By Press Office

An International Hospitality & Tourism Management student has won a top industry award at the recent Queen Margaret University (QMU) graduation ceremony in Edinburgh.

Rebecca Symonds, 22, from Holm in Orkney won the Institute of Hospitality prize for best student on QMU's International Hospitality & Tourism Management programme. The Institute of Hospitality is the professional body for individual managers and aspiring managers working and studying in the hospitality, leisure and tourism (HLT) industry.

Rebecca has also been nominated as one of the UK’s Best Undergraduate Student of Tourism 2017 by the Association of Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE). ATHE is the subject association for tourism in higher education in the UK. The Association celebrates the impact that teaching, learning and research in tourism can have on society.  The Association is striving to ensure that the case for tourism in higher education is heard by the relevant stakeholders and sees this award scheme as recognising excellence in building leadership and management capacity in the visitor economy and understanding global complexity through tourism.

Rebecca attended Kirkwall Grammar School before moving to university in Edinburgh.  She graduated from QMU in July with a first class BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Commenting on her award success, Rebecca said:

"I’m honoured to have won the Institute of Hospitality prize and been nominated for the Association of Tourism in Higher Education award. It’s great that my work over the last four years has been recognised. I’d like to thank all my lecturers for their support throughout university."
Rebecca Symonds, BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism Management


“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at QMU learning about the many aspects of management in the hospitality and tourism industries. I’m grateful for the opportunities that were available at QMU, including industry placements and employment as a QMU Student Ambassador. The knowledge, skills and experience I’ve gained from my time at QMU has developed my confidence and I feel I can transfer these skills to future employment opportunities.”

Rebecca is currently working as a seasonal Visitor Services Advisor at VisitScotland Kirkwall iCentre and is applying for graduate positions in the tourism sector.

Throughout her four years at QMU, Rebecca was a member of the University’s Badminton, Good Food and Tennis societies. She was also the President of Good Food Society for 2016/17 and was awarded the Society Scarlet award at QMU’s Grand Ball ceremony.

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