Sara Mair Bellshaw
Senior Project & Innovation Manager
Sara joined CRTR in 2016 to coordinate the Slow Adventure in Northern Territories (SAINT) project. Working with micro-businesses in the Highlands to capitalise on the current interest in nature-based outdoor experiences is the aim of this 2015-2018 transnational project led by CRTR. Co-financed by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, the €1.7 million project draws together a range of partners in Ireland, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland and Sweden. Sara has focused on turning the ‘slow adventure’ concept into a marketable product by working with businesses to cluster, collaborate and create new slow adventure products. Both product and marketing activities have been designed and developed with the target market in mind which are currently implemented through a regional and transnational digital marketing campaign - #slowadventuring.
Sara has recently taken on the role of Projects Manager following CRTR’s recent success in securing a variety of new projects and is now managing both SAINT and CAPITEN. The Atlantic Cluster for Technological and Economic Innovation in the Marine Tourism Industry project (CAPITEN) which is part-funded by Interreg Europe’s Atlantic Area aims to encourage the economic development of businesses and job creation in the marine tourism sector, and facilitate the emergence of innovative new practices, products and services to boost the attractiveness of the marine sector in the 'Atlantic Arc'. This 3 year project is led by the Regional Council of Brittany and there are 18 partners involved in 6 countries - Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal.
MScEcon International Business Management, Prifysgol Cymru Aberystwyth/University of Wales Aberystwyth
BA (Hons) in French and History, Prifysgol Cymru Aberystwyth/University of Wales Aberystwyth
Sara has a background in economic development, destination and tourism marketing. She started her career working for Menter a Busnes, an economic development company in Wales, as Project Coordinator for the Welsh Government’s Local Supplier Development Programme in Powys. An opportunity to return to France lead Sara back to the French Alps where she had lived whilst studying and she spent the next six years teaching French to international employees, working for a European consultancy firm, and in operational and marketing roles for adventure tourism businesses. A move to Scotland, along with husband and baby boy, lead Sara to the Highlands and eventually to work as Project Officer for one of Lochaber’s destination organisations, Outdoor Capital of the UK, during which she gained invaluable experience in destination and tourism marketing and working with small businesses. Her work assisting, developing and working with small communities to be sustainable and resilient continued as Sara lead one of the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund Projects, the Arisaig Eco Project. The focus on sustainable buildings, sustainable communities and greener transport choices were a natural step towards sustainable and slow tourism and the SAINT project.
Sara is a busy mother of two and loves living and enjoying life with her family in the Scottish mountains! She also loves trail and mountain running, competing in races, and skiing and snowboarding in winter. Sara is also an accomplished harpist.