Changes to the BTA Board

02 August 2021

Lord McLoughlin has stepped down as Chairman of the British Tourist Authority (BTA), due to a potential conflict of interest with him taking up a new role, that of Chairman for Airlines UK. We are delighted that Dame Judith Macgregor has been appointed as interim chair with immediate effect. The interim role will run until the end of April 2022 or when a permanent BTA Chair is appointed.

Dame Judith Macgregor has been an invaluable member of the BTA Board since 2017. She chairs our Remuneration & People Performance Committee which has recently led the development of a new People Strategy. She has also played a pivotal role in steering the organisation through the COVID-19 pandemic, helping us to adjust our strategy and develop our current focus to drive immediate tourism recovery by building back visitor spend as quickly as possible and supporting the industry.

Dame Judith also brings a wealth of experience working across Whitehall and internationally with an illustrious diplomatic career spanning some 40 years, including serving as Ambassador to Slovakia, and Ambassador to Mexico. In 2013, she became British High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. She has also held various posts in former Yugoslavia, Prague, Paris, Poland and Western Europe.

During her postings in Mexico and South Africa she led government efforts to increase bilateral trade and investment as well as to boost tourism to the UK, working closely alongside VisitBritain. She is also committed to diversity and inclusion. She became President of the FCO Women’s Association in 2006, overseeing a significant increase in the number of FCO women in senior grades.

Alongside Dame Judith’s extensive international trade experience, she also brings an in-depth understanding of tourism’s importance in influencing our brand abroad and in building people-to-people connections that contribute to our wider soft power image, and in promoting Global Britain. She was awarded the DCMG for her services to Diplomacy in January 2016.

I will personally be very sorry to see Patrick go and would like to thank him for his support. He has steered us through throughout the pandemic, overseeing our priorities and longer-term strategy to support the industry. We wish Patrick all the best in his new role with Airlines UK, where his transport expertise will continue to support the sector’s recovery.

Dame Judith will be in place while a new Chair is appointed. The formal selection process will be kicked off shortly by DCMS. Find out more about her by reading her bio 

Sally Balcombe

CEO, VisitBritain/VisitEngland