BTA names Tom Wright as new chief exec

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. 1.

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 few years."

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.

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