Bell named Cornish Business Leader

Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall, has been named Cornish Business Leader of the Year in the 13th annual Hub Awards.

The award recognises Bell’s work over the last twelve months in which he has steered Visit Cornwall, the Tourist Board for Cornwall, as it established itself as Community Interest Company having been a service of Cornwall Council for 40 years. Prompted by a 100% loss of Cornwall Council funding, the significant change in business model was driven by Bell, in partnership with key partners from across the tourism industry, in a successful bid to secure Visit Cornwall’s future and the vital services that it provides for tourism businesses.

“Malcolm has poured passion, commitment and countless hours to guide Visit Cornwall to the successful position that it is in today,” comments Lord St Levan, Chair of Visit Cornwall. “Cornwall was in danger of losing its destination marketing organisation, the voice of the Cornwall visitor economy, but from a potential crisis has been born a proactive enterprise that is run by the tourism industry, for the tourism industry. Malcolm has been at the heart of this fundamental transformation.

“The award is richly deserved and I am thrilled to see Malcolm receive the recognition that he has so fully earned.”

Nominated for the title by his team, Bell claimed the award (on 26 November) at a glittering ceremony hosted at The Falmouth Hotel. The night was the result of a rigorous judging process in which Bell was interviewed by a cross panel of business experts.

In further recognition of his achievements, experience and contribution to tourism, Malcolm has also recently been made a Fellow of the Tourism Management Institute (TMI), the destination management section of the Tourism Society.

Neil McCollum MTMI, outgoing TMI President, said: “Malcolm has been an innovator in destination management for over two decades, and an international leader in sustainable tourism.  An active member, friend and supporter of TMI, Malcolm has contributed to several TMI events through the years as well as being keen to learn from the sharing of best practice.”

“I am equally surprised and delighted to be given these awards,” comments Bell. “The last twelve months have been very challenging but incredibility rewarding. The support we have received from Cornish tourism businesses has fuelled our passion to secure Visit Cornwall’s future and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our Board of Directors. I am lucky to have such amazing support around me and look forward to what the future holds.”

Since becoming a Community Interest Company Visit Cornwall has increased its year-on-year marketing performance by 20+% and has exciting developments planned for 2016, including the re-launch of its award-winning website, visitcornwall.com, and a campaign to promote Cornwall and the wider South West to key overseas markets.