VisitBritain has created the new role of head of policy, in a bid to gain more influence with Whitehall decision-makers.
Anne Harvey, who joins from the Scottish National Party's Westminster Group where she was parliamentary business manager, will report to Patricia Yates, director of strategy and insights at VisitBritain.
In her new role, Harvey will work with both public and private sector organisations to identify the issues that are holding back growth of the UK as a visitor attraction and put in place a strategy to overcome them.
Initial areas will include welcome, sustainability, the impact of taxes and visas on cost and ease of access, as well as the implications of changing demographics.
Yates said: "We are very fortunate to welcome Anne to VisitBritain. She is a familiar face to many political figures and her experience, background in policy formation and knowledge of parliamentary processes will complement our existing expertise."
Harvey, whose previous experience includes positions as principal adviser to MP Angus MacNeil, and a decade as head of research at Holiday Which? Magazine, said she was "eager" to begin dialogue with the industry.
"I look forward to engaging with the challenges and opportunities afforded by the present economic climate, and to championing the tourist industry by taking the case for prioritising sustainable tourism right to the heart of Government and the devolved administrations," she said.
Last month, VisitBritain created the interim role of deputy chief executive and accounting officer. Sandie Dawe, the tourism body's 2012 Games strategy director, took on the role following the departure of former chief executive Tom Wright at the beginning of the year.
By Daniel Thomas
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