Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive resigns
Sep 20, 2021

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive James Mason has resigned and will leave the organisation next month.

Mr Mason, who has led the tourism body since January last year, will depart on October 22 to take on a new yet-to-be-announced job in the new year.

The news comes less than a month after it was announced the 2022 Tour de Yorkshire had been cancelled.

Mr Mason joined Welcome to Yorkshire after former boss, Sir Gary Verity, resigned in March 2019 on health grounds. Mr Verity later faced allegations of bullying and inappropriately claiming expenses, which he denied.

Speaking about his departure, Mr Mason said “the decision wasn’t an easy one” but that he was “excited” for his new role.

He said:

“Whilst working under difficult conditions at times, there is lots we can be proud of, such as the much-loved Walkshire campaign, the launch of a personal membership and tree planting scheme, as well as the implementation of a tourism recovery plan.

“The brief when I joined was to guide Welcome to Yorkshire towards steadier waters and drastically reduce costs.

“We achieved this despite all the restrictions we faced and never stopped innovating or striving for excellence.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their involvement in trying to bring the Tour de Yorkshire back especially our local authority partners with their continued commitment. These high-profile events will return to the region when the time is right.”

Read more:

Chair of Welcome to Yorkshire, Peter Box, thanked Mr Mason for the “commitment and energy” he brought to the role.

He added Welcome to Yorkshire will arrange a board meeting to discuss the future of the organisation.

Mr Box said:

“We would like to thank James for the commitment and energy he has demonstrated during a particularly turbulent time for tourism and for the organisation. When James joined as chief executive almost two years ago there were many challenges to deal with.

“A positive plan was put in place to continue showcasing Yorkshire to the world and despite the covid pandemic adding a new and unexpected level of challenges for the tourism industry, James tackled all issues head-on and worked tirelessly.

“He embraced all aspects of the role passionately and with creativity. A board meeting will be arranged to discuss the next steps for Welcome to Yorkshire.”