A new head has been appointed to represent Plymouth’s growing visitor economy on a national and international stage.
Amanda Lumley will take up the role as Chief Executive of Destination Plymouth, the body which oversees the city’s visitor economy sector worth £252 million per annum.
Amanda brings a wealth of experience in both the public and private sector from working at leading attractions such as Chester Zoo and Leeds Castle, managing shopping centres and department stores to regional tourism and business partnerships including Visit Essex, Visit Kent, Dover Pride Regeneration Partnership and Kent County Council where she successfully delivered the Tour de France Stage 1 in 2007.
Amanda said: “I’m delighted to be part of a city that is beginning to really go places. Plymouth has assets most cities can only dream of – a stunning waterfront, a city surrounded by outstanding countryside; it’s fast becoming a foodie heaven and is the cultural arts and entertainment capital for the region.
“It’s got an incredible history and it’s got an incredible future. There are exciting plans in the pipeline and Plymouth has already shown the scale of its ambition by bidding to become the City of Culture 2017.”
Council Leader Tudor Evans added: “We are really excited about this appointment. We want someone who can not only shout about how great Plymouth is, but who also has the experience to ensure visions and goals become guests to our hotels, audiences to our theatre and attractions, diners to our incredible restaurants, walkers and cyclists to our waterfront and shoppers to our city centre and Barbican. This role is critical in ensuring we deliver the Visitor Plan for the city as we move towards 2020 and the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower setting sail from Plymouth.”
As well as being the voice of the city’s visitor economy, Mrs Lumley will lead on major strategic issues including marketing and digital strategy, events development, signage, major development projects, public space and developing transport links.
Over 30,000 jobs in the city rely on tourism and visitors and it is estimated 3.5 million day visitors and 2.4 million staying visitors come to Plymouth annually.
Destination Plymouth was set up in 2010 to better co-ordinate the city’s tourism and visitor offer and develop a stronger image for Plymouth as a world-class, cutting edge maritime city with a strong heritage and culture.
It has made huge progress with a visitor plan to build on successes such as the America’s Cup World Series and the British Art Show. It has distinct projects;
* Signature events: developing the Marine City Festival and other major events, including the
National Fireworks Championships and a new ‘Sailfest’
* Telling stories: a joined-up approached to signs and visitor interpretation
* Development sites: regeneration of the waterfront.
There is now a Plymouth Waterfront Partnership in addition to the successful City Centre Company and the Council’s Economic Development department has been revamped to better support the sector and includes city events, tourist information, museums, arts and Mount Edgcumbe.
Duncan Currall, Chair of Destination Plymouth, said: “With over 1,000 stakeholders involved in this sector, Amanda is going to be a crucial listener as well as a strategic thinker. The BID teams and the Council are making a huge difference to the visitor experience on the ground, but we needed someone to champion Plymouth’s name far and wide. I am confident that Amanda will do this as well as ensure the delivery of our aspirations to transform the Plymouth visitor economy.”
Chris Arscott, Chair of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership said: “We’ve made huge strides over the last few years, with world class events and word is definitely spreading that great things are happening here.
“We’ve got plans, we’ve got teams who can carry out the work on the ground and Amanda has the skills and experience to lead us to greater success.”
Richard Davis, Chair of the City Centre Company said: “This is the final piece of the jigsaw that we need to create a picture of a city that has a united approach to selling itself, to target new markets as well as entice our Westcountry neighbours back to the city to see just how good it is.”
The post will be funded in partnership by the Council and Destination Plymouth, although it is hoped that the post will become self-financing as income is generated from new events and by exploiting commercial opportunities.