Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — VisitBritain has announced the appointment of Gavin Landry as its Executive Vice President for the Americas, with a focus on driving new and repeat visitor growth to Britain from Canada, the U.S. and Brazil.
In his new role, effective immediately, Landry’s remit is to drive new and repeat visitor growth to Britain from the Americas, focusing on key segments and top performing regions including Brazil, Canada and the U.S., as well as cities with new routes to build connectivity.
His focus is also to convert the inspiration to visit into bookings by getting the right products to the right customers at the right time, developing bookable regional and seasonal products that showcase more of regional Britain working closely with tourism industry partners.
With tourism a critical part of the UK Government’s agenda ahead of future trade deals, Landry will also continue to develop and strengthen strategic partnerships across the three regions.
“Gavin brings a wealth of market knowledge, industry contacts and public diplomacy experience to the role,” said VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe. “We are delighted to have such an experienced industry professional leading one of our most important global regions as we continue to inspire more visitors from the Americas to put Britain top of their list as the must-go-now destination.”
“I am thrilled to be joining VisitBritain at such an exciting time for tourism globally and look forward to working together with our partners across the industry to convert the desire to visit Britain into bookings and drive growth from the Americas,” said Landry.
“Tourism is a fiercely competitive global industry and while latest statistics shows strong growth from the Americas we need to be out there promoting the message of welcome, working with partners to make it easier to travel and showcasing the amazing experiences that you can only get in Britain.”
The announcement comes on the back of data released last week from the UK’s Office for National Statistics which showed that visits from North America to the UK were up 35% in June this year compared to the same month in 2016. It brings the overall number of visits from North America to the UK for January to June this year to 2.2 million visits, up 25% on the same period last year.
Landry joins VisitBritain from New York State where he was Executive Director of Tourism, having led the iconic I LOVE NEW YORK (NY) program, and where he developed and implemented strategies to support growth of the tourism industry. During his tenure at I LOVE NY, Gavin and his team increased visitation to New York State by 40 million and set a program record total economic impact of US$100 billion.