Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman of VisitBritain, the strategic body for inbound tourism, today announced the appointment of Sally Balcombe as the organisation's next Chief Executive Officer, following a competitive appointment process and with the full support of all board members.
Sally brings an impressive track record in the global travel sector having been Managing Director of British Airways Holidays and of the specialist sun division at TUI. As Commercial Director of Opodo and Chief Marketing Officer at Travelport, she has developed a deep understanding of the power of digital and technology to engage and motivate customers. Most recently Sally has been a Board member of VisitBritain, Governor of the Museum of London, Commissioner of English Heritage, and Non-Exec Director of Mr & Mrs Smith while also advising a number of businesses focusing on the digital area.
Christopher Rodrigues said: "This has to be as the most exciting tourism marketing job in the world. Sally inherits a great team and an organisation that has shown it can deliver results and ensure Britain remains competitive in international markets.
“Our inbound tourism figures continue to break records and the GREAT marketing campaign continues to raise the aspiration to travel to Britain. Our partnership marketing campaigns deliver the great deals that turn aspiration into bookings. The challenge now is to ensure that inbound tourism, Britain's fifth largest export industry, continues to deliver jobs and growth across the country in partnership with our strategic partners, the National Tourist Boards."
Sally Balcombe, VisitBritain's new CEO, added: "I'm delighted to take on this role and am looking forward to leading VisitBritain in an era in which marketing has become global and digital.
“VisitBritain is already a high-performing agency with a clear growth strategy for Britain through to 2020. My commercial experience and time as a Board Member means that I understand the need to focus on our customers, target our marketing to inspire them to explore Britain and work seamlessly across public and private sector partners to ensure we continue to deliver our ambitious plans for growth."
In addition, Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has asked Christopher Rodrigues if he would be willing to continue as Chair beyond the expiry of his current term and Christopher is delighted to have agreed.
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com