Visit the County Durham Chairman to leave office at the end of June
Ivor Stoliday has announced that he will be stepping down as Chief Executive of Visit County Durham Ltd next month. will step down, for which he was appointed in 2009.
Mr Stoliday has been described as a dedicated and inspirational ambassador for the county during his tenure.
As Durham’s Destination Management Organization (DMO) and County Council’s tourism service, Visit County Durham plays an important role in the growth of the county’s visitor economy.
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Mr Stoliday, who has lived in the county for more than 30 years, is passionate about how tourism enriches communities, strengthens civic pride and provides employment opportunities for local people.
During his tenure, Durham’s visitor economy has grown significantly and is now generating almost £1 billion a year, with Visit County Durham’s destination management model recognized as best practice internationally.
More than 11,000 people are employed in the industry and with major developments across the county, that number is expected to continue to rise.
During his 14-year tenure, Visit County Durham has evolved from being one of four regional tourism agencies to its current position as one of the first DMOs in the country to be accredited by VisitEngland as a Local Visitor Economy Partnership.
The national organization’s confidence in Visit County Durham and the wider region was further demonstrated by the decision to pilot England’s first Destination Development Partnership alongside the NewcastleGateshead initiative and Visit Northumberland.
But there have been challenges to be overcome during Mr Stolliday’s time at the helm, particularly with the Covid outbreak which has had a devastating impact on tourism and hospitality businesses but which has seen the county’s visitor economy emerge more resilient and innovative than its pre-pandemic performance is already within reach.
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Despite all the ups and downs, he has remained a fervent ambassador for the county and represents it at events across the country.
He is scheduled to retire at the end of June. Thereafter, Duncan Peake, current Visit County Durham Board Chairman and Managing Director of Raby Estates, will serve as interim Chairman pending a formal appointment.
Mr Stoliday said: “I have lived in the county for thirty years and intend to stay.
“I’ve seen great changes during this time, from a place with a sense of loss to a beautiful place with renewed optimism and a bright future.
“It has been a privilege to be a part of this change and to do whatever I can to help our visitor economy, the businesses and the people of this remarkable county that I call home.”
Michelle Gorman, Chief Executive of Visit County Durham, has worked closely with Mr. Stolliday since his appointment as Chair in 2009.
She said: “Ivor has supported Visit County Durham’s board, team and tourism sector through the ups and downs of the last 14 years.
“His enthusiasm, exceptional dedication and ability to bring people together have helped Durham become the thriving visitor destination it is today.
“On behalf of everyone at Visit County Durham, I would like to thank Ivor for everything he has done for Durham and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
He also thanked Mr. Peake for his willingness to serve as interim chairman.
“As Managing Director of Raby Estates, overseeing key developments at some of Durham’s top visitor attractions, Duncan is perfectly placed to see us through this period of change.”
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Councilor Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Partnerships and Board Director of Visit County Durham Ltd, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Ivor to develop Durham’s visitor economy, which makes such a valuable contribution to the county’s economy performs.” .
“Ivor’s love for Durham, its landscapes, heritage, culture and people is palpable and he will be greatly missed by the Board.”
For more information on Visit County Durham go to www.visitcountydurham.orghis site.
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/23536271.visit-county-durham-chair-quit-post-end-june/?ref=rss Visit the County Durham Chairman to leave office at the end of June