Press Release – January 2022
Visit Exmoor is the unified tourism body representing the Greater Exmoor area. Over the last three years, the organisation has strengthened and grown, working to promote Exmoor’s unique attributes, support the visitor economy businesses throughout the pandemic, and to be a voice for the area.
Tourism accounts for approximately 60% of all employment within Exmoor National Park. The annual value of tourism to “Greater Exmoor” (inc. a 10 mile radius around the National Park, including Minehead) is estimated to be £404m.*
Visit Exmoor is now moving to become a Community Interest Company (CIC), an incorporated not-for-profit organisation, and are delighted to welcome Robin Barker as our new Chairperson who will be taking this critical role as we step into the next phase of growth.
Robin brings a wealth of experience to the team here at Visit Exmoor. He is a past President and Head of Events for the Tourism Management Institute, a former Director of the Tourism Alliance and Director of Services for Tourism, as well as spokesperson for the South West Tourism Alliance.
In addition to the new Chairperson, Visit Exmoor also welcomes Katherine Daniel (Owner, Little Quarme Cottages & Weddings Exmoor), Huw Rees (Owner, The Old Rectory Hotel) and Deborah Stanyon (Manager, Porlock Visitor Information Centre), who join the team as Non-Executive Directors.
On his appointment, Robin Barker commented, “I am genuinely delighted to join Visit Exmoor as Chair. Exmoor is a true gem in UK tourism, as well as being a very special place for its environment, wildlife, and communities.
‘It is an area I have been visiting for over forty years and one I love returning to. My aim in taking on the Visit Exmoor role is to work alongside the excellent team and support them in the appropriate development of tourism in the area, working with regional and national bodies for the good of all.”
Emma Thomasson, CEO of Visit Exmoor, comments, “As we move towards becoming a Community Interest Company (CIC) we are really pleased to welcome Robin as the new Chair for our board. Robin has solid industry experience and knowledge along with a passion for the South West. It has been a challenging 2 years for our visitor economy, as we look forward Robin brings so much value to supporting our future vision and strategy”
Visit Exmoor would like to give a huge thank you to Jonathan Levenson, outgoing Chairperson, for his contribution over the last four years. Jon has been an integral part of Visit Exmoor’s growth and we wish him all the best for the future.
*(Exmoor STEAM survey (2018) and Rural Enterprise Exmoor research (2020)
For media enquiries contact:
Marketing, Visit Exmoor