“I’ve been fortunate to hold one of the best jobs in tourism and it has been a real privilege to have worked for 18 years promoting this beautiful city,” Gillian said.
“There have been so many highlights such as Royal Ascot in York, collecting the European City of the Year award in Athens, launching our Stay Longer campaign with Sir Richard Branson and opening our new state-of-the-art visitor centre.”
Awarded the MBE for services to tourism in 2010, Gillian has led many successful marketing campaigns, culminating the city being named European City of the Year in 2007.
“I’m looking forward now to exploring new challenges and would like to thank all of those businesses in the city who’ve worked with me and our expert tourism team to develop York as an internationally renowned quality brand,” said Gillian.
“We are now in the fortunate position that destinations across the globe look to Visit York for tourism advice. Visit York will continue to push new boundaries to ensure York punches above its weight.”
Chairman of Visit York, Jane Lady Gibson, said: “York’s tourism sector has gone from strength to strength under Gillian’s dynamic leadership.
“We are currently in the process of consulting with the travel trade, our visitors, our members and residents on key priorities for the future and how we make tourism even more successful. All of this work will continue to develop with the valued support of York’s tourism businesses and the City of York Council.’
Gillian first worked in the tourism sector on the ski slopes of the Alps in the 1980s. She went on to work for Hull City Council as a tourism officer and was responsible for setting up Hull Conference Bureau. Previously a hotel manager in the Scottish Highlands, Gillian also experienced another side of the hospitality industry as an air stewardess for Air UK.