Ellon’s own dame offers up her advice

Ellon woman Alison Christie
Ellon woman Alison Christie

A general manager from Ellon at one of the North-east’s leading hotels has more than experience to her name.

Alison Christie is a manager with a wealth of knowledge of the hotel industry, but she is also a dame.

Alison, 52, was crowned Dame of Hospitality by the Scottish Hotel Awards for her dedication.

Currently working at the Thistle Aberdeen Airport Hotel as a general manager, she has worked in the hospitality sector for over 30 years.

Growing up at Chapel of Garioch in Aberdeenshire, Alison got a taste for the industry at a very young age.

She spent most of her childhood at her grandparents’ pub in Inverurie – The Black Bull Inn – which was in the family for over a century up until six years ago.

After leaving school Alison studied for an Ordinary National Diploma in Hotel Catering and Hospitality at Aberdeen College, initially planning a career as a cook.

Alison said: “The more I studied, the more interested I became in all aspects of the hotel industry. It was a great course, and the best part of it was being able to do a 16 week placement.

“I did mine at what at the time was known as the Skean Dhu at the airport. I absolutely loved it and the HR department told me to get back in touch if I was interested in working with them in future.”

After college, Alison started as a head waitress for the firm and quickly worked up to a junior assistant manager.

She stayed there for 10 years before transferring to the company’s Mercury Hotel in Ellon, as a deputy manager before becoming a general manager.

Thistle Aberdeen Airport welcomed Alison eight years ago where she manages 85 staff.

She hopes that her progression up the career ladder will show young people that hospitality is a worthwhile career which brings huge rewards for those who show drive and dedication.

She said: “The best piece of advice I could give a young person is to get stuck in and learn from every department. The hospitality industry is exciting and varied - no two days are ever the same – with opportunities to work all over the world, particularly with international hotel groups such as Thistle.”