Lady Cobham’s career in tourism spans nearly 40 years. Her career began when she opened her private home Hagley Hall in Worcestershire to the general public in 1977 creating both a fantastic stately home experience for tourists as well as running a successful corporate events venue.
In 1987 she became Deputy Chair of the Heart of England and as a result was then asked to sit on the board of the English Tourist Board. Between 1989 and 1990 she sat on the boards of English Heritage, the Countryside Commission and Historic Royal Palaces. In 1992 she became Special Advisor at the Department for Heritage and Tourism, later to become The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).
In 1993 Lady Cobham became a trustee at the V&A, a position that lasted for ten years, and joined the board of the British Waterways and the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) with direct responsibility for tourism. Also in 1993 she joined the board of VisitBritain and became 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.
Lady Cobham said: “I’m surprised and delighted to receive such an award from The Queen. 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.”