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Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Tourism's timetable of trouble
Rod Lynch
Rod Lynch's appointment lasted less than a week
The controversy surrounding Rod Lynch's short tenure as Scotland's tourism chief-in-waiting is only the latest blow to the beleaguered industry.

It emerged on Monday that Mr Lynch - who was announced as the new chief executive of visitscotland just five days ago - would not be taking up the post.

However, the industry - which is also reeling from the impact of foot-and-mouth disease on visitor numbers - has been no stranger to problems in recent months.

  • Last November the Scottish Tourist Board, as it was then known, came in for severe criticism in a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers

    Alasdair Morrison
    Alasdair Morrison's Italian trip sparked a row

  • The review had been commissioned by the then enterprise minister Henry McLeish after figures showed the number of foreign visitors coming to Scotland fell by 11% in 1999. It said there was "confusion and ambiguity" among senior managers and recommended a radical shake-up of the organisation, including changing its name to visitscotland

  • Chief executive Tom Buncle resigned in the wake of the report

  • Enterprise Minister Wendy Alexander announced a worldwide search for a new chief executive

  • Headhunters Heidrich and Struggles were brought in to carry out the hunt for a new boss

  • However, while that search continued Scotland was caught up in the foot-and-mouth outbreak

  • Tourism bosses, particularly in the worst affected area of Dumfries and Galloway, reported falling numbers of overseas tourists. That prompted a multi-million pound aid package from the Scottish Executive

  • The executive sent a delegation of ministers, including First Minister Henry McLeish and Tourism Minister Alasdair Morrison, to America for the Tartan Week celebrations to convince US tourists that Scotland was open for business

    Tourist office
    Foot-and-mouth hit visitor numbers

  • During the event Mr McLeish came under fire when he described foot-and-mouth as a "little problem"

  • Days after returning from America, it emerged Mr Morrison was taking an Easter break in Italy despite encouraging people to spend their holidays in Scotland

  • His return on 13 April was met with a storm of protest and he apologised to anyone in the industry who was offended by his decision to holiday abroad

  • On 19 April, Mr Lynch was announced as the replacement for Mr Buncle

  • However, his appointment to the 145,000-a-year post was overshadowed by the news he was about to take a holiday in the US, where he said he would be mixing business with pleasure

  • That led to a wider political row, in which Ms Alexander was said to have ignored advice to defuse the situation by delaying the announcement

  • Less than a week later it emerged Mr Lynch would spend one month a year working for another company with a role as chairman and chief executive of Global Supply Systems

  • On Monday night it was announced that the job offer had been withdrawn.

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    See also:

    23 Apr 01 | Scotland
    Tourist chief 'goes' after posts row
    23 Apr 01 | Scotland
    New row engulfs tourist chief
    19 Apr 01 | Scotland
    New chief for tourist body
    16 Apr 01 | Scotland
    Easter break springs tourism hope
    13 Apr 01 | Scotland
    Minister's 'regret' over Italy trip
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