VisitBritain/VisitEngland has appointed a new interim chief executive.

Director of strategy and communications Patricia Yates will become acting chief executive while current boss Sally Balcombe takes personal leave until the end of April.

Yates has been director of strategy and communications since 2007, having joined the organisation in 2005. She is also chair of the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group which has been meeting regularly since the COVID-19 outbreak.

The tourist board said it is prioritising five areas during the crisis:

  • Government advisory
  • Business support and communication
  • Recovery preparation
  • Staff welfare
  • Business continuity, efficiency and effectiveness
  • Post-COVID-19 – we will drive UK tourism recovery through leisure and business events marketing and activity and provide support to ensure that tourism businesses are ready to welcome our international and domestic visitors back.