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Former MP John Thurso is new chairman of Visit Scotland

Lord Thurso.
Lord Thurso.

A former Highland MP has been appointed as the new chairman of VisitScotland.

John Thurso was confirmed as the new chairman of the board at the tourism agency by Scottish Government minister Fergus Ewing yesterday.

Mr Thurso is an experienced hotelier and has managed hotels and leisure firms in Paris and the UK, including as Europe’s youngest five star hotel manager when appointed managing director of the Savoy Group’s Lancaster Hotel in Paris at 27.

He sat in the House of Lords until 1999 and served as Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross from 2001 until last year.

He is currently president of the Tourism Society.

Mr Thurso said: “Scotland is an iconic national brand with a world class tourist offering and VisitScotland does a great job promoting both. I look forward to joining the team where I hope the skills I have learnt in my hospitality career combined with my career in public service will make a useful contribution.”

Mr Ewing added: “I am delighted to welcome John Thurso as the new Chair of VisitScotland and wish him well in his new post.

“Scottish tourism goes from strength to strength and I’m sure VisitScotland will benefit hugely from John’s experience and expertise in the industry to grow and develop Scotland’s visitor economy.”

Mr Thurso’s term as chairman will begin on April 1 and will run until March 31, 2019.

The appointment is part-time and attracts a remuneration of £400 per day for a commitment of seven days per month.

He succeeds Mike Cantlay who has held the post for the past six years.

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