Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive of Visit Kent, has been selected to join the Women 1st Top 100 Club – marking her out as one of the most influential women nationally in hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism.

Sandra was chosen to be included into the Women 1st Top 100 Club of thought leaders alongside other new members including Harriet Green, group chief executive for Thomas Cook; Jo Boydell, chief financial officer at Travelodge; Caroline White, chief executive at the Youth Hostel Association; and Sue Kemp, divisional director at Legoland, Windsor.

Sandra-Matthews-Marsh-Visit-KentWomen 1st was founded by sector skills council People 1st to support women in achieving their career aspirations within hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism businesses and organisations.

Launched last year, Women 1st, which runs the Top 100 Club and the Shine Awards, offers thought leadership on gender diversity, continuing professional development training, a mentoring programme and networking events.

Sandra said: “This is a great honour built on the support I have had from many professionals, both men and women, in my own career. It is an opportunity to influence at the highest levels, key industry issues facing women that I have been passionate about throughout my career in tourism and have worked hard to address during my ten years with Visit Kent.”

At this year’s Women 1st Shine awards and presentations event, Simone Roche, director, said: “The calibre of the new inductees into our Top 100 Club suggests that the future success of the industry is in safe hands.”

Sandra is also vice-chairman of the Tourism Society, representing 1,000 members in the UK and across the world, and works closely with national bodies to develop and promote Kent amongst Britain’s destinations, plus supporting the development of destination management organisations in England.

Find out more about the Women 1st Top 100 Club at


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