Alison McRae will take up a newly created senior tourism post at Liverpool City Council in November to oversee the city's £1.3bn visitor economy and build on the success of European Capital of Culture in 2008.
The Glasgow-born management consultant's main task is to keep the city's visitor economy at the heart of its economic agenda. She will also co-ordinate strategy with Liverpool Vision, The Mersey Partnership, tourism directors in neighbouring local authorities, the North West Development Agency and Visit Britain.
Before setting up her own consultancy, McRae worked with Scottish Enterprise and as project director for the Scottish Government initiative Homecoming Scotland where she designed the vision and strategy for a year-long programme of events and activities which is running this year to drive tourism growth.
She commented: "My challenge now is to develop Liverpool's unique brand and work with partners to take the city where it needs to be in 10-15 years' time – which is among the very best city destinations in the world. I'm looking forward to working in the city and helping to shape the next chapter in its success story.''
The director of destination Liverpool is a fixed term post and was created as a direct response to the Government's IDeA Peer Review of the Council Tourism service.
The appointment comes just two months after a national survey revealed Liverpool had leapt into the UK top ten of most visited cities, posting the best performance of any city, with an overall +28% increase in visits; and a 47% increase in holiday visits.
Rod Holmes, chairman of The Mersey Partnership, Liverpool city region's official tourist board, said: "Developing the appeal of Liverpool itself is critical if we are to realise the potential of the city region to create more jobs and wealth through the visitor economy. This is an important appointment and we look forward to welcoming Alison and working with her."