Saga Holidays managing director and former marketer Tom Wright is leaving the company to take the role of chief executive at the British Tourist Authority (BTA).
He replaces Jeff Hamblin, who became chief executive in January 1999 and is now retiring because of ill health.
Wright joins the BTA at the beginning of August. He has previously been sales and marketing director at Center Parcs UK and sales marketing and development director at Center Parcs Belgium, Holland and Germany.
Prior to working for Center Parcs he held sales, marketing and product development positions at Carlsberg-Tetley, Anchor Foods and United Biscuits.
Saga Holidays operations director Chris Simmonds has taken the role of acting managing director.
The BTA has launched a &£21m advertising campaign (Thursday 18 April) to attract overseas visitors to the UK.
The campaign is part of a &£40m rescue package put together to combat the downturn in tourism following the September 11 attacks, which came only months after the foot-and-mouth crisis.
The campaign is jointly managed with the BTA and funded by the Government and private partners. The ad was created by BMP DDB and Claydon Heeley Jones Mason is handling the direct marketing.