Elected as an MP in 2005, Penrose will report to the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt.
His background is in publishing, having been chairman of Logotron, a small independent company creating educational software for schools before entering parliament. Earlier in his career he was managing director of Longman, publishing school textbooks or the UK and Africa, and worked in publishing for Thompson, in management consultancy for McKinsey and in banking for JP Morgan.
In the last parliament, Penrose, who has a home in his constituency in the village of Winscombe, was appointed shadow business minister in January 2009.
A spokesman for the British Hospitality Association said that the appointment of Penrose was a very positive one. "As an MP for a coastal resort he will already have some understanding of the kind of issues facing the hospitality industry," he said.
It is not yet known whether Penrose's role will be dedicated to tourism, as promised by the Conservative party prior to the general election.
By Janet Harmer
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