FSB Defra chair
David Webb started his first business in 1990 – a medical recruitment business. Since then he has been involved in a number of varied start-up enterprises, including as a franchisee. He joined the FSB in 2005 and soon joined his local committee. This was followed by county and regional representation within Wessex. David became Rural Affairs and Tourism Policy chair in 2013 bringing his experience in rural LEADER funding with him. He has also chaired the DCMS policy portfolio for the FSB. In 2019 he became Defra policy portfolio chair. He has represented the FSB regionally on a number of rural focused committees.
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.
Associate, Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Data Protection
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
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.
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.
Director, Quality in Tourism
A seasoned hospitality professional, Deborah runs M Assessment services, a boutique company specialising in assessment/accreditation, data management and collection across various industries. Under the wholly owned brand Quality in Tourism, Deborah is focussed on revolutionising hospitality and tourism accreditation, offering schemes that are fit for purpose in this modern world. Consumer and operator focussed, the Quality in Tourism awards throw away the old rule books with schemes like REST™ (responsible, ethical and sustainable tourism) and Safe, Clean and Legal™.
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
Dr Andy Lyon
Head of Commercial Income Projects
Dr Andy Lyon is Head of Commercial Income Projects at the University of Chester. He 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.
Head of Tourism Affairs
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.
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.
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.
Founder and president
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.