Holly Hollis

a complex but exciting industry
As Tourism Marketing Officer for the English Riviera Tourist Board, I co-ordinate marketing activity for the English Riviera. No day is ever the same within the team: from copy writing and proof reading; to creating media schedules and attending national and international conferences and exhibitions, the variation is huge which only adds to the excitement!
I gained a 2:1 BSc (Hons) in Tourism Management at Seale Hayne College, part of the University of Plymouth. This qualification helped me to gain a position at the English Riviera Tourist Board in 2004 and provided me with a great deal of background knowledge and understanding of what is a very complex industry.

Since the age of 6 or 7, when I bought a toy telephone to take bookings for my imaginary self catering agency, I have had a real passion for the hospitality and tourism industries. I worked at Thomas Cook for a year before attending university which gave me a real insight into tourist motivations and holiday choices. It also gave me experience in working to set targets in a highly-pressured environment. A recent milestone has been that I have been handed some additional responsibility from my line manager which means I can lead on projects, such as the annual accommodation guide, and make decisions at a much higher level.

Devon is a fantastic county with so much to offer visitors and it’s great to be a part of that. My mum’s family have lived in South Devon for generations, so although I’m only “half Devonian” I feel that childhood trips to see “Granny and Gramps” fuelled my passion for the area as a whole. The English Riviera is one of the UK’s top destinations, which means there’s scope to develop and run some fantastic campaigns but it also means there are many challenges to overcome in terms of raising quality and attracting inward investment.

The only downside is that it’s often difficult to get tourism taken seriously. Many outside of the industry find it difficult to quantify its importance to the UK economy as it’s impossible to tangibly demonstrate this. This has a knock-on effect on the funding provided for destination marketing which ultimately limits what we can spend on