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"If a destination is not an experience, what is it?"

That’s the question Roger Pride, Managing Partner of Heavenly, destination branding specialists, will be asking delegates at next week’s Hot Topic. He will look at a variety of of issues impacting on place branding and marketing and emphasize the role branding should have on visitor experience. Delegates will understand the context for branding in the 21st century, looking at what we can learn from branding and marketing beyond destinations. Visit the TMI web site for information on all our speakersand programme and to book your ticket before bookings close at 5 pm on 16 May

Previously Director of Marketing for Wales Tourist Board, Visit Wales, Welsh Government and CEO of Cardiff & Co Roger has developed and delivered brands focusing on the tourism, economic and regeneration aspects of place. He is one of the few people to have led and implemented brand strategy at national, regional and city levels and has won numerous national and international awards including CIMTIG Travel and Tourism Campaign of the Year Award and the inaugural CIM Award for Outstanding Contribution to Marketing in Wales. He is joint editor of “Destination Branding” one of the foremost books on the branding of places.

His most memorable holiday? “It was the long hot summer of 1976. I was 17 and I spent a week in Langland Bay in the Gower. It was memorable in all sorts of ways [ full story if you buy me a pint in the bar at the conference ].Wonderfully hot. Beach all day. Pubs and clubs all evening, including several excursions along the Mumbles mile. It felt like Southern Spain but was actually West Wales.”