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We have an outstanding range of speakers at this years event.

Robin Barker is Director of Services for Tourism Ltd, a consultancy/service company with a focus on delivering projects requiring commercial support.  This follows a career of 30+ years in travel and tourism, including 6 years running database marketing at Saga Group, a year as an overseas resort rep, 12 years in consultancy, 2 years launching the £28m National Maritime Museum Cornwall and 5 years as Marketing Director of South West Tourism.  He is President and a Fellow of the Tourism Management Institute. In business, Robin's company heads the tourism awards programmes for South West England, with linked schemes in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, and also manages the Beautiful South Awards covering the South East. He created and runs the annual West Country Tourism Conference and acts as consultant and friend to many destinations and tourism businesses and is a member of the Management Committee, South West Tourism Alliance.  The business also contributed to Visit England’s marketing strategy for the 2012 Olympics.

Tom Moore, Stephens Scown Solicitors.  Tom files and prosecutes trade mark and design applications, as well as drafting and negotiating IP agreements. He assists clients with IP identification, portfolio management and enforcement strategies. Tom also advises clients on e-commerce issues and agreements. He joined Stephens Scown in 2013 from Ashfords Solicitors, where he worked in the trade mark team. Living in the wilds of Cornwall, in his down-time Tom enjoys splitting his time between the coast and the Moors.




Jowanna Conboye is a solicitor in the intellectual property and IT team. Working on contentious and non-contentious matters, Jowanna provides expert advice on IP and IT, helping clients to exploit their IP as well as drafting and negotiating IP and IT contracts. On the contentious side, Jowanna assists clients at all stages of litigation, bringing and defending IP infringement cases and negotiating settlements on IP and IT related issues. She advises clients both in the UK and overseas from a broad range of sectors including digital and creative industries, tourism, fashion, beauty and manufacturing.Jowanna is a specialist in Data Protection law. She has also been providing advice to clients in relation to the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation. Jowanna attempts to make the most of living in beautiful Cornwall. She enjoys walking long sections of the South West coastal path and where possible attends every performance at The Minack Theatre on the cliffs at Porthcurno come rain or shine. She also sings in a local choir and performs in concerts as a member of the alto section.

Ray Veal has been a Trustee of Tourism for All since 2003, and became the charity’s Chief Executive in 2013. Ray’s background is in ICT and his involvement with Tourism for All began when he was in charge of the EnglandNet project at VisitBritain, which developed a UK-wide database of tourism and travel businesses and a web search tool which was a forerunner of modern “price comparison” websites. Ray’s focus with Tourism for All is on harnessing the power of technology tools to enhance the charity’s web and social media presence and to develop its services to its members and partners.

Bernard Donoghue is the Director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), which represents the most important iconic and popular museums, galleries, cathedrals, palaces, castles, stately homes, historic houses, heritage sites, gardens, zoos and leisure attractions in the UK. He is also Chair of the Tourism Alliance.

Samantha Richardson, National Coastal Tourism Academy Director. Sam directs the work of the NCTA, which exists to support economic growth in the visitor economy of coastal towns.  She oversees the research, visitor experience, training and communications programmes of the Academy and works closely with VisitEngland, VisitBritain, the Tourism Alliance and other national bodies and sits on the Tourism Industry Council.

Amanda Lumley was appointed as Chief Executive of Destination Plymouth in March 2013. Amanda has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sector from working at leading attractions such as Chester Zoo and Leeds Castle, managing major shopping centres and department stores to regional tourism and business partnerships including Visit Essex, Visit Kent, Dover Pride Regeneration Partnership and Kent County Council where she successfully delivered the Tour de France Stage 1 in 2007. As well as being the voice of the city’s visitor economy, Amanda leads on major strategic issues including marketing and digital strategy, events development, signage, major development projects, public space and developing transport links.

Cathrin Wurst has worked for Hilton Worldwide for the last 4 years, holding Front Office Management roles both in the UK and Ireland.  She has been part of the pre-opening team here in Bournemouth and currently looks after a team of 20, including Concierge, Reception Day & Night, Guest Relations and Executive Lounge.  Her role includes being a Hilton HHonors Champion for the Hotel, which is the loyalty scheme for guests, and event organisers using the Hilton Hotels Worldwide.

Andrew Daines has enjoyed a career of over 20 years in the travel and tourism industry. Beginning in the commercial sector, Andrew worked for two tour operators, Hayes & Jarvis and Inghams, and car rental broker Holiday Autos. In 1997, Andrew joined the British Tourist Authority and English Tourist Board (trading as VisitBritain from 2003), where he spent almost 14 years in a variety of roles. In July 2012, Andrew became the Director UK and Ireland, VISITFLANDERS, based in London. He and his team undertake a broad programme of activities, focusing on both leisure and business/meetings sector audiences, and work closely with press and media, industry partners and execute a range of joint consumer promotions.

David Gardnerhas almost 30-years of experience working in the UK rail industry, beginning as the Passenger Sales Rep for Kent and Sussex.  He has run business, leisure, group and charter train operations and has experience of both the national and international rail markets.  Having moved to Great Western Railway in 2011, David has worked hard to re-establish rail travel as a core element of within the holidays and short-break market to the South-West of England and South Wales.

David Thornton has been a destination marketeer for over thirty years. He was the founding CEO of Visit Isle of Wight four years ago, and is currently leading the development of an ambitious Island wide Business Improvement District with 1014 businesses which went to the vote this July. His previous experience was gained working for a wide range a major tourist attractions and organisations that include Alton Towers, Madame Tussauds in the USA, Pleasure Beach Blackpool, Drayton Manor, Land’s End, Snowdon Mountain Railway and Visit Peak District.

Dr Philip Longis an Associate Professor in Tourism at Bournemouth University. His research interests include: festivals, cultural events and their tourism dimensions; connections between creative industries and tourism; diaspora communities, social exclusion and tourism. Philip is a Board member of the International Festivals and Events Association (Europe).



Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is a Strategic Management and Marketing expert with specialisation in Information Communication Technology applications in the Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industries. His research cuts across a number of disciplines and is looking into adoption of innovations for creating value for both consumers and organisations. He is Head of Department and Director of the eTourismLab at the Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University.  Professor Buhalis is leading eTourism research and is working with the Bournemouth team introducing technology into all aspects of tourism research and teaching whilst representing BU to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. In recognition of his contribution, he is an elected member of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism and a Founding Member and ex President of the International Federation for Information Technologies in Travel and Tourism.

Professor Adele Ladkin is Professor of Tourism at Bournemouth University. Adele’s career has included Lectureships in Tourism at the University of Brighton and the University of Surrey, and Associate Dean in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Adele’s research interests are the labour, employment and human resource aspects of tourism and hospitality. She is also interested in the technological affordances for the tourism experience, in particular the practices of ICT use in leisure and business tourism and how future travel experiences are shaped by digital developments.



Scott Ford is the owner of Precision Creative and Media (PCM) a south coast creative and media agency that specialises in travel and leisure.  The agency provides strategic guidance in direct and indirect communications and impactful creative delivery across a range of traditional and digital channels.  PCM use qualitative insight overlaid with data segmentation and profiling to develop individual messages to different audience groups.  We use that insight to develop bespoke creative and media strategies with the sole aim of getting the right message, to the right people at the right time.



Sharon Orrell, Head of Research & Insight, VisitEngland, s a market research professional with over 20 years’ agency and clientside experience gained across the FMCG and service sectors. Since joining VisitEngland  in 2008, she has led the organisation’s insights team in delivering a comprehensive research programme which includes volume and value measurement, business performance trends, and understanding consumer attitudes and behaviour, ensuring that robust market intelligence is available to the English tourism industry.

Paul Williams joined Staffordshire University in 2001 as a Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Tourism subsequently becoming Head of the Business School. A key aspect of this strategic leadership role was to establish networks and partnerships with business and agencies linked to the University’s commitment to regeneration and enterprise development across the region. Paul is a board member of the Staffordshire DMP and sits on Stoke-on-Trent’s Place Board. As Head of Professional Development and Vice President of TMI, Paul has been actively involved in the development of the Institute’s course recognition scheme. His consultancy and research interests focus on tourism marketing, place making and cultural-led tourism regeneration. He is currently undertaking a secondment with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to support their UK City of Culture bid.

Amy Scarth is a Senior Consultant with Acorn Tourism Consulting Ltd.  Amy is a tourism and development specialist and has recently returned from East Africa establishing projects across protected area tourism, conservation and community development, as well as launching and managing an adventure travel brand. Amy has a research, strategy and marketing background. She was formerly Head of Research at EyeforTravel specialising in online travel distribution and advising some of the industry’s big players.

Esther Pearson has been working in the charity sector for 20 years. Esther returned to the South West and has worked in employed, volunteer and freelancing roles to progress the work of various charities. She rose to the position of Chief Executive Officer for a national charity and sport governing body in 2010 and has continued her passion for health and wellbeing and the outdoors sector in her work as Director of the South West Coast Path. Esther has created a business plan, strong collaborations with partners, the National Trust and Natural England Team, delivered income generation in excess of £1.5 million – enabling the charity to reach its dual ambitions of promoting and protecting the South West Coast Path as one of the World’s greatest walking routes.

Deniz Sonmez has been the Market Manager for Expedia for the last 5 years, across both corporate and leisure travel, initially with Egencia and then with Expedia. During those years he has worked in Sales, Account Management and now Market Management. This has provided a great backdrop to an ever changing industry in two of travel's leading technology companies.

Richard Veal is UK Managing Director of award-winning, new-media company New Mind tellUs. Founded in 1999, the company has extensive experience in the provision of e-tourism solutions and currently works with over 250 destination management organisations across Europe. With offices in Liverpool and Oslo, Richard heads up a 60+ team of project managers, software developers, designers and digital marketing personnel. Under his stewardship, the company has become globally recognised as a leading supplier to public sector tourism and has now won significant contracts in the UK, Spain, Norway, Sweden and UAE. Still retaining a true passion for technology, Richard is constantly striving to find better and more innovative ways in which New Mind can assist DMOs to achieve their business goals and thoroughly enjoys the challenges thrown up by this fast-changing industry.  Richard is looking forward to catching up with clients, colleagues and partners at this years’ TMI convention.

Hana York, WebTicketManager, has a degree from The University of Bristol and a background in design and digital agencies.  Hana has spent the last seven years working in B2B software; firstly in retail and for the last four years in ticketing exclusively for visitor attractions. She has an in-depth understanding of the visitor economy, attractions and the critical part that ticketing plays in the overall visitor experience. Hana is confident that Destination Management Organisations can raise much needed revenues through online ticketing whilst adding to both the visitor experience and the story of the destination.

Dr Sean Beer is a Bournemouth University academic with a passionate interest in the interaction between tourism, culture, food, the countryside and the food supply chain. He has been working in the social sciences and completed a PhD based on a thesis examining perceptions of the authenticity of food. This academic work has been backed up with considerable practical experience in agriculture, marketing, the food supply chain and the rural economy in general, gained on the family farm and within associated family businesses and the food industry, local and international. His principle research interests include: the food supply chain, consumer behaviour, rural business, society and development. He is a regular commentator on rural and environmental matters on the radio and television whilst being a member of Countryfile Magazine Editorial Review Board.