24 JAN 2017: UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, has appointed the new Chairs for the BTA (VisitBritain/VisitEngland) Board and the VisitEngland Advisory Board - Steve Ridgway will succeed Christopher Rodrigues as BTA chairman and Denis Wormwell will succeed Penelope, Viscountess Cobham as chairman of the VisitEngland Advisory Board.

In his role as chairman, Ridgway will lead the overall direction for VisitBritain/VisitEngland as laid out by its sponsoring department, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – marketing Britain overseas to drive growth in international leisure and business tourism and delivering the England Action Plan. As chairman of the VisitEngland Advisory Board, Denis Wormwell will lead on advising the BTA Board on the development and implementation of that Action Plan.

Ridgway has served on the BTA Board as an independent board member since 2013 and brings with him a wealth of tourism experience not only from global brands but also from running his own tourism business.

He worked for Virgin Atlantic for more than 23 years in a variety of roles, most recently as CEO. He has hands on experience of running a tourism enterprise - owning the St Moritz Hotel in Cornwall with his brother. His other tourism interests include his chairmanship of Scandlines, a large Baltic Ferry operator between Germany and Denmark.

Wormwell has spent the last 30 years in travel, hospitality and transport. Most recently he was CEO of Shearings Leisure Group, a position he held for almost 10 years.

His other executive roles include CEO of National Express Group and director of Thomas Cook Tour Operations. He was part of the management team that bought Club 18-30 and then Sunset Holidays and he set up a new airline called Flying Colours. In addition, he has held board positions with the Confederation of Passenger Transport, ABTA Tour Operators Council and the Federation of Tours Operators.

The incoming chairs will commence their roles on 1 April for a term of three years.

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