As well as being Vice Chair on the Connected Coast Town Bid, Chris is also Director of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, following a 30-year stint at Butlins - the last 20 years of which was spent as Resort Director. Having grown up in Lincolnshire, Chris has seen the visitor economy from both sides –experiencing it and delivering it.
“Our coastal towns are still hugely successful, during the difficult times and the good times – as the last 18 months or so has proven. We’ve seen a lot of private sector investment over the last few years, and the fact that Skegness is listed as one of Britain’s top five seaside destinations goes to show the appeal Greater Lincolnshire has within the visitor economy.
“And while we know what we have to offer and what makes us a jewel in the UK’s crown, Lincolnshire has always seemed to struggle to make others aware of where we are and what we have to offer. We’re often far too busy getting on with things to shout about why the county is so great. Geographically too, so many places you drive through to get elsewhere, making them a stop-off, Lincolnshire is a destination. We should be proud of our county in its entirety.
"People are far more mobile than they were 40 years ago. Each place, each location, cannot provide 100% of a person’s holiday anymore. My view is always that you want people to go home feeling as though they haven’t done it all, so they return to experience more and throughout the year too – not just during the summer.
“I would hope that Destination Lincolnshire can push Greater Lincolnshire higher up in the agenda of Visit England, giving us more opportunities to put our case and unique issues to Parliament. A stronger marketing output, with a united vision of what we can offer too. Destination Lincolnshire will provide a one-stop shop that is there for those in the industry looking for answers.
"We need Destination Lincolnshire to pull all the threads together – from the Humber to the Wash – to push the agenda and initiatives we really need to put Greater Lincolnshire on the map. A powerful lobbying voice to get across the needs of Great Lincolnshire and provide that informed support for all businesses working in the visitor economy sector. This is a really exciting time for the visitor economy in Lincolnshire.
“For me, as an ex-accountant, the joy of working within the visitor economy sector is that you can step out of your door and experience the success of what you have done, and see your ideas come to fruition. There aren’t many businesses where you get to create those magical memories that people cherish. To be a part of the magic makes you very proud.”
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