Westward Shipping News is sharing a spotlight on Plymouth’s Waterfront business leaders and owners, who are giving their views, perspectives, and insights on the future of Britain’s Ocean City. 

Destination Plymouth is a private and public sector partnership, and its role is to promote Plymouth as a place to live, work, study, and visit. 

The organisation is funded by the Plymouth City Centre Company, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, and Plymouth City Council, alongside a wide membership from the city’s business community and surrounding areas.

Destination Plymouth Annual Conference last November 2023, at the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, celebrating 25 years of Ocean Conservation.

Destination Plymouth was set up in 2010 to coordinate and promote the city’s leisure and tourism attractions around the world.

It was a real privilege to be awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in 2021 and the amazing work of our team at Destination Plymouth.

For over 12 years, Amanda has been leading the team at Destination Plymouth, the body working closely with other city partnerships to increase tourism numbers to 5.4 million visitors over the last 10 years and visitor spend growth by 25% to over £330 million a year, she said.

Amanda Lumley has worked in some of the UK’s top visitor attractions, including Leeds Castle and Chester Zoo, as well as leading regional tourism and business partnerships including Visit Essex, Visit Kent, Dover Pride Regeneration Partnership, and Kent County Council. 

Amanda successfully delivered the Tour de France Stage One in 2007 as Project Director for Kent County Council. The event generated nearly £20 million for the Kent economy, with over 3 million spectators watching on the roadsides.

She received a commendation by the then Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and Chief Constable for her work around the Tour de France across the county of Kent.

As the leading voice of the city’s visitor economy, Amanda is also the Volunteer Director and Chair of the Great South West Tourism Partnership, a ‘powerhouse’ brand promoting the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, Devon, and Dorset, and a Director of the Tourism Management Institute nationally.

I think it is very important to give back time into the community, particularly young people, which is why I enjoy volunteering, she said.

Born in Yorkshire near the village of Barwick-in-Elmet that was part of the ancient Romano-British Kingdom of Elmet.

After leaving school, Amanda went to York College of Art and then spent gap time travelling across Canada and Greece.

Her first job was at the iconic ‘Yorkshire Post’ for 3 years in advertising and editorial features.

She then moved to the ‘York Evening Press’ at a time when the first digital and computer revolution was taking place in marketing and sales before moving into digital marketing agencies and ultimately destination marketing.

She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the Tourism Management.

Amanda is a mother of two children and relocated to Plymouth in the summer of 2012, and her first home was at Citadel Road on the Hoe.

How does your day begin?

My day starts with a very early routine of taking my two Labrador dogs for a walk on Dartmoor and my fresh air fix for the day. I like an early 8am start in the office checking emails and meetings, and I find the first hour between 8am and 9am is the most important.

What does it mean to be an effective business leader in the world’s marketplace?

Good business leaders are normally confident decision-makers, but in an increasingly complex global world, they need to be flexible, adaptable, resilient, and great communicators.

A key part of my role is partnership working, and this involves developing relationships with key partners and great people across the city, region, and nationally, which all adds to the enjoyment of my work.

How do you see the future face of Plymouth?

The future for Plymouth is bright and the rising star of the South West region that will be defined by our beautiful waterfront and scenery, marine park, and its famous reputation as a seafaring city.

Plymouth is an amazing place, with huge amounts of regeneration being planned and taking place. But especially a determined effort among the business community and partnerships—in working together to promote brand Plymouth in the global market place.

If you have any business advice, what would it be?

Working in the hospitality and tourism sectors is still challenging coming out of the COVID pandemic, but it is exciting, rewarding, and that word resilient is so important.

Do you have any claims to fame?

Well, I drove a train under the Channel Tunnel as part of scoping work to bring the Olympic torch to the London 2012 games, and I have climbed Mont Blanc’s Summit,” she said.

What do you most love about Plymouth?

I love the vibrancy, cultural scene, and that sense of community in the city, and a welcoming spirit for the lass from Yorkshire.