The Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance (NITA), have today (10 May) announced the appointment of Judith Owens MBE, Chief Executive of TBL International as the new chairperson of NITA.
Judith was a founding member of NITA and has served on the board since 2018.
With experience spanning nearly three decades, unrivalled knowledge of the tourism and events industry and an exceptional track record, Judith’s leadership, commitment and expertise has seen Titanic Belfast go from strength to strength, welcoming over 6.5 million visitors from 145 countries, winning ‘World’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ at the World Travel Awards and seeing the attraction contribute £430m in additional spend back into the NI economy to date.
Judith is passionate about inclusive tourism and its importance to the economy and society and outside of her position at TBL International, Judith is an inspirational ambassador in promoting tourism as a force for good bringing economic and societal benefits across Northern Ireland. Her ethos of nurturing people and talent led to her being a founder member of the Hospitality and Tourism Skills (HATS) network, set up to attract and retain talent in the sector. Judith works with charities such as Autism NI, Royal National Institute of Blind People and NOW Group to ensure tourism venues are inclusive to all, including minority and community groups.
Welcoming her appointment, Judith said “It is a privilege to be appointed as the incoming Chair of NITA, particularly at such a pivotal time for the industry and wider society. Tourism in Northern Ireland is something I am incredibly passionate about and have been involved with NITA since its conception. I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue building on the exemplary work undertaken by our outgoing Chair Brenda Morgan MBE and look forward to working with our board and members to help shape future development of the industry.”
Joanne Stuart OBE, Chief Executive of NITA said “We are extremely grateful to our outgoing Chair, Brenda Morgan MBE, for her inspirational leadership over the past 4 years. Brenda was instrumental in the establishment of NITA and has led the development of the organisation as the recognised ‘Voice for Tourism’. Her leadership saw us through the darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic when NITA played a pivotal role to get support for the industry. We are confident that as she hands over the leadership to Judith Owens, NITA will continue to go from strength to strength providing a strong voice for tourism as the industry moves forward.