LONDON -- People generally agree that the weather is not a selling point for tourism in Britain. Sport is. The summer calendar here highlights the dates of Ascot racing, Wimbledon tennis, cricket at Lord's, golf, rowing, athletics. These popular events draw crowds of supporters growing ever more enthusiastic in the buildup to the Sydney Olympic Games.

David A. Quarmby visited Japan in April. As chairman of the British Tourist Authority, he said then that "the cultural landscape of Britain was being transformed faster and more profoundly than at any time in the history of BTA." He suggested that the transformation gave overseas visitors "a whole lot of new reasons to visit Britain. It's the moment for our visitors to discover a new Britain, and in it a renaissance of arts, culture, environment and public architecture. Now is the time."

Quarmby has had a career that covered a range of dedications before he came to the leadership of British tourism. Native to Yorkshire, he had the fortune to go to school in Shrewsbury, an alluring, historic market town set in a horseshoe bend of the River Severn in central England. He went on to King's College, Cambridge, and has his Ph.D. degree from Leeds University.