Mon 7 Mar 16
VisitScotland are delighted to inform you that Fergus Ewing MSP, the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, has this morning announced the appointment of Lord Thurso as the new Chair of the Board of VisitScotland.
Boasting significant industry experience, John became Europe's youngest 5 star hotel manager when appointed Managing Director of the Savoy Group's Lancaster Hotel in Paris at 27.
Following five successful years in Paris, he then led a number of hospitality businesses to success including Blakeney Hotels of Cliveden, which became the UK's highest rated hotel under his leadership, East Sussex National Golf Course and Fitness & Leisure Holdings.
John has served as a non-executive on a number of public company boards including The Savoy PLC, Millenium and Copthorne PLC. He is also Chairman of his family company in Caithness and for many years owned The Ulbster Arms in Halkirk.
He sat in the House of Lords between 1995 and 1999 and from 2001 to 2015 was MP for Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross. He was awarded a "Catey" for services to Tourism 2003, was made an honourary DBA by Oxford Brookes in 2004, is a Master Innholder and a Fellow of The Institute of Hospitality and is President of the Tourism Society. In 2014 he was made a Privy Councillor by The Queen.
John will take the reins from Mike Cantlay OBE, who has led VisitScotland through significant tourism milestones since his appointment in 2010 including the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, a momentous partnership with Disney•Pixar on the blockbuster animation Brave and six themed years including the second Homecoming Scotland in 2014.
Mike Cantlay OBE will step down as VisitScotland Chair on 31 March 2016, with John being appointed to the position for three years from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019.