The Piece Hall’s Nicky Chance-Thompson and Castle Howard’s Abbi Ollive are the latest high-level tourism experts to join Welcome to Yorkshire’s Board of Directors. Both bring a wealth of valuable experience from two of Yorkshire’s most iconic, heritage attractions.

Nicky Chance-Thompson DL is CEO and Trustee of the multi-award-winning The Piece Hall in Halifax. Since it reopened in August 2017, The Piece Hall has attracted over 7m visitors to enjoy the exciting independent heritage, retail, food and culture destination, with a series of high-profile art, film and music events including world-class bands such as Elbow.

“I’m incredibly interested in supporting Welcome to Yorkshire and I have a passion for promoting the county as a great place to visit, live and work. What a privilege!” Nicky Chance-Thompson enthuses. “As a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, I take great pride in telling the rest of the world what we already know. Originally from London, I can see things with a new visitor’s perspective which can be different to those who have been born and bred in Yorkshire. My experiences running The Piece Hall, a magnificent, unique and iconic building, delivering large music and sporting events, and having previously worked in advertising and large regeneration projects will bring useful experience and skills to the Board, helping make destination Yorkshire a compelling and leading world brand.“

Head of Marketing and Sales at Castle Howard, Abbi Ollive has worked in tourism, heritage and culture in Yorkshire for the last 12 years and with a great understanding of how member organisations work with Welcome to Yorkshire, brings a grassroots insight to the board.

“We find ourselves in times of significant change, with a colossal recovery mountain to climb for the tourism industry, but even with the inevitable challenges ahead, the backdrop of Yorkshire is as strong as ever. The county’s people are passionate and hard-working, the landscapes are epic, the food world-class and there are hundreds of top-class places to visit and enjoy,” explains Castle Howard’s Abbi Ollive. “As Yorkshire’s guardians and ambassadors we are all working together as a region, with members, residents and visitors to ensure tourism survives and thrives in these uncertain times. I believe that the Welcome to Yorkshire team and board will carve out new ways to be brand stretching, bold, ambitious, innovative and will push the boundaries, whilst supporting individuals and businesses in the tourism sector across the region to grow and develop. As an enthusiastic and passionate professional marketer and proud Yorkshire woman, I feel I can be part of a valuable contribution to the next chapter of Welcome to Yorkshire’s journey.”

Welcome to Yorkshire Chair Peter Box said: “Nicky and Abbi’s vast experience in the tourism industry and their impressive achievements working with heritage attractions, means they’ll both be incredible assets and brilliant additions to the team. Bringing skills, enthusiasm and fantastic vision to the Welcome to Yorkshire Board, we’re all delighted to have them on board.”

Welcome to Yorkshire’s Chief Executive James Mason added: “Having two inspirational tourism experts with such in-depth knowledge and experience of the visitor economy will be a genuine asset for the Welcome to Yorkshire Board. Under Peter Box’s leadership, we are building a team of people who will create and deliver our fresh and exciting new strategy for the immediate short-term, as well as for a long-term, sustainable future.”