Emma Brealey, Managing Director

Petwood Hotel


Emma Brealey has been the Managing Director at Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa for 11 years. A family-owned and run three-star hotel, under Emma’s direction the Petwood welcomes a wide range of visitors from leisure and golfers to those hosting events such as weddings. Having worked with the Visit Lincoln team since inception, Emma has a unique insight into the role Destination Lincolnshire will provide.

“Destination Lincolnshire will unite the visitor economy business community and I’m really excited to see leadership on this project from the team who have made Visit Lincoln such a success. It’s exactly what’s needed to direct an ongoing post-Covid recovery.


“Destination Lincolnshire will help all of us business owners and operators working in the visitor economy. I’m looking forward to using its new visitor profiling research in our business planning at the Petwood Hotel because I think this will help widen our appeal and develop incentives and packages with other businesses in Lincolnshire that have a similar visitor base to us. I’ve been a Visit Lincoln partner since its inception. I’ve seen it grow and witnessed the level of support it provides. Destination Lincolnshire is the natural evolution of Visit Lincoln.

My biggest hope for Destination Lincolnshire is that it will knit together all of the various businesses that operate in the county. Regardless of size or status.

"When you look at the businesses as a whole, they, we, contribute £2.5billion to the economy – so every business is valued whether they are small independents or multi-national corporations. Weaving us all together into a business community – Destination Lincolnshire.

“There is so much to get excited about and so much investment going into the county, but sometimes there can be a disconnect about how they will impact and be adopted by current businesses. Having Destination Lincolnshire bring it all together is going to be a wonderful resource for everyone involved.


“When it comes to collaboration between businesses, Destination Lincolnshire isn’t starting at point zero, it’s building on the strong foundations of Visit Lincoln’s work. At a county level, there has been a lack of coordinated support and Destination Lincolnshire is stepping up to fill that void. It will be a combined effort that every business can buy into as a collective voice for the business community.

“The support and guidance it will be able to offer all businesses is built on a decade of Visit Lincoln partnering and accessing the skills and expertise from the likes of Visit England – the collaboration that has been going on between the Visit Lincoln team and Visit England is incredible. For the business community to be able to tap into that knowledge base and have that information and knowledge at their fingertips will be invaluable.

“We’ve all been working to keep the wheels on the bus for the past 18 months through Covid, and businesses have survived so far but that doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods yet. This is where we, where Lincolnshire, can really come to the fore with a well-structured, well-planned approach to bringing more visitors and investment into the county. It’s a golden opportunity for all of us. Lincolnshire is ready for it, we need it, and Destination Lincolnshire is going to provide it.

“Eleven years ago, when I stumbled into the Petwood and the hospitality industry, the landscape of Lincolnshire’s visitor economy was very different. A Lincolnshire lass, I left the job I was in and came back to the hotel - which my family has owned for 25 years - just as the previous management team departed. The state of the business was far beyond what any of us thought.

“It was the credit crunch era; it was brutal and a time when hospitality fared particularly badly. That said it was a really exciting chapter for me to join the family business. Within the year Mum had asked me to join the board and the rest, as they say, is history.

“Hospitality is something I truly love, nothing is monotonous, and it certainly offers variety - it’s part of the very fabric of the working day. We get to see the very best of people. See them celebrating, and watch them reach milestones – it’s a real privilege. Who wouldn’t want to work in hospitality?”

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