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The Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee MSP, today announced the appointments of Paul Easto and Shona Marsh as Members of the Board of VisitScotland.
Paul Easto is Chief Operating Officer of the Active Travel Group Limited having been co-founder and Executive Director of the Active Travel Group, which comprised five of the leading international travel brands. He is also Managing Director of Wilderness Scotland Limited leading on business planning, strategy and development. He was previously an Advisory Board Member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association Advisor to the US based Adventure Travel Trade Association. He also served as a Member of the Cairngorms National Park Authority Board where chaired the Cairngorms Tourism Partnership and led on the development of the Park’s Sustainable Tourism Plan.
Shona Marsh started her tourism career on a tourist office welcome desk and has since held roles in sustainable tourism, DMO marketing and membership development, tourism consultancy, and commercial development for SMEs in the industry. She was the first employee of the start-up, Accomable, which was acquired by Airbnb. Following the integration of the business model into Airbnb, she moved to manage commercial growth of the Airbnb Experiences business in Northern Europe where she worked with thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop and grow high quality visitor experiences across the region.
The appointments are for three years and run from 1 September 2022 until 31 August 2025.
The appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.
Remuneration and time commitment
The appointments attract remuneration of £343.12 per day for a time commitment of two days per month.
Other ministerial appointments
Paul Easto and Shona Marsh do not hold any other public appointments.
All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.
Paul Easto and Shona Marsh have had no political activity within the last five years.
VisitScotland is the Scottish Government Non-Departmental Public Body responsible for promoting the interests of the tourism industry across Scotland. It has wide statutory powers to promote tourism and has a budget of around £50 million per annum. It is funded in part by the Scottish Government, and the Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise makes appointments to the Board which currently has six members including the Chair, Lord Thurso.
VisitScotland has a strategic role as the public sector agency providing leadership and direction for the development of Scottish tourism to get the maximum economic benefit for Scotland. Its core purpose is to grow and develop the sustainable economic benefit of tourism to Scotland’s visitor economy.
VisitScotland is a national organisation. Local activities are organised around six regions (aligned to Highland and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise regions). Each region includes several local offices.