grill in the west end and Hutcheson’s on Ingram Street, James is stepping down from the chair position due to increased work commitments.

Craig takes on his new responsibilities as Glasgow Welcomes chair with immediate effect. He has been a key member of Glasgow Airport’s management team since January 2011 and has spent his entire career as a HR professional working across various industrial sectors including oil and gas, manufacturing and construction for companies such as the Weir Group and the McVitie’s division of United Biscuits.

Craig was born in Glasgow but moved to Perth at the age of 10, returning to study at Strathclyde University and has lived and worked in the city since then.

He said: “Ensuring customers consistently receive the highest possible standards of service and are guaranteed a first-class experience every step of the way is absolutely vital to the success and profitability of any business or organisation. Service excellence is even more crucial these days as customers are much more discerning and better travelled - so their expectations are even higher.

“To keep ahead of the competition as a world-class visitor destination and top tourism city, Glasgow needs to ensure every visitor is not just satisfied but totally impressed. Visitors often say that the thing they like most about Glasgow is our people and Glasgow Welcomes is directly aligned to the city’s People Make Glasgow brand; it’s something which we can all identify with.

“To ensure we maintain our reputation for delivering an outstanding visitor experience, we need to support our people and enable and encourage them to go that extra mile to delight their customers. It is vital to our city’s economy to ensure that we not only attract visitors to come here to spend, but that we make certain they leave with brilliant memories so that they will come back again and recommend Glasgow to others.”

Launched in 2010, Glasgow Welcomes is an ndustry-led partnership initiative supported by the Glasgow Tourism & Events Leadership Group - which comprises Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Scottish Enterprise, and national tourism organisation VisitScotland.

Managed by VisitScotland on behalf of industry and partners, Glasgow Welcomes is funded principally by Scottish Enterprise, with Skills Development Scotland and the city partners providing additional funding.

With a focus on people, skills and service excellence, the initiative is an integral element of Glasgow’s Tourism Strategy.