Spotlight on: Debbie Lilly

What has your company been up to in the past 12 months?

Since November 2018 we have been working hard to raise the profile of Cornwall Plus across the industry and highlight the benefits of visiting the beautiful County of Cornwall. We are also working hard with our University Partners from Falmouth University and the University of Exeter to develop unique educational and learning opportunities for summer schools that take place outside of the classroom.

We now proudly fly the Green Flag Award for our stunning Campus grounds and gardens. We have a 4* campus accommodation and service grading with Visit England.

We have also just been shortlisted for ‘Best Accommodation’ in both the British Educational Travel Awards and the Academic Venue Awards, both due to take place in November.

What are the current or emerging trends within your sector?

Sustainability is really important to us, for many years we have been working to make our campus more sustainable, from stopping supplying plastic straws and increasing compostable packaging for take away food, to using locally sourced and ethical produce, to ambitious energy and sustainable procurement projects. We aim to create a healthy, ecologically, economically and socially responsible living environment. Since 2009 all new development on the Penryn Campus has been designed to high environmental standards (BREEAM Excellent). 

We are finding that more young international travellers are keen to start exploring wider areas of the countries they visit, engaging in learning and sustainable activities outside of the classroom. Looking for new and innovative experiences to immerse themselves in the local community and experience different cultures in safe environments as standalone or add-ons to the usual city centre hubs.

How does your role support the business?

As the Sales & Marketing Manager for Cornwall Plus I am responsible for achieving sales volume through continuous growth in all areas form groups to FIT bookings. I am tasked with the management of group sales and ultimately financial results and the overall contribution to profit.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Being part of the Cornwall Plus journey from inception to the organisation it is today, together with the support and guidance of my Head of Department, Heather Fitzgerald. I have been on a journey with her as a member of her team for the past six and a half years firstly as an Events Officer, then the Operations Manager for the events team tasked with also filling the residences in the summer months and now the Sales and Marketing Manager for Cornwall Plus and able to concentrate on the area I love.

Where is your favourite place to travel to?

Without hesitation Greece, I have been lucky enough to travel to many far flung places but always return to the beautiful town of Parga in Greece whenever I am able.

If you were not working in this sector what other industry would you have pursued a career in?

I would probably have to say Interior Design, I have a passion for planning, designing, and furnishing my home, much to my husband’s annoyance! I also get asked to help friends and family with their home decoration and to plan the look and feel of parties for them.

What’s next for your company?

We want to continue attracting more young travellers from across the world to expand their horizons when visiting the UK and explore the beauty of the more remote and less explored areas of the County. We are working with local activity providers and attractions as well as our University partners to create bespoke and unique packages to encourage ‘learning outside of the classroom’. We are also working with other Universities across the South West looking to create two centre visits for groups visiting the cities, countryside and beaches.  

Find out more about Cornwall Plus here

Published 05 November 2019