Destination Plymouth Showcases Britain’s Vibrant Ocean City to British Tourism Chair, Dame Judith Macgregor

Destination Plymouth Showcases Britain’s Vibrant Ocean City to British Tourism Chair, Dame Judith Macgregor

Chair of VisitBritain Dame Judith Macgregor DCMG LVO visited Plymouth last week (July 29 and 30) whilst it took centre stage as Britain’s Ocean City and showcased its world-class attractions as part of the Sail GP extravaganza.

Dame Judith, currently Chair of VisitBritain, received a behind-the-scenes tour of the technical area of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, the world’s most competitive race on water as well as meeting the GB team and seeing some of Plymouth’s most exciting offerings along with the racing.

During her two-day visit, hosted by Destination Plymouth’s Chief Executive Amanda Lumley, the former diplomat met stakeholders, council leaders and key figures including the Chief Executives of the National Marine Aquarium and Ocean Conservation Trust and the Theatre Royal.

Dame Judith, accompanied by her husband John, a retired British Ambassador, arrived in Britain’s Ocean City on Friday (July 29) for the Sail GP technical tour with VIPs from Brittany Ferries, Babcock International, which operates marine engineering infrastructure at Devonport, and Associated British Ports which operates Plymouth Port.

VisitBritain Chair Dame Judith Macgregor said: 

“I was delighted to visit Plymouth during this landmark weekend as it hosts the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, a showcase moment to demonstrate the city’s ability to host sporting events of the highest calibre and to put its outstanding tourism offer, hospitality and warm welcome in the global spotlight.

“It’s wonderful to see Plymouth thriving as a vibrant city. It’s a must-visit destination, capitalising on its growing sustainability credentials as well as supporting the UK’s first National Marine Park.

 “Millions of jobs and thousands of local economies depend on tourism right across the country and it is also great to see the activity that Destination Plymouth is delivering with businesses and key stakeholders to attract domestic and overseas visits, driving the visitor economy.

“I was particularly delighted to visit during such a great international tourism and sporting weekend, with the Commonwealth Games underway and the Lionesses contending for the Women’s UEFA Cup.”

Dame Judith also enjoyed a tour of The Box, Plymouth’s cultural museum and gallery, and Market Hall and the Immersive Dome, Devonport’s world-class space for immersive technology and learning, before visiting Sail GP’s Adrenaline Lounge on the waterfront. She also met Plymouth City Council’s senior leadership team and local business stakeholders and boarded a hospitality boat to view the racing.

Amanda Lumley, Destination Plymouth’s Chief Executive said:

”We were thrilled with this opportunity to showcase the city and its assets to such a distinguished guest. It was a tremendous weekend for Plymouth and we’re delighted with the interest Dame Judith is showing in the city and its achievements. It was also a wonderful chance to demonstrate to a key figure in the global tourism field that Plymouth is at the cutting edge of the industry in terms of sustainability and environmental protection initiatives.”

Dame Judith joined the British Tourist Authority Board in December 2017. She retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) earlier that year after a 40-year career in the Diplomatic Service.  

She served in the former Yugoslavia, as First Secretary in Prague and Paris and as Ambassador to Slovakia. She was later appointed FCO Director for Migration and then Ambassador to Mexico before becoming British High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. In 2016 she was awarded the DCMG for her services to Diplomacy.

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