Public appointment: members reappointed to the VisitScotland Board

Public appointments news release.

The Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee MSP, today announced the reappointment of Dr Keith Nicholson and Steven Walker as members of the Board of VisitScotland.


Dr Keith Nicholson is a multiple award-winning expert in Cyber Security and was awarded UK Security Specialist of the Year 2020-21. He is a member of the Scottish Government’s National Cyber Resilience Advisory Board and is widely viewed as a public sector security specialist. He is the founder of Cyber Security Scotland and works as an independent consultant. In addition to his knowledge of cyber security, he also brings expertise in audit, risk and technology.

Steven Walker is currently Executive Chair at Blazing Griffin, a Scottish digital entertainment company. He is a former Managing Director at Scotsman Publications, News International Scotland and The Scottish Children’s Lottery. Most recently he was the Director of Corporate Development at STV Group plc. Mr Walker brings to the Board significant leadership skill and valuable e-commerce, digital media, marketing and brand development expertise.


The reappointments are for three years. Dr Nicholson’s term runs from 1 June 2022 until 31 May 2025 with Mr Walker’s running from 1 September 2022 until 31 August 2025.

The reappointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Remuneration and time commitment

The reappointments attracts remuneration of £343.12 per day for a time commitment of two days per month.

Other ministerial appointments

Dr Nicholson and Mr Walker do not hold any other public appointments.

Political Activity

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.

Dr Nicholson and Mr Walker 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 has played a key role in supporting the sector through the pandemic and is now moving from direct involvement and delivery of sector business support to focus on recovery work. The objective of this recovery work is to ensure the sector in on track to achieve the objectives of Scotland’s National Tourism Strategy, Outlook 2030.

Back to top