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Role details

British Tourist Authority x2 Board Members

Application deadline 11 April 2023


Sponsor department
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Culture, Media & Sport
Audit and Risk, Marketing, Technology / Digital
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
2 day(s) per month
£320 per month
Length of term
5 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 11 April 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    14 March 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 11 April 2023

  3. Sifting date

    21 April 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    21 May 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role



The Secretary of State wishes to appoint two new Board Members of the British Tourist Authority (“BTA”) Board. The BTA Board is responsible for the overall direction of the BTA (trading as VisitBritain/VisitEngland), working within a framework agreed with its sponsoring Government department, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport. The Board also monitors the BTA’s performance against targets agreed with DCMS.

We want to ensure any appointee is committed to embedding the principles of levelling up and championing opportunity for all across the organisation, helping to ensure that the organisation is one in which a genuinely diverse range of views can be expressed, without fear or favour.


Tourism is a crucial industry for the United Kingdom and made up of a variety of different kinds of enterprises, including: accommodation providers, attractions, cultural activities, exhibition and conference facilities, passenger transport, and sport and recreational activities. 

Importance of the UK tourism industry

In 2019 (the most recent for which full figures are available), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that tourism industries directly contributed £75 billion to the UK’s economy (gross value added or GVA), with 1.7 million direct employees. This equated to 4% of all GVA.

Impact of and HM Government’s response to coronavirus pandemic

The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors affected during 2020 and 2021 by measures introduced to combat the spread of COVID-19, such as restrictions on travel, on leaving home for non-essential reasons and on gathering, and the mandatory closures of certain types of businesses and premises.  The ONS estimates that overseas residents made only 11.1 million visits to the UK, a reduction of 73%, and only £6.2 billion, a reduction of 78%, in 2020 compared to 2019.

In June 2021, HM Government published The Tourism Recovery Plan, following the commitment reiterated in the Prime Minister’s Spring Reopening Roadmap announced in February.  It sets out the role that HM Government will play in assisting and accelerating the tourism sector’s recovery from COVID-19, along with a framework for how the government will work with the sector to build back better.

Looking ahead, the HM Government wants to see a growing, dynamic, sustainable and world-leading tourism sector reaching its full potential and driving growth across all parts of the UK.  Specifically, some of the key aims are to:

  • Ensure that the sector’s recovery benefits every nation and region with visitors staying longer, growing accommodation occupancy rates in the off-season and high level of investment in tourism products and transport infrastructure.

  • Build back better with a more innovative and resilient industry, maximising the potential for technology and data to enhance the visitor experience and employing more UK nationals in year-round quality jobs.

  • Ensure that the tourism sector contributes to the enhancement and conservation of the country’s cultural, natural and historic heritage, minimising damage to the environment and is inclusive and accessible to all.

  • Return the UK swiftly to its pre-pandemic position as a leading European destination for hosting business events.

Role description

Board members are expected to contribute effectively to the overall work of the BTA Board in providing expert advice and support.  The main responsibilities of board members are to:

  • Contribute effectively to the discussion of the BTA Board and support the Chair of the Board.

  • Ensure that any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds are complied with, that all expenditure is in accordance with Treasury rules for the management of public money and that the BTA maintains high standards of corporate governance at all times. The BTA Chair has an important role to play in supporting the organisation’s Accounting Officer in delivering high standards of regularity and probity.

  • Support the BTA Chair to deliver on the aims and objectives agreed with DCMS - principally ensuring that:

  • Targets to grow inbound tourism in value terms are met. These include specific targets for the Devolved Administrations; 

  • International activity is designed and delivered in light of the views of the VisitEngland Advisory Board, VisitScotland and VisitWales;

  • The Tourism Recovery Plan acts as a key driver for activity to build back value more quickly than predicted and ensure a sustainable resilient industry that contributes to Government priorities; and

  • An appropriate separation is maintained between England-only and Britain-wide activity and funding.

  • Ensure that the BTA maximises investment in English and British tourism and the promotion of Britain overseas, through partnership engagement and commercial activity, and that all expenditure is in accordance with HMT rules for the management of public money.

  • Actively build collaboration and alignment in activity across an extensive network of stakeholders, working with and through national tourist boards.

  • Actively support the Government in meeting the objectives as set out in the Integrated Review of Security Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, using tourism as a soft power tool by promoting the UK to visitors from around the world, promoting familiarity with UK values. 

Organisation description

About the British Tourist Authority

The BTA is an Arm’s Length Body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It was set up by the Development of Tourism Act (1969) and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. The BTA has a statutory duty:

  • To encourage people to visit Great Britain and people living in Great Britain to take their holidays there; and

  • To encourage the provision and improvement of tourist amenities and facilities in Great Britain. 

  • The BTA trades as both VisitBritain and VisitEngland, with each organisation having different responsibilities. It acts as the Government’s strategic adviser on tourism matters.  

VisitBritain’s main activities are:

  • Running a global network of offices that market Great Britain as a tourist destination to consumers in those regions. VisitBritain have staff in Canada, USA, Brazil, UAE, India, South Korea, Japan,  France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Australia;

  • Delivering marketing campaigns in conjunction with commercial partners, including airlines and the travel trade;

  • Undertaking and disseminating research and data concerning inbound travel and analysing this to advise Government and industry;

  • Winning Business events including running the Business Events Growth Programme, which is focused on bringing international business events to the UK;

  • Hosting and attending international travel trade shows to promote Britain;

  • An online shop that delivers revenue to the business; and

  • Running an internal transformation programme to enhance digital and people capabilities.

VisitEngland’s main activities are:

  • Supporting the supply side to build digital skills and distribute in international markets with the recently developed TXGB platform;

  • Providing advice to tourism businesses on a range of topics, including making businesses more accessible/inclusive, customer insight and legal compliance;

  • Running awards schemes for tourism businesses; and

  • Running quality assessment schemes for tourism businesses.

  • Both organisations also play a major role in delivering the policy commitments in the Tourism Sector Deal. 

At the 2020 Spending Round, the BTA received clarity on their funding settlement for 2021-25. Annually, VisitBritain receives £20m in grant-in-aid from DCMS and VisitEngland receives £7m in grant-in-aid. An additional £5m pot was allocated to deliver the transformation programme, business events and domestic marketing, VisitBritain also receives around £19m a year from the GREAT campaign led by the Cabinet Office. 

The Chair of the BTA Board reports to the Secretary of State for DCMS and the Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society on the BTA’s performance. The Secretary of State’s current priorities for the BTA are:

  • Ensure the BTA’s work is fully aligned with the cross-Government post-COVID Tourism Recovery Plan.  This includes implementation of  the first recommendation of the de Bois’ Destination Management Organisations review, along with the North-East Destination Development Partnership pilot; and to continue to support the business events sector.;

  • Capitalise on key events in 2022 including His Majesty the King's Coronation and Eurovision 2023.

  • Ensure the BTA makes a full advisory contribution to Government policy making related to tourism;

  • Strengthen the marketing of Britain overseas to achieve growth in international leisure and business tourism, particularly in terms of value; 

  • Continue to maintain distinct activities to develop and market English tourism;

  • Continue to prioritise improvements in procurement, compliance and wider corporate functions, ensuring that the BTA delivers high standards of regularity and propriety.

Board composition

Aside from the Chair, the BTA Board consists of 7 other members, including representatives from VisitScotland and VisitWales. One Board member is the Chair of the VisitEngland Advisory Board, which provides advice on tourism matters pertaining to England only. There are also 3 observers, from DCMS, Northern Ireland and London & Partners.

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Person specification

Essential criteria

Candidates for these roles must be able to demonstrate that they meet the majority of the following essential criteria:

  • A commitment to the purpose and objectives of the BTA;

  • Good judgement with a willingness to be open, ask challenging questions and help find solutions, and an ability to work collaboratively and as part of a team; 

  • An understanding of the differing opportunities and demands of the public and private sectors; 

  • An ability to develop an understanding of the tourism landscape across Britain;

  • The ability to contribute effectively to corporate governance matters including risk management and strategy development; and

  • A strong commitment to engaging communities outside of London, and factoring UK-wide perspectives into all decision making.

  • Senior experience of at least one of the following. Experience and understanding/insight of both would be desirable:

    • Tourism/travel industries; and

    • Operating and developing partnerships within an international arena.

Desirable criteria

Applications from candidates with experience of digital marketing and participation in audit and risk, and remuneration and people committees would also be welcomed.

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to provide:

  1. A  Curriculum Vitae which provides your contact details, details of your education and qualifications, employment history, directorships, membership of professional bodies and details of any relevant publications or awards;

  2. A supporting statement setting out how you meet the criteria for appointment, as set out in the person specification for the role;

  3. Information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues;

  4. Diversity monitoring information. This allows us to see if there are any unfair barriers to becoming a public appointee and whether there are any changes that we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be used as part of the selection process and will not be seen by the interview panel; Diversity Monitoring Form -

  5. Disability Confident – please state if you want to be considered for the disability confident scheme.

  6. Reasonable adjustments - requests for reasonable adjustments that you would like to the application process (if applicable);

Please provide the information at points 3-6 above on the relevant form, or as part of your supporting statement.
Completed applications should be submitted to

The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the elements listed above, and that arrive before the published deadline for applications.

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

The assessment process

  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.

  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.

  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates have best met the criteria, who should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist. If you have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme and you meet all the essential criteria, then you will also be invited for an interview.

  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The Panel may invite you to make a brief presentation at the start of the interview and will go on to question you about your skills and experience, including asking specific questions to assess whether you meet the criteria set out for the post. The Panel will also explore with you any potential conflicts of interest or any other issues arising from your personal and professional history which may impact on an appointment decision.

  6. Details of the panel’s assessment of interviewed candidates are provided to Ministers, including whether they have judged a candidate to be appointable to the role. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  7. Ministers may choose to meet with candidates before deciding the outcome. Candidates should therefore be prepared for a short time gap between interview and a final appointment decision being made. Candidates who have been interviewed will be kept informed of progress.

  8. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application, including whom they may approach for feedback. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Further information about appointments, including tips on applying, can be found on our guidance pages on

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving additional detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

As this is an office holder appointment, you will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

Remuneration for this role is treated as employment income and will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.
You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs which are properly and necessarily incurred on official business, in line with the travel and subsistence policy and rates for the organisation to which you are applying. However these payments are taxable as earnings and will be subject to tax and national insurance, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon the end of your term of appointment because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact the public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Contact details

If you have any questions on the process please contact Sam Whelan at