Welcome to Yorkshire’s urgent task as James Mason quits tourism body – The Yorkshire Post says

JAMES Mason was earnest in his attempts to stabilise Welcome to Yorkshire following former chief executive Sir Gary Verity’s departure amid a series of scandals that revealed serial shortcomings in the governance of the troubled tourism body.

James Mason has tendered his resignation as chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

Only he, and a select few, will appreciate the scale of this task – and what it took to shore up this organisation when the full extent of previous mismanagement was not totally clear.

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This meant Mr Mason losing many talented individuals in order to balance the books as well as public and private sector backers seeking transparency and value for money as they reappraised previous undertakings.

James Mason succeeded the disgraced Sir Gary Verity (pictured) as chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

Yet, just as WTY was finding a new equilibrium and marketing Yorkshire as a destination for walkers and food connoisseurs after calling off next year’s Tour de Yorkshire because of the costs involved, Mr Mason’s decision to resign at this point risks leaving the organisation back at square one unless the resulting leadership void is filled swiftly and effectively.

After all, local councils, as Mr Mason knows well, will want clarity on the county’s future tourism strategy at a critical moment for the industry – sentiments shared by corporate benefactors who, like many, will be bemused by the timing of this upheaval.

As such, there is now a very increased expectation on Peter Box, the former Wakefield Council leader who now chairs WTY, to make the correct calls alongside his board of directors. They can’t afford to let the county down. An entire industry – and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people – hinges on their next moves.

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