Chair - VisitEngland Advisory Board

Body: VisitEngland Advisory Board
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Culture, Media & Sport, Regulation
Location: London - though meetings will occasionally be held in venues across England. The appointed candidate can also expect to represent England at key tourism events.
Skills required: Accountancy, Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, Change Management, Communication / Media / Marketing, International Experience, Major Projects, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Yes - £340 per day. Up to £16,320 per annum plus reasonable expenses
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.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Nick de Bois has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as Chair of the VEAB for three years from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2023.

Date: 26/05/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    08/01/2020 at 10:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    27 & 28 February 2020

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description


The tourism industry is very important to the UK’s economy, directly contributing almost £70bn each year, employing 1.6 million people with jobs in every local authority. 

In recognition of tourism’s importance, earlier this year the former Prime Minister announced the Tourism Sector Deal as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The Sector Deal sets out how Government and the tourism industry will work together to grow the tourism industry further, develop the skills of the workforce and support destinations to enhance their visitor offer. The Deal represents a significant vote of confidence from the Government in the industry.

Our national tourist board, the British Tourist Authority (BTA), plays an important role in delivering the Government’s tourism agenda, including the Sector Deal. 

The BTA Board is advised on English tourism by the VisitEngland Advisory Board (VEAB), with the VEAB Chair also sitting on the BTA Board. The Chair of the VEAB’s term ends in March 2020 and the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport wishes to appoint a new Chair. The BTA Board Chair public appointment process is being run in parallel with this position. 


The Role

The Chair will be supported by a non-executive Board 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 DCMS 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:
    • How to drive improvements in the appeal of the English tourism product, including through the operation of the Discover England Fund.
    • How to advance English interests in the context of Britain-wide promotional activity.
    • How to handle responses to unforeseen events that have a detrimental effect on tourism, such as flooding events.
    • How best to support and align the work of an extensive network of stakeholders including national cultural bodies, local government, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Destination Management Organisations and the English Tourism Industry. 
    • 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.
  • Represent England on the BTA Board, and at key events in the tourism sector, over English Tourism Week 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, including the need for compliance with public sector spending controls.
  • An understanding of and insight into the English 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.


Additional Information

About the British Tourist Authority 

The BTA is an Arms Length Body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It was set up by the Development of Tourism Act (1969) and has just celebrated its 50th anniversary. The BTA has a statutory duty:

  1. To encourage people to visit Great Britain and people living in Great Britain to take their holidays there; and
  2. To encourage the provision and improvement of tourist amenities and facilities in Great Britain. 

The BTA trades as both VisitBritain and VisitEngland, with each organisation having different responsibilities.  It acts as the Government’s strategic adviser on tourism matters.  

VisitBritain’s main activities are:

  • Running a global network of offices that market Great Britain as a tourist destination to consumers in those regions. VisitBritain have staff in Canada, USA, Brazil, UAE, India, China, South Korea, Japan, Russia, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
  • Delivering marketing campaigns in conjunction with commercial partners, including airlines and the travel trade.
  • Undertaking and disseminating research and data concerning inbound travel.
  • Running the Business Events Growth Programme, which is focused on bringing international business events to the UK.
  • Attending international travel trade shows to promote Britain.

VisitEngland’s main activities are:

  • Administering the multi-million pound Discover England Fund.
  • Providing advice to tourism businesses on a range of topics, including making businesses more accessible/inclusive, customer insight and legal compliance.
  • Running awards schemes for tourism businesses.
  • Running quality assessment schemes for tourism businesses.

Both organisations also play a major role in delivering the policy commitments in the Tourism Sector Deal. 

At the 2019 Spending Round, the BTA received clarity on their funding settlement for 2020-21. VisitBritain will receive £20m in grant-in-aid from DCMS and VisitEngland will receive £7m in grant-in-aid. The Discover England Fund was also awarded £5.45m to continue for another year. The BTA also receive around £22m a year from the GREAT campaign led by the Department for International Trade.


Supporting information

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


Current membership of the board

Five board members excluding the Chair position plus one Observer from DCMS.


How long is the appointment and when will it start?

Three years, commencing April 2020


If you are not completely satisfied

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy. If you have any complaints about the way your application has been handled, please contact

This process is regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ (OCPA‘s) Code of Practice. All applicants are expected to have adhered to the Seven Principles of Public Life.


How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • a CV of not more than two sides of A4
  • a supporting statement of not more than three sides of A4, providing examples and 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 to:

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

If you have any questions about the appointment process please contact the DCMS Public Appointments Team at

If you have any questions about the role please contact Giles Smith, Deputy Director of Heritage, Tourism and Cultural Diplomacy at DCMS ( or Sally Balcombe at the British Tourist Authority (


Conflicts of Interest Form 2018
OCPA-July-2018-Monitoring-Form- FINAL
OCPA Complaints Procedure (2016)
Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies 2019 WEB (1) (2)
VEAB Chair Role Specification (1)
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