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David to lead destination group in 2023

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By Fiona Reid
David to lead destination group in 2023

A NEW chief executive has been appointed for The South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA).

David Hope-Jones will start in the role at the strategic destination management and marketing organisation for the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway in February.

He has spent 15 years as chief executive of the Scotland Malawi Partnership and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours in 2016 for services to international development.

On taking up his new position, Hope-Jones will work alongside the team and board to drive forward the SSDA’s ambitious destination development strategy, which includes increasing tourism spend in the region to £1bn by 2030 and creating 6500 new jobs. He will also help develop the SSDA’s consumer-facing Scotland Starts Here platform which showcases the region to visitors, and oversee ongoing business engagement and product development programme to support local tourism and hospitality businesses in an increasingly challenging economic climate.

He said: “I’m extremely proud to call the South of Scotland my home and I never fail to be blown away by the region’s incredible appeal as a place to visit, whether that’s from within the UK or further afield. It is a huge honour to be given this opportunity to help the area achieve its limitless potential as a year-round visitor destination.

“The Alliance has been doing a great job supporting tourism and hospitality businesses in the region and I’m champing at the bit to get started and join such a great team.

“The coming year offers unique opportunities for us to showcase our region, building on Lonely Planet singling The South of Scotland out as one the top destinations in the world to visit, not to mention the launch of the new Coast to Coast cycle route in the summer which is set to be a huge draw for cycling enthusiasts.”

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