Penelope, Viscountess Cobham has been announced as the Chairman of VisitEngland, the new national body for tourism in England. The announcement from the Department for Culture Media and Sport will see Lady Cobham leading the new strategic body which will come into operation from 1 April 2009.
To date, VisitEngland has existed as an advisory board to the England marketing division within VisitBritain. Following consultation with the English tourism industry via the British Tourism Framework Review, the need for a separate and distinct body for tourism within England was identified.
Hugh Taylor, current Chairman of the VisitEngland Board, who will step down on 31st March, offered his congratulations to Lady Cobham:
“I am delighted that Lady Cobham will be chairing VisitEngland. She will bring highly relevant, senior management and commercial experience to the vital task of determining and leading the delivery of a future strategy. Over the past six years the England executive has achieved real success marketing England and building relationships via the Partners for England forum. The launch of the new VisitEngland, building on this experience, marks the start of an exciting era for English tourism and brings with it a wealth of opportunities. I have no doubt that Lady Cobham’s vision and leadership will drive forward English tourism to a prosperous future.”
Lady Cobham chairs the British Casino Association as well as the Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries, the largest of the UK arts prizes, and is a board member, trustee or consultant to a number of public bodies and private businesses. She was appointed to the Board of VisitBritain in 2003, and named as its deputy chairman in 2005, from which she will stand down in order to take up the VisitEngland role.
Penelope, Viscountess Cobham said:
“There is a unanimous view that in a devolved environment, England should have a stand alone strategic leadership body which truly represents the private and public stakeholders of English tourism to advance England’s products and services for both overseas and domestic visitors. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to Chair VisitEngland and it is hoped that a Chief Executive will be announced soon.”
The senior management team for the new body is now in place with Amanda Smith as Head of Marketing, Jenny McGee as Head of Strategy and Engagement and Jeremy Brinkworth as Head of Industry Services