VisitBritain and VisitEngland have today (30 March 2016) announced the appointment of a new Head of Business Visits & Events, Chris Foy.

Chris joined VisitBritain in 2003 and has held a variety of senior roles within the organisation including most recently as Head of Nations and Regions. Prior to this he spent time on secondment to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office reporting to the central GREAT Britain campaign team at 10 Downing Street – a role that has given him profile, strong contacts at high level in parts of FCO, UKTI and DCMS, and knowledge of key government partners at director and ministerial level.

In his new role Chris will lead the Business Visits & Events strategy to contribute to the overall growth of business tourism in Britain.

VisitBritain/VisitEngland Director of Marketing Joss Croft said:

“I’m delighted to appoint Chris as the new Head of Business Visits & Events. He brings a wealth of experience and industry contacts to the role as well as a proven track-record of project management, negotiation and diplomacy that will be a real asset as we work towards growing and spreading the economic benefits of business tourism across all of Britain’s nations and regions.”

Chris Foy said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with Britain’s world class destinations and venues to drive more business tourism and generate export platforms for British industry. I’ve seen the positive impact that major events can bring first hand through my work on the 2012 Games and look forward to working on other successful projects over the coming years.”

Chris’ career at VisitBritain also includes four years as Head of VisitBritain’s 2012 Games Unit which provided insight into the priorities of key destinations beyond mainstream tourism.

As Head of Business Visits & Events Chris’ key focuses will be working with UK destinations to win international business events focusing on national priority industry sectors, maximising the visitor spend from business events through increased delegate numbers and extended stays, and maximising the potential legacies of international events through investment and export opportunities. He will also support the wider England priorities on Business Visits & Events.

As part of VisitBritain’s new strategy for Business Visits & Events, the current Britain for Events campaign, which has run since 2010, will be replaced in 2016 by Events are GREAT Britain and will form part of the government’s wider GREAT campaign.

Events are GREAT Britain will act as the umbrella brand for the UK’s drive to deliver more international business to the UK, working closely with the Business Visits & Events Partnership and newly created UK Events Industry Board.

Events are GREAT Britain will be launched to industry stakeholders and media at an exclusive ‘Kick Off’ event at Stamford Bridge on Thursday April 14th before being unveiled to international audiences at IMEX in Frankfurt on April 19th.

Chris takes up his new role on 1 April 2016.