Fiona Wilton – VICE CHAIR

fionawiltonCurrent positions:  Board member of Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association (Director and Vice Chair) and member of the Partnerships, Business Development and Marketing sub groups.  Chair Visit Wales South East Wales Tourism Forum. Attends the (Assembly) Ministers Tourism Advisory Board by regular invitation.

Brief experience:  Fiona has over 40 years of Travel and Tourism experience, delivering worldwide (50 plus countries), through her role as an International Tourism Development consultant.  She has a background which includes hospitality skills, retail travel agency, tour operations, tourist boards, quality assurance, TVET development and training, branding and marketing, and business development.  Fiona owns and operates Monmouthshire Cottages, three prize winning self-catering cottages in the Wye Valley and has been a board member of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association for many years.

Fiona also offers a consultancy service for self-caterers, Cottage Direction, and worldwide consultancy and skills training for travel and tourism operators via her company, Travel Training Services.

She is a Fellow of the Tourism Society.

Key skills: Marketing, Training (licensed World Host trainer), partnership development, SME development external funding.

Reasons for being a board member: Fiona chairs an important Visit Wales regional committee which maintains and develops effective and sustainable partnerships between the public and private sector across Southern Wales.  She actively represents the Association and destination at the highest level, meeting with local, regional and national government agencies from Whitehall to Cardiff Bay. These contacts bring opportunities to the Association.

Fiona initiated the process of planning the Associations restructure for future needs, and has been Vice-Chair throughout the process, seeing the Association grow into a more formal and much larger enterprise than previously.

In 2015 she led the complex technical and legal process of negotiating and implementing the use of Freetobook on the Associations site (bringing almost £50K in new bookings to Members in the first 4 months of operation)

Also in 2015 she initiated the drive to obtain World Host Destination status for the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.

In 2016 she has continued to represent members from all three counties in places from Copenhagen to Cardiff.

She is clear that with the sad decline in public sector funding, the private sector must pick up the slack -so that the promotion of local tourism businesses and therefore the economic success of the area she is proud to call home is assured.

She is clear that with the sad decline in public sector funding, the private sector has had to pick up the slack so that the promotion of all local tourism businesses and therefore the economic success of the area she is proud to call home is assured.