Visit England Advisory Board Chair wanted…

Tourism is a crucial industry for the UK accounting for nearly 4% of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In recognition of its importance to the UK, last year the Prime Minister launched the Five Point Plan for tourism, through which the Government aims to grow the tourism industry further and to spread the benefits of growth across the whole of Britain.

The 2015 Spending Review provided significant government investment in the tourism sectors with VisitBritain and VisitEngland (the trading names of the British Tourist Authority – BTA) receiving stable funding levels to 2020, an increase in funding for the GREAT Britain campaign to £60 million per year (a significant proportion of which is allocated to tourism), and a new £40m Discover England fund to provide direct investment into English tourism.   

The incumbent’s term ends in March 2017 and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport wishes to appoint a new Chair of the VEAB. The VEAB is responsible for providing advice on English tourism matters to the Board of the BTA and DCMS Ministers.

About the VEAB

Following the 2015 Spending Review and significant restructure and governance at the BTA in order to deliver on the government priorities for tourism, the role of the VisitEngland Advisory Board was clarified.  The BTA Board is accountable for all Britain and England spend, with the VEAB responsible for advising the executive and the Board of the BTA on matters relating to tourism in England, helping to drive economic growth and excellence in English tourism. Further details on both Boards are available here:

The Secretary of State’s priorities for English tourism are:

  • Implementation of the £40m Discover England fund. This fund will incentivise collaboration between destinations and public and private sector partners to improve the English tourism offer and encourage more tourists to visit English regions beyond London.
  • Activity to support and grow business visits and events for English destinations; and
  • The maintenance of distinct activities and ring fenced budgets to develop and market English tourism.

The Role

The Chair will be supported by a non-executive Board, currently comprising five members, in providing expert advice to the Chair and Board of the BTA, and in representing English tourism to the tourism sector and public. The Chair of the VEAB will report into the BTA Chair on a regular basis, but continues to be accountable to the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport for the effectiveness of the VEAB.

The Chief responsibilities of the new Chair will be to:

  • Provide effective leadership of the Board and advice to the Chief Executive and BTA Board on English Tourism matters – principally:

i) how to drive improvements in the appeal of the English tourism product, including through the operation of the new Discover England fund.

ii) the English Business Visits & Events Strategy.

iii) delivery of the wider VisitEngland Action Plan, including the business support offer.

iv) English interests in the context of Britain-wide promotional activity; and

v) handling in response to unforeseen events, for example, the recent flooding in the North.

  • Advise and support the Chief Executive and BTA Board to improve collaboration and alignment in activity across an extensive network of stakeholders, including national cultural bodies, the local government, LEPs, destination management organisations and the English tourism industry.
  • Advise the Chief Executive and BTA on how VisitEngland can  maximise investment in English tourism, through partnership engagement and commercial activity, which is in accordance with HMT rules for the management of public money; and
  • Represent England on the BTA Board, and at key events in the tourism sector, and speak on behalf of England.

Person Specification

Candidates should be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to lead a board successfully and provide effective support and challenge to a high profile organisation.
  • An understanding of the differing demands of the public and private sectors.
  • An understanding of and insight into, the travel and tourism industry.
  • Strong relationship building skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively, and work with and through others to achieve objectives; and
  • Excellent communication skills.

In addition, for those currently employed in the industry, candidates will need to be clear about any potential conflicts between this role and their other professional activities and be able to propose ways to manage conflicts should they arise.

Remuneration: £340 per day. Up to £16,320 per annum.
Time Requirements: There will be 4 regular advisory boards a year plus attendance at the BTA Board (six a year). We would expect Board-level commitments to take up 2 days per month with wider engagement taking the total time commitment up to a maximum of 4 days per month on average.
Closing Date: 02/08/2016
Interviews: We expect to shortlist candidates in mid September and interviews will take place in late October – exact date(s) tbc

Additional Information

Supporting information

Further information on VisitEngland and the BTA can be found through the VisitBritain and VisitEngland websites:

Current membership of the board

Five including the Chair position plus one ex-officio member.

How long is the appointment and when will it start?

Three years, commencing April 2017.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • a CV.
  • a supporting statement of not more than two sides of A4, setting out how you meet the criteria.
  • the two Monitoring forms concerning your personal information and political activity; and
  • the Declaration of Interests form.

Completed applications should be emailed

Please put ‘VisitEngland Advisory Board’ in the Subject line.

If you have any questions about the appointment process please contact Tarjit Chal in the DCMS Public Appointments Unit on 020 7211 6644 or

If you have any questions about the role please contact Sally Balcombe at the British Tourist Authority on 020 7578 1020 or

Monitoring Form (Part 1) 2015
Monitoring Form (Part 2) 2015
Declaration of interests form
Conflicts of Interest Guidance
OCPA complaints procedure 2012

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.