CEO, Visit Cornwall
Malcolm Bell led the transition of Visit Cornwall from a public sector body to a private industry organisation and became CEO in 2015 on the creation of Visit Cornwall CIC, a private sector body with over 900 business members.
He is a Fellow of the Tourism Society, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce and the Academy of Food and Wine Service. He was an expert advisor to the European Commission, a member of the EC’s Tourism Sustainability Group and led the working group to establish indicators to measure sustainable tourism.
Policy Director, UKHospitality
Jim specialises in issues and legislation relevant to the industry, including digital and online platforms, food regulation and nutrition policy, competition issues, the late-night sector, alcohol licensing, music and TV copyright, property law and planning.Regarding Brexit, UKH is currently involved in a number of high level Government policy groups and acts as liaison between officials and hospitality businesses in the UK.
UKHospitality seeks to unlock the industry’s full potential as one of the biggest engines for growth in the UK economy; members include restaurants, hotels, pubs, bars, casual dining, nightclubs, coffee shops, attractions and many more.
Associate, Intellectual Property, IT and Data Protection, Stephens Scown LLP
Thomas works predominantly with national and international businesses. He heads up the firms’ food and drink team, and has experience of working with a broad range of businesses. Thomas is a director of nuBright, a joint venture business offering data protection and cybersecurity assistance. He regularly assists clients with all manner of intellectual property matters including data protection issues, particularly around GDPR and international data processing agreements. Thomas is a skilled public speaker and provides training for clients on his areas of practice. He has delivered lectures at the Universities of Exeter, Falmouth and Bournemouth.
Chief Operating Officer, Chester Zoo
Jamie spent the first part of his career in high street food and retail department store management after graduating with a degree in politics. He took these skills to Manchester Airport Group where he headed up commercial operations before becoming Managing Director at Exeter Airport in Devon where he managed the transition from local authority to private sector ownership. More recently Jamie was responsible for on-board operations in Europe of Stena Line and joined Chester Zoo in 2013. He is responsible for business operations at the UKs number one zoo. With turnover at over £40m and 1,000 staff, Jamie leads the team that makes Chester Zoo one of the most visited attractions in the UK.
Head of Tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Stephen Darke has been Head of Tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport since July 2017. During this time he has overseen the Department’s work around the Tourism Sector Deal. He attends the VisitEngland Board as an Observer. Stephen has worked in Whitehall for over a decade. His previous roles include Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Culture (2014-2017), Ministerial Speechwriter at HM Treasury (2012-2014), and Senior Arts Policy Advisor (2008-2012).
Shanice graduated from the University of Chester in International Tourism Management in November 2019.
Student, Chester University
Monica Escobedo is from Los Angeles, California and currently studying International Tourism Management at the University of Chester where she is President of the Tourism Society. During her first year at University she has achieved the Chester Difference Award and has volunteered for numerous events including being involved in a local festival which helps generate tourism in Chester. Monica has been interested in tourism from a young age and has spent most of her life traveling. This has led to her fascination about what motivates people in their decisions involving traveling. Monica and her husband David have a travel facebook page, David and Monica Adventures, with over 54k followers.
Ryan George has held one job in his time at Simpleview — a responsibility he took on when he founded the company in February 2001. As CEO, he provides strategy and direction for the company, oversees its growth and operations through a cadre of highly skilled executives, and works to build industry knowledge and leadership in employees throughout the company. Ryan is a frequent speaker at travel and tourism events, serves on the Destinations International Foundation Board of Trustees and a number of boards of directors and is a member of Tucson Conquistadores, a philanthropy group supporting youth athletics and community groups.
Generation Z Specialist and Speaker. Director at Embrace Change Ltd
Franki inspires and educates leaders to embrace the change of future generations. Franki’s journey began when she identified the barriers between the expectations of younger generations and current workplace practice. “We are now experiencing the shift from the industrial to digital world and it’s never been so important to understand the multi-generational mindsets within our workforce, to meet the demand of the various multi-generational expectations.”. Embrace Change delivers powerful presentations, workshops and business consultation to prepare your organisation to attract, train, engage and retain your future workforce.
Chief Creative Officer, Accord Marketing
After leaving school in 1990, Mark began his career as an apprentice illustrator and re-toucher in the KHBB studios in London’s Soho, and after two years of training and commercial experience made the move from Soho to Southgate to join the fledgling Conrad Advertising as a Junior DTP Operator. In 1997, Mark was promoted to Studio Manager and before long replaced the incumbent Creative Director to ensure his teams’ skills and output kept pace with the ever-changing world of digital and broadcast. Now, Mark is Accord's Chief Creative Officer, leading a team of 25 talented creatives in charge of everything from web and brand design to email marketing and interactive infographics. Working on a variety of projects for a multitude of clients, Mark and his team pride themselves on innovation that delivers results.
Director, Hotel Solutions
Andrew Keeling is a leading expert on the UK hotel and visitor accommodation sector, and as a director of the Hotel Solutions consultancy, specialises in working with UK destinations to assist them in understanding and realising the potential for hotel and visitor accommodation development in their area. Recent Hotel Solutions assignments in Brighton, Bath and Cambridge have looked in depth at the impact that the growth of home letting through Airbnb and other online booking platforms is having on these destinations, and the options for better regulating this type of accommodation. Andrew will draw on this experience to look at the pros and cons of home letting for destinations, the case for improving its management, and the potential options for doing so in the UK. www.hotelsolutions.org.uk
Jude Leitch was until recently Director of Northumberland Tourism, the county’s Destination Management Organisation (DMO). Working with other North East destinations to champion the region as an emerging destination, Jude also chairs the English Rural Tourism Group and TMI as well as running a Country House BnB.
Jude has won major marketing awards including UK Marketing Manager of the Year for her work at The Gate in Newcastle. Originally from the North East, Jude spent her childhood in New Zealand where she gained formal marketing qualifications. She has subsequently worked in both countries in a number of commercial and tourism marketing roles.
Dr Andy Lyon
Head of Commercial Income Projects, University of Chester
Dr Andy Lyon has been In Higher Education for 25 years, teaching and researching tourism destination planning and management. His research interests focus on developing sustainable tourism destinations and his PhD was on sustainable tourism development in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, South Africa. Andy is also a board member of the sub-regional DMO, Marketing Cheshire and uses this role to ensure that there are strong links between universities and industry. He has also undertaken consultancy work on tourism development in the Gambia and Tenerife.
Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Core Cities UK
Will Mapplebeck manages Core Cities UK’s public affairs and communications function. He began his career as a regional print journalist before moving into public relations. A self-confessed political nerd, he writes regularly for various websites on politics, policy and communications. His role at Core Cities UK involves communicating the group’s messages to various audiences including Westminster MPs and Peers, Whitehall Civil Servants and national and regional lobby groups. Will is also responsible for the Core Cities UK twitter account which you can follow - @corecities.
Dr Maeve Marmion
Head of Department for the Experience Economy, Chester Business School
Dr Maeve Marmion is Head of Department for the Experience Economy at Chester Business School. Her PhD in Heritage Tourism Management explored the different ways people understand and value heritage as part of their everyday lives and as visitors. She is interested in how heritage sites, attractions and destinations can be best interpreted and presented to visitors whilst complementing their historical or cultural roots. She teaches a wider range of tourism topics, in particular the social and ethical issues around international tourism.
Founder and MD, Big Heritage CIC
Dean Paton is the founder and leader of Big Heritage - a multi award-winning Archaeology and Heritage Agency, that brings people and the shared past together to improve communities.
He is also a visiting research associate at the University of Chester's department of History and Archaeology, and a board member of the Chester Growth Partnership Board, which promotes investment in and development of Chester. Dean is a guest lecture in social entrepreneurship.
Business Tourism Researcher, Visit Greenwich
Hannah graduated from the University of Chester with a first-class degree in International Business and Tourism Management, in September 2017.
From University, she entered the meetings industry as a Conference Researcher at Sarah Fleming Associates. This led her to a new role at Visit Greenwich as a Business Tourism Researcher, she now has a growing involvement in leisure activities and campaigns.
Head of Tourism Affairs, VisitBritain/VisitEngland
Anthony Pickles is Head of Tourism Affairs at VisitBritain/VisitEngland. Prior to joining the team at the British Tourist Authority, Anthony worked in the automotive industry, within Nissan Europe’s External Affairs team working across a number of different issues including electric mobility and the driverless car revolution. At VisitBritain, Anthony has been responsible for the coordination of the Tourism industry’s bid for a Sector Deal with the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy. Anthony is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a board member of the Institute of Welsh Affairs.
Marketing Account Manager, Marketing Cheshire
Amie, a former TMI award-winner and Student Member, graduated from the University of Chester in September 2016, with a first-class degree in Tourism & Event Management. For the last three years, she has been progressing in her Destination Marketing career at Marketing Cheshire, the agency responsible for promoting Cheshire and Warrington as a place to visit, live, work, invest and study.
Tourism Officer, Ribble Valley
Chair, Marketing Cheshire
Angie recently left her role as Chief Executive of Manchester Central Convention Complex.
Formerly she was Chief Executive of MIDAS (Manchester Inward Investment Development and Advisory Service) and before that Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce & Industry. She joined the Board of Marketing Cheshire in September 2011.
Angie has extensive experience as a non-executive Director in both the Public and Private Sectors.
Angie has lived in Cheshire for the last 28 years.
Commercial Director, Marketing Cheshire
Nicola is Commercial Director for Marketing Cheshire, overseeing all Marketing Cheshire operations and working with the Cheshire & Warrington LEP to deliver a £50billion economy for Cheshire & Warrington .
Nicola has worked in tourism in Cheshire for over 15 years, first starting her career focusing on tourism recovery after the Foot and Mouth outbreak and 9/11, when the importance of tourism to the Cheshire economy was first really realised. She has worked as part of the Commonwealth games in Manchester, at Reaseheath College supporting farms with diversification into tourism and was instrumental in developing Chester’s all new Christmas Market as well as building Marketing Cheshire’s commercial operations. She is project manager for the England’s Historic Cities Discover England Fund project.
M D, The Guild of Ghost Hunters Ltd
Gerald Tattum is Director at Chester Heritage Productions Ltd and Managing Director of the Guild of Ghost Hunters Ltd. Previously he was Visitor Economy Manager for Marketing Cheshire He is a multi-position professional with experience across the entire spectrum of destination and place marketing, with specialties in partnership building, innovation, sustainable business models, creative writing, and ideas generation
Founder and president, Zip World
Founder and president of Zip World since 2013, Sean has developed a world leading adventure brand which has delivered £251 million into the North Wales economy over the past 5 years. With a strong military background, Sean’s leadership skills earned Zip World a spot on the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list in 2017. The sky’s the limit as Zip World looks to create even more extraordinary experiences in the future.
Paris Taylor Flint
Student, Chester University
Paris is an undergraduate 'International Tourism Management with Spanish' student at the University of Chester. Throughout her degree, she has developed an interest in tourist psychology, which has led researching the impacts of 'FOMO' and social media on tourist activities. She is keen to get a taste of the various elements of the tourism industry and has completed work experience with a luxury tour operator. Upon completion of her degree, she hopes to use her knowledge and hands-on industry experience to land herself a position on the path to becoming a skilled destination manager.
Chair, Bed & Breakfast Association
Director of Travel and Tourism, Quality in Tourism
Andy is an award winning and multi-faceted travel and tourism professional who brings experience as a Product Director of an international tour operator, Director of international and domestic destination marketing agencies, as chief executive of Farm Stay UK and now as an advocate of quality development and business support.
In his role as Chief Executive of Farm Stay UK he became one of the major supporters and lobbyists for rural tourism in the UK and across Europe by becoming President of EuroGites, the European Federation of Rural Tourism. Andy has successfully delivered over £500,000 of RDPE and other EC funding projects.
His work has been recognised with Awards for the People 1st Women In Tourism Business Award, a Best Experience Award in the VisitEngland excellence awards and a Partnership Award in the British Farming Awards.
Since July 2017 Andy has been working with Quality In Tourism to help develop modern assessment schemes and consultancy programmes for all sectors of the hospitality industry and deliver in the UK.