He replaces Michael Bedingfield, who left the organisation to become chief executive of Tourism South East (TSE).
Bresh has spent the past year as VisitBritain's regional director for Europe. He began his career at food retailer Safeway, before joining the British Tourism Authority in 2001.
Bresh has previously been general manager for England marketing at the tourism body, heading up a 20-strong team responsible for the EnjoyEngland brand, marketing strategy and website.
‘Laurence brings excellent relevant experience and good stakeholder relationships to the role. His passion and drive for Britain, coupled with great implementation skills make him an asset to VisitBritain as we push the value message this year and gear up to maximize the tourism benefits of London 2012 over the next three years,' said Sandie Dawe, chief executive at VisitBritain.
A February report by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced that VisitBritain is to adopt ‘a more administrative role', with greater marketing focus upon the individual national brands. In turn, Britain as a destination brand is to be phased out from international tourist marketing.