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 delighted to receive my CBE from HRH The Prince of Wales today. The experience has been unforgettable. I’ve had many roles in tourism over the past 37 years and I’ve genuinely enjoyed every second of them. I am committed to working with VisitEngland in the future to drive forward the growth of an industry that I believe is critical to our economy.”
Lady Cobham’s career in tourism spans nearly 40 years. Her career began when she opened her private home, Hagley Hall, in the West Midlands to the general public in 1979 creating both a fantastic stately home experience for tourists as well as running a successful corporate events venue. In 1987 she became Deputy Chairman 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 of National Heritage, 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. Lady Cobham remains a Board Member of VisitBritain today.