Theresa Mackay has long had an interest in tourism in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, making a point of visiting there at least once per year. Her research interest lies in the earliest days of the Scottish hospitality industry, around the dawn of the 19th century.
“I wanted to explore what tourism was like during that time,” says Mackay. “Prior to the railways, how would gentry class have explored the Highlands and Islands, what would they have experienced and what hospitality infrastructure was developed to service the growth in number of tourists?”
In May of 2017, Mackay was invited to present at the Women, Money and Markets 1750-1850 Conference hosted by King’s College London. There she was a member of a panel called Working Women: Women and Employment, where she had the opportunity to present her award-winning research that identified more than 60 female innkeepers who were responsible for building the hospitality infrastructure in the Highlands and Islands between 1790 and 1840.
Her work can be found in the Journal of Scottish Historical Studies (Vol 37, Issue 2), on the BBC and on Episode 42 and 43 of the Under the Tartan Sky podcast.