Organisers invite the industry & beyond to take part virtually

Sunday 17th - Friday 22nd September 2023

With training well underway, ‘HIT the Crerar450’, a fundraising challenge set up by HIT Scotland in partnership with Crerar Hotels to raise vital funds for the Scottish hospitality industry, has welcomed sponsors and numerous sign ups from teams in every corner of the industry.

Chief Executive of Hospitality Industry (HIT) Scotland, David Cochrane is inviting teams to take part in the virtual challenge, starting on 17th September.

The fundraising wheels are already in motion as more than half of the fundraising total has been raised so far thanks to sponsors, which will help the charity to provide more than 30 number of scholarships.

Chief Executive and HIT Trustee Chris Wayne-Wills, CEO of Crerar Hotel Group, was the first to sign up to cycle the Crerar450 route – a total of more than 450 miles – to raise funds for the sector, starting from Balmoral Arms in Ballater and covering all of the Crerar Hotels and sister hotel Dunkeld House Hotel in Perthshire.

The aim is to complete the charity challenge within six consecutive days however those who would like to take part virtually are being invited to sign up now and support from their own locations. The challenge is not only for cycle enthusiasts, individuals or teams can also walk, run or swim the 450 miles throughout the week from a location of their choice and complete it virtually.

Teams across Scotland are coming together to take part virtually with My Virtual Mission, letting you check in on your progress with friends, family, and colleagues, making it fun and promoting health & wellbeing and perfect if you’re looking for motivation to get your steps up this September.

So far, sponsors such as Journey Hospitality and Luxury Textiles are on board to support the event. Journey Hospitality have also signed up with a full team whilst Luxury Textiles are providing cycling clothing for those taking part.

All funds raised from the ‘HIT the Crerar450’ challenge will go towards providing empowering inspirational development to those studying or working in the hospitality industry in Scotland – a topic which both David and Chris feel very passionate about.

Chris Wayne-Wills, CEO of Crerar Hotels Group, said: “It’s not too late for those looking to support HIT Scotland to sign up. In fact, taking part virtually is really simple and we’re urging anyone who walks, runs or cycles to take part and help us raise much needed funds.

“Over the past few years, the hospitality industry has been hit hard due to various factors, and the worry is that people are unaware of how great an industry it is to be a part of. To encourage young people in particular to build a career in this great sector, all money raised throughout the challenge will go towards HIT Scotland’s scholarship programme.

“This all-important fundraising will help emerging talent begin their careers in the best possible way and support them throughout their hospitality journey.”

David adds: “People are key to both hospitality and tourism; they are at the heart of every business, so it is incredibly important to ensure there is support for those looking to join the industry and to ensure its available to everyone.

“HIT the Crerar450 Challenge is a way for us to come together as an industry and raise as much money as possible, as none of us know what the next few years will bring. We’ve had some brilliant sponsors sign up to support us, with all sponsorship funds going directly to HIT Scotland, and we’ve seen teams of colleagues sign up to take part together which is brilliant to see.”

Simon Bullingham, Founder and CEO of Journey Hospitality, said: "We're proud to be sponsoring HIT the Crerar450. It's an iconic and ambitious event to raise funds for our industry. The team at Journey Hospitality will also be getting involved. We're committing to cycling, running and swimming the 450 miles to raise support for those studying and working in the hospitality industry in Scotland.”

The challenge will begin from the Balmoral Arms in Ballater and visit Thainstone House Hotel in Inverurie, Golf View Hotel & Spa in Nairn, The Glencoe Inn, Oban Bay Hotel, the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa in Inveraray and Dunkeld House Hotel before returning to the Balmoral Arms in Ballater to complete the route. Anyone is welcome to join Chris and David for all or part of the route and help raise valuable funds for HIT Scotland.

The challenge is inspired by the Scottish hotel group’s Crerar450 road trip – a route which takes in all 450 miles between all seven, four-and five-star Crerar Hotels properties and rivals other popular road trips such as the NC500 or the Kintyre 66.

To join the challenge, virtually or with Chris and the rest of the team, please email or to donate visit For more information, visit

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