James was educated at the City of London University. His early career started in arts administration and theatre
marketing before moving to countryside recreation.
He then went on to Nottinghamshire County Council as Tourism Offi cer and subsequently became Assistant
Director of Leisure responsible for the management of various tourist attractions including Sherwood Forest.
He was appointed to the Heart of England Tourist Board as Regional Director in the East Midlands before
joining the Northwest Development Agency as Regional Business Manager for Tourism. He was subsequently
appointed a Director of the Agency with oversight for Tourism and Culture.
On 2 July 2009 James took up the post of Chief Executive of VisitEngland. VisitEngland is the offi cial tourism
body for England. Its role is to work in partnership with Government and industry to grow the value of the
visitor economy at all levels.
James is married with one son. He lives in Battersea but has a small bolt hole in the Peak District where he likes
to make the most of his love of the countryside. He is a Director of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
(LIPA) and the National Skills Academy for Hospitality. James was recently given an Honorary Doctorate in
Business from Chester University .