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Change at top of tourism body

VisitScotland seeks new chairman as Cantlay steps down

Mike Cantlay

Mike Cantlay with golfer Sam Torrance

Mike Cantlay is to step down as chairman of VisitScotland after six years in the post, prompting an immediate search for his successor.

Mr Cantlay said he was leaving “with a heavy heart” and whoever takes over will be one of the luckiest people around.

The new chairman will lead a board of eight for a three-year period beginning in April. It pays £400 a day for a minimum of seven days a month.

“It is with a heavy heart that you leave an organisation that you feel passionately for, but at the same time it is a fantastic job,” he said. “We are looking for someone with real vision, expertise and enthusiasm to drive Scottish tourism forward in what is a challenging and competitive marketplace.”

He said the job had provided him with some “incredible moments” including the opportunity to “welcome the world to Scotland in 2014, with a line-up of unprecedented world class events”, a reference to the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games, Homecoming and other global attractions which took place.

“The person chosen to take over my position as chair of VisitScotland will be one of the luckiest around – as this really is the best job in the world,” he said.

VisitScotland represents one of Scotland’s biggest industries. Figures for 2014 show that visitor expenditure in was about £10 billion with the wider visitor economy worth more than £12bn.  Tourism employs about 200,000 people.

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