Go To Places CEO to step down in 2018

After 13 successful years as CEO of Visit Kent and, more recently, Visit Herts and Go To Places, Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE has decided that the time is now right for her to step down from her position, so she can focus on a number of new and exciting personal goals.

Sandra said: “My 13 years at Visit Kent, and latterly Visit Herts and Go To Places, have brought me into contact with some amazing people and places. I now feel this is the right time for me personally, and it is the right time for the development of the company for a new leader to take it to the next stage.

“It has been an honour to lead a team delivering a highly effective and entrepreneurial not-for-profit Destination Management Organisation in partnership with some wonderful organisations. I would like to thank all of them and my superb team for the support they have given me.  I have witnessed many changes in the sector and have also seen the vitally important social, economic and community impact of the visitor economy.  My career in tourism has spanned more than thirty years; I look forward to continuing to be involved in the sector because there is simply no other industry quite like it.”

Jonathan Neame, Chairman of Visit Kent, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sandra for her dedication to Visit Kent, building an organisation from very humble beginnings to the force that it is today.  We wish her well for the future and look forward to her continuing engagement in the visitor economy in Kent, Herts and nationally.”

He added: “The future of Visit Kent and GTP is looking very exciting with the recent award of the contracts with Kent County Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Herts LEP, as well as significant new work and campaigns secured from the Discover England Fund.  Sandra has agreed to work alongside me and the Board as we embark on securing her successor and she will support the transition to a new CEO and thereafter continuing to support the business in the hand over period.”

The search for Sandra’s successor will be led by the nominations committee of the Visit Kent Board, who will be supported by experienced recruitment consultants in the non-profit sector.

INTERVIEWS
Members of the press are invited to contact Sinead Hanna, Head of Communications, to discuss news interviews and feature opportunities reflecting on the visitor economy in Kent, Hertfordshire and the UK (Sinead.hanna@gotoplaces.co.uk or call 01227 812910). News requests will be conducted according to deadlines, and feature interviews will be scheduled during April with Sandra Matthews-Marsh and/or Jonathan Neame. Leading figures from both the Visit Kent and Visit Herts boards may also be available at later dates, and the media will be informed when the new Chief Executive of Go to Places (Visit Kent and Visit Herts) is appointed.

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Visit Kent
Visit Kent Ltd is the Destination Management Organisation for Kent (the Garden of England), welcoming 60million visitors a year, championing the county’s £3.6 billion tourism industry and supporting more than 72,000 jobs. It is recognised as one of the country’s leading DMOs, targeting UK and overseas markets to raise Kent’s profile as a premier destination, improving quality and skills within the industry, and growing investment in tourism. Visit Kent is a public/private sector partnership supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, district and borough councils, and the leading sector tourism businesses in Kent. Visit Kent is delivered by destination management specialists Go To Places Ltd (www.gotoplaces.co.uk).

For further information visit www.visitkent.co.uk (consumer) or tweet @visitkent

About Visit Herts
Visit Herts is the destination management organisation for the county of Hertfordshire, welcoming 25million visitors a year, and championing the county’s £2.1billion tourism industry which supports more than 38,000 jobs. Visit Herts works with a range of public and private sector businesses and organisations to raise the county’s profile as a leading destination, to improve quality and skills within the industry, and grow investment in tourism. Visit Herts is a public/private sector partnership supported by Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and is delivered by destination management specialists Go to Places (www.gotoplaces.co.uk).

For further information visit www.visitherts.co.uk or follow us on social media (@visithertsuk)

About Go To Places
Go To Places delivers innovative, effective and sustainable destination management services in the UK. Committed to improving quality and skills within the tourism industry, Go To Places has developed a unique destination management organisation (DMO) model, based on developing great locations through innovative marketing, public and private sector partnerships, and positively influencing the tourism industry. This includes offering expertise on funding bids, helping tourism and leisure businesses to better understand their market and audience, and sharing proven, effective marketing campaigns.

The Go To Places’ destination management model has been developed through its experience as Kent’s DMO, Visit Kent (created in 2002). This model is now being delivered through its other portfolio destinations, such as Visit Herts, and thematic campaigns such as Big Weekend and Gardens & Gourmet.

Go To Places is the only officially recognised organisation delivering destination management services across multiple counties and thematic campaigns. For further information visit www.gotoplaces.co.uk or tweet @GTP_Sandra