Visit Isle of Wight appoint new chairman

An Isle of Wight man who heads up a tourism marketing company specialising in promoting tropical island paradises has been appointed as the new Chairman of Visit Isle of Wight.

Ian Griffiths, of Alverstone Garden Village, takes the helm of the Island’s destination management organisation, following a unanimous resolution of the Visit Isle of Wight Board.

Ian lived on the Isle of Wight as a teenager, working in hotels during summer holidays, before moving off and setting up Ocean Marketing, specialists in promoting island destinations in the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific.

Now Ian is back living full time on the Island, he says he looks forward to taking on the role of Chairman, left vacant following the retirement of Simon Dabell last year.

Ian says: ‘When the BID system was introduced three years ago, I thought ‘actually I want to be on the Board’, but as a non-tourism [business] or BID payer, I wasn’t eligible.

‘Moving forward a couple of years and I saw the Chairman’s position, I thought, I could do that. I was taken aback firstly when I got the interview and then taken aback when I got it [the job], but I’m so excited.’

Ian says that he is particularly keen to engage with Wight BID levy payers and tourism businesses, to help them make the most of the opportunities that are available to them:

‘I definitely want to strengthen that relationship [with Wight BID levy payers]. Some people don’t like the BID, but I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to engage in the marketing, personally. Working with them to help them understand that and to help us understand why they don’t like it – no one wants to pay more money, but I think it’s an affordable way of promoting the destination.’

The role of Chairman is to oversee the work of the organisation and to help promote the work that it does and Ian says he is looking forward to working with the team at Visit Isle of Wight: ‘I’m nose in, fingers out. It’s about going in, working with the team but not doing it, that’s not my role.’

Will Myles, MD at Visit Isle of Wight says: ‘We welcome Ian to the Visit Isle of Wight team and look forward to working with him and benefitting from his experience in continuing to grow the Isle of Wight as the UK’s number one holiday destination.’