New Islands’ Partnership Executive Director Starts Work

david jackson islands partnershipThe new Executive Director of the Islands’ Partnership has started work.

It’s a new, senior position for Scilly’s tourism and business body and David Jackson says he’s very aware of the pressure he’s under to grow our tourism industry.

David is moving to Scilly after three-and-a-half years as Head of Marketing for the Bath Tourism Board. Before that, he worked for the tourism section of the Northwest Regional Development Agency and has spent time working in the industry in his home area of Lincolnshire.

David says he was happy in Bath and wasn’t looking for a move, but says the advert for the IP job grabbed his attention.

He says it’s not every day you get a chance to work in a place like Scilly and he felt it would be a good opportunity to “get his teeth into the job” and effect real changes.

He hadn’t visited the islands before his interview, although he’s been back several times now to look for a home. He says it’s amazing how quickly Scilly “gets its hooks into you.”

From Radio Scilly

David Jackson talks to Radio Scilly

David is very aware of the pressures on him as the head of the IP, because our economy is so dependent on tourism, but he says he’s up for the challenge.

And he says he’s lucky to come at a good time, with the Partnership starting to get established and tourist numbers growing.

David says the Partnership has the backing of its 300 members and it would be much harder to do the job if that support wasn’t there.

He realises that he’ll be in the firing line, but feels that his time working in Bath has prepared him for that.

The city, with 80,000 residents, was much bigger than Scilly, he says, but actually quite small and insular. It was like “working in a goldfish bowl,” he says, and “everything wasn’t always rosy.” And he’s prepared to take the rough with the smooth.

David says one of his main tasks will be to grow the tourism economy in Scilly.

He feels the visitor numbers in high season are already quite good and the trick is now to grow the numbers outside this time. And David says that’s not always about growing the numbers alone, but also trying to increase the spend of the visitors who come here.

His wife and three-year-old daughter are looking forward to moving out to the islands in the New Year and David says living by the sea, something he’s always wanted to do, should give him a chance to learn to sail.

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