Ex-First Choice marketer to spearhead VisitLondon drive

VisitLondon, the tourist body that promotes the capital, has appointed former First Choice marketer Sonia Oliver to the role of marketing manager for the domestic market.

She will act as senior manager responsible for selling the capital across the UK and to Londoners, with a budget of £2.5m.

Oliver will oversee a small team of marketers and will report directly to VisitLondon’s marketing director Martine Ainsworth-Wells.

Oliver replaces Lucy Thornton, who left in October last year to join South West Trains as head of marketing (MW October 4, 2007).

VisitLondon reports that the capital attracted 11 million domestic visitors in 2007 and was the only region in England to reverse fall- ing domestic numbers.

Ainsworth-Wells says: “Marketing and promoting London to a domestic audience and to Londoners themselves is a challenging role… [but] Visit London plans to maintain this momentum in the lead up to and beyond the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Oliver has more than eight years experience in tourism marketing. She was previously marketing manager for Sovereign Luxury Holidays and Meon Villas brands, part of the First Choice Specialist Division at TUI.

She also previously held marketing roles at Designate Advertising, Visit Wales and the Panorama Holiday Group.

VisitLondon is planning a rebrand of its global identity ahead of the 2012 Games.

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