18 February, 2022

Visit Isle of Man, an Executive Agency within the Department for Enterprise, has welcomed a new Non-Executive Board to assist with achieving its headline targets to grow visitor numbers to 500,000, with a subsequent economic contribution of £430million, by 2032.

The new board members are David Curtis-Brignell MBE (Founder, Tourism Reimagined), Deborah Heather (CEO, M-Assessments Services), John Keggin (Managing Director, Island Escapes), Connie Lovel (CEO, Manx National Heritage), and Leigh Morris (CEO, Manx Wildlife Trust).

In addition to the new members, Richard Fletcher (Senior Account Manager, PDMS), Sally Helwich (Managing Director, IOM Event Services), Brian Thomson (Managing Director, IOM Steam Packet Company), and Brett Martin FCA (CEO, Palace Holdings) were all successful in their reapplications and will continue to be valued members of the board, providing direction and continuity.

The Non-Executive Board continues to be chaired by Ranald Caldwell, accompanied by the Agency’s Head Angela Byrne, and the Agency’s political member Rob Callister, MHK.

Ranald Caldwell, Non-Executive Chairman of the Visit Agency, commented:

‘The Isle of Man’s visitor economy plays a fundamental role in the Island’s overall vision to build a secure, vibrant and sustainable future. As such, we are excited to welcome our new board members, who bring with them a wealth of expertise and invaluable experience of the tourism industry, equipping the Agency with the skills and knowledge to drive forward with our new Visitor Economy Strategy, which will be laid before Tynwald.

‘Our Visitor Economy Strategy articulates an ambitious vision for substantial visitor economy growth over the next 10 years, something our research shows is entirely achievable given effective partnership working. I have no doubt that by bringing together some of the most experienced and influential members of the tourism economy we will be able to successfully transform the Island’s visitor offer and position it as a premier destination in the UK and Ireland short break market.’

Rob Callister, Political Member with responsibility for tourism and motorsport, commented:

‘The Visit Agency continues to be fundamental in supporting the future prosperity of the Island’s existing and new visitor economy businesses.

‘Visitor spending provides income for, and supports employment in the Island’s accommodation, retail, hospitality, attractions, transport and entertainment sectors, and a considerable supply chain benefit from the on-island spending of this money by these businesses and visitor sector workers. I am therefore delighted to welcome the collective expertise and experience of this new board to assist the Agency with providing a clear way forward to fully capitalise on the many opportunities a comprehensive programme of market research and consultancy studies have consistently shown for the Island.’

The new board were inducted on 10th February with the next board meeting scheduled for 28th April.