The county’s business leaders have been congratulating Cumbria Tourism President Jim Walker, after he was given a special ‘Lifetime Contribution’ award at last night’s in-Cumbria Business Awards.

He was presented with the special accolade during an awards ceremony at The Halston in Carlisle, as Cumbria’s business community came together to mark stand out achievements across a range of industry sectors.

Jim’s name now joins an esteemed list of previous recipients including last year’s winners: the Rayner Brothers, who are renowned for online and high street retailer Lakeland.

Jim Walker has built his reputation in travel and tourism over more than 40 years, with a series of wide-ranging Chief Executive, Managing Director and Chief Officer roles in both the public and private sector.

He was a leading light in bringing significant overseas tourism to Cumbria – spearheading early missions to Japan alongside public and trade exhibition presences in the UK and beyond – and is widely acknowledged for championing major developments to the county’s infrastructure and is the Founder Chair of the Eden Tourism Network.

Jim comments, “Receiving this award is a huge privilege for me. I’ve been helped by a lot of people along the way and am so grateful for their encouragement and guidance. To me this award is as much about them as me – and the great opportunity it presents to highlight the incredible rewarding career paths that are available in our tourism industry.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, In a county where tourism is so crucial for supporting jobs and communities, Jim is easily one of the most familiar and respected figureheads and everyone you speak to has only praise and admiration for his experience, skills, wisdom and dedication.

“Earlier this year he stepped down from our Executive Board after 12 sterling years of service and he did so leaving the organisation in a great place. As Chairman, he used his influence to help raise the organisation’s profile, regularly meeting high-profile businesses and politicians, and representing the sector in the national media. He went on to lead the Board and support staff through the pandemic. At every hurdle Jim stepped up and willingly gave his time, influence and expertise.

“Most recently, Jim agreed to become Cumbria Tourism’s Honorary President and we know he will continue to champion the industry with all the passion and enthusiasm he has shown over the past four decades. We are thrilled he has been recognised once again with this special Lifetime Contribution Award.”

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