Hamblin to take over as chief executive of BTA

Jeff Hamblin has been appointed chief executive of the British Tourist Authority (BTA), succeeding Anthony Sell who had to retire this month due to ill health.

Hamblin, who will work alongside chairman David Quarmby, was formerly based in New York as BTA director for the Americas.

He will be responsible for marketing the UK as a tourism destination through a network of overseas offices.

Hamblin will also oversee the BTA’s new campaign, which aims to position Britain as the “destination of choice” for the millennium. It features the catchline: “Britain. Now is the time.”

Hamblin says: “We are currently reviewing our global operations and aim to emerge with greater focus and in a position to deliver an even better return to government.”

Hamblin arrives at the BTA while the Government is in the process of finalising its tourism strategy, which is due to be published at the end of the year.

In May, the English Tourist Board demerged its marketing department from the BTA. Formerly the two had shared offices.

The Department for Culture Media & Sport gave the BTA a grant of 35m last year.

The organisation also obtains funding from other commercial and partnership sources.

The BTA uses Ogilvy & Mather as its advertising agency outside the UK.