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Leading Tourism Figures Honoured By The Queen

Two leading figures in UK domestic tourism have been recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

VisitEngland chairman Lady Cobham was awarded a CBE for services to tourism.

Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive of Visit Kent and chairman of the Tourism Society, received the MBE for services to tourism in Kent.

Lady Cobham became a member of the board of VisitBritain in 1993 and deputy chairman in 2005.

She joined VisitEngland in 2009 when the tourist board was created and has been instrumental in driving forward the objectives of England’s strategic framework for tourism to maximise tourism’s contribution to the economy, employment and quality of life in England.



Her career began when she opened her private home Hagley Hall in Worcestershire to the public in 1977.

Lady Cobham said: “I’ve had many roles in tourism over the past 37 years and I’ve genuinely enjoyed every second of it.

“Tourism is incredibly important to our economy and I am committed to working with VisitEngland to drive forward the future growth of the visitor economy.”

Matthews-Marsh said: “I have spent 17 years working in tourism in Kent – first at the South East England Tourist Board, then at Leeds Castle and for the past 10 years I have had the privilege of leading the most amazing destination management organisation team in the country – Visit Kent.

“Tourism is a tremendous industry full of passionate, creative, can-do people who manage to retain their sense of humour and positivity however big the challenges.

“I have been privileged to be surrounded by such enthusiastic and energetic people for 28 years working in this wonderful industry.

“And this honour celebrates their tireless work which has created the successful and innovative partnerships and support networks that deliver tourism services for our visitors and our businesses.”

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