TMI President Tom Pridmore FTMI Christmas Address

Seasons greetings to you!

Firstly, I would like to thank TMI membership for electing me as President for the next two years. TMI, (and formerly BATO) has been of great benefit to me throughout my career, and I value the friendships made and the learning experiences I have had as a member. It is therefore a great honour to have the opportunity to give something back. 

In her 2021 Christmas message to members, TMI past President Amanda Lumley, who so ably led TMI through the challenges of the past two years, described how the pandemic had altered the face of tourism and yet here we are, twelve months later, addressing even more new challenges resulting from a cruel war, plus climate change, strike actions, the fuel crisis and staff shortages across the industry.

I have always admired the resilience of those working in UK’s amazing tourism industry, and moreover, applaud the willingness to work together, particularly at times of crisis. We witness, time and time again, how, by working together as an industry, we can address and overcome challenges, and by sharing knowledge in order to identify innovative solutions. Such resilience is remarkable.

The Tourism Alliance’s recently published 10-point policy plan to grow tourism and boost the UK economy provides a good summary of the current situation together with potential solutions. Tourism will bounce back.  

As tourism professionals, we share many of the same challenges as the private sector, and the pandemic required us to switch hats from the positive marketing role, to one of providing economic and often emotional advice to our business partners, many of whom were really struggling. Destination managers across the country provided valuable leadership during this period, and they will continue to do so now.

Destination managers not only need to deal with the impact of the pressures on our private sector, but we also have our own challenges to face. Right now, many are dealing with the contrasting worlds of delivering budgetary efficiencies, whilst conversely, trying to spend grants like levelling up funds within ridiculously tight timescales. Our aim as TMI board is to provide a forum for destination managers to learn from each other in order to find creative solutions, whatever the challenge.

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The successful TMI convention in 2022, most ably hosted in Teesside provided just that opportunity, to network and learn. The sense of being together again ‘real time’ to share knowledge and talk through challenges was complimented by an outstanding selection of guest speakers and study tours.

Tourism has always evolved, with new agendas resulting from changing trends. Our Institute needs to address sustainability as well as how we might better support the next generation of tourism professionals. These are just two of TMI’s priorities as we move into 2023, and we shall shortly be sharing our full business plan, which will illustrate how we will be taking TMI forward.

In 2023 we have an exciting range of virtual meetings planned, providing members with first class case studies and excellent speakers. They will include examples of best practice and latest concepts to develop business. Early next year we will decide on the venue for our 2023 national convention, which I hope as many members as possible will be able to attend. We are currently inviting expressions of interest to host this prestigious event, perhaps your destination could be considered? 

TMI has recently recruited new board members, their fresh faces and new ideas will combine with the wisdom of existing board members, along with strong administrative and CPD support, to put us in a good position to deliver the services which members require.  But we are also very keen for all members to influence our agenda, by telling us what you need from TMI. What are the topics you wish us to help you with, what is the knowledge you need, what are the issues you need help to address?

It is also important to note we are refreshing our regional structure too, which we hope will be of further benefit to members in 2023. The board are really keen to provide an institute that is relevant to its members, so please stay in contact.  

It is certainly beginning to look like Christmas with this recent cold snap offering yet another challenge for UK’s hardworking tourism and hospitality industry, whose staff will be working flat out over the festive season. I hope that you are able to take a well-earned break this Christmas, ready to return refreshed and ready to hit the ground running, something which destination managers are so often required to do!

Happy Christmas!

Tom Pridmore FTMI

TMI are delighted to announce that we are seeking proposals for hosting our prestigious 2023 annual convention. Click here for the specification brief and response form. Please note that the deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday 20th January.



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