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Visit Scotland | Alba

Lord Thurso was appointed as our Chairman in 2016, and as such also serves as an Ex-Officio Board Member of VisitBritain.

John’s industry experience is considerable. At 27 he became Europe’s youngest 5 star hotel manager as Managing Director of the Savoy Group’s Lancaster Hotel in Paris. He then went on to lead a number of hospitality businesses to success including Blakeney Hotels of Cliveden, which became the UK’s highest rated hotel under his leadership, East Sussex National Golf Course and Fitness & Leisure Holdings. 

Having served as a non-executive on a number of public company boards including The Savoy PLC, Millenium and Copthorne PLC, John is also Chairman of his family company in Caithness. For many years he also owned The Ulbster Arms in Halkirk.

John sat in the House of Lords between 1995 and 1999 and from 2001 to 2015 was MP for Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross. In 2003 he was awarded a ‘Catey’ for services to tourism, was made an honorary DBA by Oxford Brookes in 2004, is a Master Innholder, a Fellow of The Institute of Hospitality and is President of the Tourism Society. In 2014 he was made a Privy Councillor by The Queen.

John Thurso's Register of Interests

Published June 2022