Lord Thurso was appointed to his post on 1 April 2016. As Chair of VisitScotland he will also serve as an Ex-Officio Board Member of VisitBritain.
John has significant industry experience, he became Europe’s youngest 5 star hotel manager when appointed Managing Director of the Savoy Group’s Lancaster Hotel in Paris at 27. Following five successful years in Paris, he then led 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.
John has served as a non-executive on a number of public company boards including The Savoy PLC, Millenium and Copthorne PLC. He is also Chairman of his family company in Caithness and for many years owned The Ulbster Arms in Halkirk.
He sat in the House of Lords between 1995 and 1999 and from 2001 to 2015 was MP for Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross. He was awarded a “Catey” for services to Tourism 2003, was made an honorary DBA by Oxford Brookes in 2004, is a Master Innholder and 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. In 2016 John re-entered the House of Lords.