NEW YORK -- The British Tourist Authority named U.K. tour and
hospitality industry veteran Tom Wright its new chief executive.
Wright, 40, who previously worked for U.K. tour operator Saga
Holidays and Rotterdam, Netherlands-based family resort chain
Center Parcs, becomes "chief executive designate" June 1,
officially replacing current chief executive Jeff Hamblin on Aug.
Hamblin has served since in the post since 1999.
"The challenges facing Britain as a destination, and the
industry's expectations of BTA in its leadership role, have never
been greater," said BTA chairman David Quarmby, in a statement.
"Tom will take over a high-performing team, which has grown
immensely under Jeff Hamblin's sure-footed leadership over the last
For his part, Wright said he looks forward to the challenge, and
sounded a high-tech clarion call.
"I believe BTA's priority is to continue to develop real insight
into its key markets and to give leadership in improving and
effectively marketing an excellent customer experience for overseas
visitors," he said. "I am also convinced that information and
communication technology is critical in representing the British
product strongly and efficiently around the world, and that the BTA
must excel in it."
As chief executive designate, Wright will visit BTA offices
worldwide and meet with industry partners.