Cumbria Tourism has today selected respected tourism leader Dan Visser as its new Chairman, following news that previous Chairman Jim Walker has stepped up to the honorary role of President.
The county’s official Destination Management Organisation ratified the appointment at today’s meeting of its Executive Board in Staveley. Board members also confirmed Jennifer Cormack as the organisation’s new Vice Chair, as well as welcoming three newly elected Non-Executive Directors from across Cumbria who will each offer specialist knowledge and expertise to the organisation.
New Chairman Dan Visser has been a Board member since 2016, serving as Vice Chair over the last three years and the height of the COVID pandemic. He is Director of Sales & Marketing at the Langdale Estate and has been part of their Senior Management team for a number of years, heading up activity around the company’s roadmap to Net Zero. He is also currently a Trustee for the Lake District Foundation.
Dan says, “It’s a privilege to be selected as the new Chair of one of the country’s leading Destination Management Organisations. With inflation, rising costs and recruitment issues, it continues to be a hugely challenging time for our visitor economy but Cumbria Tourism’s Executive Board and staff are committed to supporting our member businesses to grow, evolve and thrive. A healthy visitor economy is, after all, vital for driving Cumbria’s wider economic prosperity and supporting local jobs and communities.
“Destination marketing is more important than ever to help drive demand to the area, so helping our tourism businesses to capitalise on the many opportunities which lie ahead is a top priority.
“Whether that’s supporting efforts to be more sustainable, promoting inclusivity or maximising emerging social platforms to inspire the next generation of visitors, there are so many innovative ways we can – collectively – combine our world-class tourism offering and landscape to showcase our destination both domestically and internationally.”
Meanwhile, Cumbria Tourism’s new Vice Chair is Jennifer Cormack. Currently Sales and Marketing Director at Windermere Lake Cruises, Jennifer is also a Board Director for UKinbound, Chair of the Cumbria Branch of the Institute of Directors and has an active role on the Management Board of the Lake District Hotels Association.
Jennifer says, “I’m proud to take up this new role and will be continuing to fly the flag for our industry on behalf of Cumbria Tourism and its wider membership throughout the county. Cumbria’s hugely diverse tourism sector is genuinely world-class and I’m looking forward to working with partners across the private and public sectors to identify new opportunities and ensure we do the best we possibly can for our Cumbria’s ever-evolving visitor economy.”
Also officially taking up their roles today are Fiona Shore from Near Howe Cottages at Mungrisdale (Small Operator representative), Rachel Bell from Lake District Estates (Large Operator representative) and Mark Holroyd from Forestry England (PR and Communications).
They were joined by two new Observer Board members; the newly elected Leader of the new Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council Jonathan Brook, alongside Anne Quilter, who holds the portfolio for leisure on the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council. Both will transition to full non-Executive Directors when the new unitary authorities come into force in Spring 2023.