New CEO of Visit Kent announced

Published on 10th May 2018

Deirdre Wells OBE has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Visit Kent, it was announced this week.

The CEO of UKinbound and former Head of Tourism for the Government and Chair of the Tourism Alliance, has been appointed the new CEO of leading Destination Management Organisation Visit Kent.  

She will also lead Visit Kent’s trading company Go to Places, which offers services to other UK destinations and runs a number of government and UK funded programmes. Deirdre will join the company in September, and succeeds Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE who leaves after 14 years at the helm.

Jonathan Neame, Chairman of Visit Kent, said “We are delighted to have attracted such a talented and high-profile figure in the tourism industry to lead the business. Deirdre’s knowledge and experience will support the company’s ongoing growth and ambition to continue to be the market leader in destination management and marketing.  

“She has held a number of very senior positions in both government and the private sector and she has a strong reputation as a dynamic and effective leader. We look forward to welcoming Deirdre to the business when Sandra steps down in the late summer.”  

Deirdre said: “I am delighted to be joining Visit Kent, and Go to Places. I hope to bring a wide network of contacts and a strong understanding of the visitor economy to the role.  I have witnessed the success of Kent, Hertfordshire and the many partnership programmes in the company’s portfolio over the years, and feel honoured and delighted to have been selected to lead the company onto even greater things.  

“I look forward to getting to know the businesses and partners, and following in Sandra’s footsteps to continue to build reputation, brand and success for our  destinations.”

Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE added: “Deirdre is an impressive leader and passionate advocate of the sector. I simply can’t think of a better qualified person to take the business forward. She will be working with a fine team, partnership network and incredibly strong board. So with Deirdre’s passion and flair, the business is in very safe hands.”