'Figgygirl' named Trip Advisor's most prolific contributor of 2013

Daily Echo: Debbie Lear with Mickey Mouse Debbie Lear with Mickey Mouse

If you have ever been to Disneyland Paris, the chances are you may have read Debbie Lear’s reviews beforehand.

The mum of two has been named as travel website Trip Advisor’s biggest contributor of 2013, after posting an astonishing 10,622 contributions in the last 12 months.

The mum of two’s advice has helped hundreds of travellers since she started using the website, which contains reviews, tips and photos, in 2008.

She had previously used the site to find out which hotel was most suitable for her wheelchair-using mum on the Greek island of Corfu.

She eventually combined her new-found enthusiasm for writing reviews with her love of Disneyland Paris, which she has been visiting since 1992.

The 54-year-old from Ringwood, who uses the moniker “Figgygirl”, said: “I am a friendly chatty person, and enjoy talking to people.

“Trip Advisor asked me if I would be Destination Expert (DE) for Marne La Vallee (a town near Paris), and as our forum became busier they opened a new one especially for Disneyland, so I am DE for that as well.”

But, as Debbie explains, being a DE on the site is more than just a hobby. She continued: “All my free time is spent answering questions, and as Disneyland changes during the year with the various seasons I also have to keep my own knowledge up to date so I don’t give old or false information.

“Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day!

“Questions come from people from many different countries, in different time zones, so sometimes I am answering questions overnight as well.”

As well as helping people with queries, she also writes reviews of the resort’s hotels and restaurants and adds photos.

And her expertise is not just limited to Disneyland – Debbie has also posted about numerous ski holidays, short city breaks and lengthier vacations she has taken across Europe and the USA.

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