The former CEO of VisitBritain, Sandie Dawe, MBE, is still working to promote tourism to her country: She has been appointed as a board member of London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional company for the city.
Dawe, who was at VisitBritain for 23 years, stepped into her new position today. She was awarded an MBE for her services to the tourist industry in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2008. She was appointed CEO at VisitBritain in 2009. During her tenure, tourism across the UK experienced a significant increase with a record 33 million visitors in 2013 and a 13 percent increase in tourism spend.
Dawe joined VisitBritain from the London Tourist Board in 1991 and became director of Strategy and Communications in 1996. Having led VisitBritain’s support of the London 2012 Olympics bid, in late 2008 she took on a new role with responsibility for the development of VisitBritain’s strategy to maximise the UK-wide tourism opportunities of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Dawe grew up in Sri Lanka and was educated in Scotland, graduating from Edinburgh University with MA in German and English Literature. In 1995, she won the first SHINE award for Public Sector Woman of the Year, a prize set up to recognize the accomplishments of women in the travel, tourism and the hospitality industry.
Following the London 2012 Olympic Games and Diamond Jubilee, London has experienced a boom in visitors. 16.8 million people arrived in 2013, more than a million more visitors than ever before in a calendar year and up nine percent compared to 2012.