Cumbria Tourism has today selected respected tourism leader Jim Walker as its new Chairman, following news that long-term Chairman Eric Robson has stepped into the honorary role of President.
The county’s official Destination Management Organisation confirmed the appointment at today’s meeting of its Executive Board in Staveley. Board members also elected the Langdale Hotel and Spa’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Dan Visser, as the organisation’s new Vice Chairman.
Between them they have more than six decades of experience working in Cumbria’s £3billion hospitality and tourism sector.
Appleby-based Jim Walker has a breadth of senior management experience in a range of public and private sector roles, with former jobs including Chief Executive of Lake District Estates and Head of Cultural & Tourism Services at South Lakeland District Council. A fellow of the Tourism Society, he is already Chairman of Eden Tourism Network and the North Lakes China Forum.
Jim has also been an enthusiastic supporter of Cumbria Tourism for many years, including a stint as the organisation’s Interim Managing Director in 2017.
He comments, “To be asked to Chair the Executive Board of the lead organisation for Cumbria’s visitor economy – which currently provides one in every 5 jobs in the county – is a great privilege and one which I’m very much looking forward to. Cumbria Tourism’s Board is committed to serving our 2,500 private and public sector members and working closely with our partners to overcome key challenges like Brexit and capitalise on the many opportunities which lie ahead – not least the upcoming Tourism Sector Deal.”
Dan Visser has lived in the Lakes for more than two decades, working in a range of hospitality marketing roles.
He has been with the Langdale Hotel for the past eleven years and is a key part of the Marketing Group for the English Lake District World Heritage Site.
Dan says, “I’m looking forward to taking up this new role and helping to support our £3billion tourism sector in competitive times. I’ve enjoyed being an active Board member and will continue to fly the flag for our industry, working with partners across the private and public sectors to identify new opportunities and ensure we do the best we possibly can for our county.”
Today was also the first meeting for Cumbria Tourism’s newly elected Non-Executive Directors, who will each offer specialist knowledge and expertise to the organisation.
They are: Carl Bevan, Associated British Ports (professional services or supply chain for the tourism industry), Justin Farnan, Lake District Calvert Trust (public relations and communications) and Mike Turner, Treetop Trek (small tourism business operation).
A full list of Executive Board members is available on the Cumbria Tourism corporate website.