P&O Cruises man to head VisitEngland marketing

VisitBritain, has appointed Michael Bedingfield as its first marketing director for England.

VisitBritain is the new body created from the merger of the British Tourist Authority and English Tourism Council to promote British tourism at home and abroad. England has not had a body with a remit to promote the country domestically since the English Tourist Board was axed in 1999.

Bedingfield joins the organisation in June from his position as head of brand marketing at P&O Cruises. VisitBritain is launching its first domestic marketing campaign for England on April 23. Chief executive Tom Wright will oversee the activity until Bedingfield’s arrival. The &£4m campaign has been devised by WCRS, with media planning by Zenith Optimedia.

Bedingfield was at P&O Cruises for three years. He has also held marketing posts at Hertz UK, Beacon Gas, Avis Europe and Thomas Cook. P&O has yet to decide if he will be replaced or his responsibilities reallocated.

Bedingfield will be responsible for developing a long-term marketing strategy for England alongside the England Marketing Advisory Board, and a brand strategy to work alongside the Britain, Scotland, Wales and separate English regions brands.

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