VisitBritain names Sandie Dawe as new chief

VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, has appointed Sandie Dawe as its new chief executive with immediate effect.

She is currently deputy chief executive of VisitBritain and takes up the responsibilities previously handled by Tom Wright. He is now chief executive of the merged Age Concern and Help The Aged.

VisitBritain recently restructured and the Visit England team was split out to form an independent stand-alone body with its own marketing budget and chief executive.

VisitBritain is still on the hunt for a marketing director. Michael Bedingfield previously ran the marketing team and he has joined Tourism South East as chief executive.

Dawe (pictured) joined the British Tourist Authority from the London Tourist Board in 1991 and since then has held a variety of positions in VisitBritain in communications, PR, policy, marketing and strategy. Her early career included working for the Book Marketing Council and the BBC World Service.

She has been leading the team focusing on delivering tourism benefits from the London 2012 Olympics. She takes the chief executive position as VisitBritain faces tough challenges in gaining extra funding for the body and persuading potential visitors that Britain should be front of mind for holidays in a recession.

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