Deirdre Wells OBE appointed new CEO of Go To Places

Deirdre Wells OBE has been named as the new Chief Executive of Go To Places (GTP), and will be joining the organisation later in 2018.

The current CEO of UKinbound and former Head of Tourism for the Government and Chair of the Tourism Alliance has been appointed the new CEO of GTP, which operates the Destination Management Organisations Visit Kent and Visit Herts as well as a number of government and UK funded programmes.

Deirdre will join the company in September and succeeds Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE, who leaves after 14 years at the helm.

Bill Ferris OBE, Chairman of Go To Places, said “We are delighted to have attracted such a talented and high-profile figure in the tourism industry to lead the business. Deirdre’s knowledge and experience will support the company’s ongoing growth and ambition to continue to be the market leader in destination management and marketing.

“She has held a number of very senior positions in both government and the private sector and she has a strong reputation as a dynamic and effective leader. We look forward to welcoming Deirdre to the business when Sandra steps down in the late summer.”

Deirdre said: “I am delighted to be joining Go to Places. I hope to bring a wide network of contacts and a strong understanding of the visitor economy to the role.  I have witnessed the success of Kent, Hertfordshire and the many partnership programmes in the company’s portfolio over the years and feel honoured and delighted to have been selected to lead the company onto even greater things.

“I look forward to getting to know the businesses and partners and following in Sandra’s footsteps to continue to build reputation, brand and success for our destinations.”

Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE added: “Deirdre is an impressive leader and passionate advocate of the sector. I simply can’t think of a better qualified person to take the business forward. She will be working with a fine team, partnership network and incredibly strong board. So, with Deirdre’s passion and flair, the business is in very safe hands.”



About Deirdre Wells
Deirdre Wells OBE was appointed Chief Executive of UKinbound in March 2014, following 20 years in Government at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport working on a variety of high-profile projects including the Millennium Dome, Liverpool Capital of Culture 2008 and the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Deirdre was awarded an OBE in 2007 in recognition of her work in leading the team behind the national memorial services for the UK victims of the 9/11 attacks, the Bali bombings, the 2004 Asian Tsunami and the London 7/7 attacks.

Appointed the Government’s Head of Tourism in 2010, Deirdre was instrumental in the delivery of the GREAT campaign – an ambitious and far-reaching marketing campaign aimed to help the world discover why Britain is such a great place to visit, study, work, invest, and do business.

Through her role as Chief Executive of UKinbound, Deirdre represents the interests of the Association’s diverse membership of inbound tourism businesses, helping members to grow and develop their businesses and lobbying Government on their behalf on key industry issues including visas, taxation, and Brexit.

A passionate advocate for inbound tourism, Deirdre is also a member of the Tourism Industry Council, Chair of the Tourism Alliance, and sits on the Board of the Tourism Society.

Deirdre lives in Kent with her husband and two sons and is a keen singer, shopper, and movie-goer.