New Leadership For TSE Board

TSE News Stories

New Leadership For TSE Board

Following the decision by long-time Board member Ken Robinson CBE to “pass the baton” of Chairmanship of TSE, and the retirement of Vice Chair David Philip, the Board at its meeting of 13th July was able to elect experienced colleagues to these positions.


Mark Smith, Director of Tourism at Bournemouth, will be taking over the Chair, and  Louise Stewart, CEO at Alexandra Palace, will be stepping up to the position of Vice Chair.

Ken Robinson CBE, stated:  “This year was a special anniversary for me, as the Southern Tourist Board (our predecessor organisation) completed its first year of operation in 1976-1977.  It was just over forty years ago that I convened meetings between Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and councillors from Hampshire and Bournemouth after which  we agreed to lobby the Government for the creation of a non-statutory Region, in the central south of England.  Over time, there have been various other amalgamations that has resulted in a body with a footprint covering 9 counties that we serve today. I am extremely pleased to handing over the baton to Mark and Louise who have excellent, and complementary, skills and experience to continue to take TSE forward. I would also like to pay tribute to David Philip who has been a great personal support as well as the secure hand on the financial tiller over some turbulent times. I remain totally committed as I have over the last forty years, to the success of TSE and I hope to continue to serve, to support the new Chair, colleagues and the whole TSE team.”

Mark Smith, the new Chairman, added:  “I have been a great supporter of the Board since working for Winchester over 30 years ago and more recently I have been proud to serve as a Director.   TSE has always played a vital role in providing dynamic support services for commercial businesses and destinations.  Anyone who has observed the resilience and professionalism of TSE’s activity cannot fail to be impressed with the strong leadership and vast tourism knowledge brought by Ken and David.  Largely through their selfless dedication and great skill, TSE has been safely navigated through the dramatic sea changes that have characterised the public sector tourism world over the past twenty years.

“With tourism in the South East worth £12 billion a year, earned by 10,000 businesses, and employing around 400,000 people we are the largest region for tourism in the UK outside London. So, it is crucial to ensure that, in the uncertain times ahead, such an important industry gets the best support, has a cohesive voice and maximises the great opportunities for growth. I believe TSE is well positioned to do exactly that and I feel both flattered and privileged to take this exciting and challenging position.. Also with Louise Stewart’s wisdom and tenacity  as Vice Chair and the fully committed Board and staff team,  I am certain that the organisation will go from strength to strength for the benefit of its members, partners and the visitor economy generally. “

The new Chairman’s first official duty will be at TSE’s AGM and Conference to be held on September 21st, 2017 at Chessington World of Adventures, Surrey.

Note to Editors:

Tourism South East is a leading membership-based tourism organisation and provider of marketing, training, research and visitor information services operating across South and South East England. It covers the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, West and East Sussex, Surrey and Kent. See

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