TMI Convention 19-20 October 2022 



Convention Speakers

Amanda Lumley 

President TMI 

Amanda Lumley is currently Executive Director of Destination Plymouth. She has a wealth of experience in tourism from leading UK national attractions such as Chester Zoo and Leeds Castle, to regional tourism partnerships Visit Essex, Visit Kent and most recently Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City where she has been involved in the Mayflower 400 programme for over 7 years. 

As well as being the voice of the city’s visitor economy she leads on strategic issues including marketing and digital strategy, events, major development projects, public space and place making. 

Amanda is President and a Director on the Board of the Tourism Management Institute and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. 


Kurt Janson

After graduating with a 1st Class Masters in Public Policy, Kurt was employed by the Department of Conservation and then the New Zealand Tourist Board, working national and regional tourism strategy. He moving to Britain in 1997 to work for VisitBritain as Head of Strategic Planning with responsibility for Policy, Strategy, Business Planning and Marketing Evaluation.   

Kurt left VisitBritain in 2004 to become the Director of the Tourism Alliance, an umbrella trade association for the tourism and hospitality sector that comprises over 50 industry associations that together represent almost 200,000 UK businesses. The core role of the Tourism Alliance is to lobby Government on issues that support the development of the UK tourism industry. He is a member of several Government advisory groups including the Tourism Industry Council and HMRC’s SMEOF, has written VisitEngland’s “Pink Book” on accommodation legislation since 1999 and is a Fellow of both the Tourism Management Institute and the Association of Tourism in Higher Education 

Patricia Yates  

Chief Executive at Visit Britain

Patricia joined VisitBritain/VisitEngland in 2005 and prior to becoming CEO in 2022 was Director of the Strategy & Communications division. Patricia is responsible for the day-to-day running of VisitBritain/VisitEngland, in London and overseas, developing and leading strategies for the marketing of Britain internationally and working in close partnership with all our stakeholders. 

Alongside the Chairman, she works to ensure that overseas tourism is high on the political and economic agenda. She also oversees our Media and Tourism Affairs teams.

Kate Nicholls OBE 

CEO UK Hospitality 

Kate Nicholls OBE has been CEO of UKHospitality, the powerful voice representing the broad hospitality sector, since its inception in 2018, having previously worked as CEO and Strategic Affairs Director of the ALMR. 

Kate is Chair of the Tourism Alliance and co-Chair of the London Tourism Recovery Board, representing the needs of the wider tourism sector in discussions with Government and the Mayor of London. She sits on the Government’s Tourism, Hospitality and Food & Drink Sector Councils and has previously Chaired the London Night-time Commission. She is a Board member of Best Bar None, PASS and is a trustee at Hospitality Action. In July 2021, she was appointed as the first Government Disability Ambassador for hospitality, promoting inclusivity. 

Kate initially worked as a researcher in the House of Commons and European Parliament on food, employment and environmental policy before joining Whitbread to work in Strategic Affairs. She has extensive experience as a political and strategic communications consultant and is a graduate of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and Kings College London. 


Shaon Talukder

CEO of Geotourist 

CEO of Geotourist, and tipped by leading technology accelerator, TechNation as a “Travel Industry Disruptor” in their 2021 Annual Report for creating a disruptive business model for sustainable tourism economic development and earning a World Responsible Tourism Award for helping “Destinations Build Back Better Post-Covid” at World Travel Market 2021. 

With active roles including Tourism Management Institute, Tourism Society and Assoc. Member of The World Travel and Tourism Council, Shaon leads a diverse, multi award-winning team that spans the globe from USA to India. 

Together, they embarked on the challenge of building an audio-map of the world to preserve stories in location, forever. 

Geotourist has now evolved from global storytelling platform into tourism data specialist, helping DMOs maximise their budgets, increase visitor engagement, make informed data-driven decisions to drive measurable footfall and accelerate growth. 


Tanuvi Ethunandan 

CEO at Data Duopoly 

A person smiling for the camera

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceShe has previously spoken on the importance of digital and data in a post-pandemic world at Big Data LDN 2021, appeared on BBC Bitesize and spoken on the CreaTech panel at London Tech Week. In 2020 she was invited to speak as a thought-leader in visitor flow management at Travel Technology Europe (TTE), speaking on a panel with the European Tourism Association (ETOA). She has been recognised by travel industry leaders, including being a Finalist for the Playmaker of the Year Awards 2020 and recognised in the technology sector, as a TechNation Rising Star Regional Winner 2021. 

Tanuvi founded Data Duopoly, along with business partner Erin Morris, in 2018 to meet a genuine business need for the Eden Project. Harnessing the power of GPS and AI, the technology was developed to help venues understand how visitors use a site, influence visitor behaviour and movement and, improve overall engagement. Data Duopoly was recently named one of the hot 25 start-ups by Phocuswire. 

As a Chartered Accountant previously working at Ernst and Young, Tanuvi takes the lead on the financial and business strategy. Having graduated from Cambridge University reading Economics, and completing a Masters in Entrepreneurship, she is well placed to meet the data analysis requirements for Data Duopoly’s clients.  


Gill Haigh

Managing Director, Cumbria Tourism 

A person wearing a green jacket

Description automatically generated with low confidenceCumbria Tourism is the county’s largest membership organisation, the official voice of the industry worth £3.1bn to the economy and representing approximately 2500 member businesses. Recognised nationally for its significant contribution to the sector, and 97% commercially funded, it plays an integral role in supporting the sector’s contribution to the county’s economy which in turn underpins countless benefits for the community at large. 

For over 40 years CT has supported all sizes of tourism operators throughout the County and has retained strong support from businesses throughout this period. 

It is an ambitious, innovative, forward thinking and collaborative Destination Management Organisation, with a skilled workforce, expert, committed and engaged Executive Board and broad range of supportive members and key stakeholders. Throughout Covid it has and continues to play an integral role supporting businesses, visitor engagement and working in partnership with communities and stakeholders to support sustainable tourism recovery. 

Gill Haigh joined Cumbria Tourism in 2017. During a 30-year career in marketing and communications, she has gained substantial leadership experience across both the private and public sectors, specifically travel and tourism. Gill is also a trustee of the Lake District Foundation. 


Dr Vikki Barnes  

Clinical & Organisational Psychologist, (Consultant Happiness Specialist) 

Dr Vikki Barnes is a Doctor of clinical psychology, happiness & wellbeing consultant, positive psychologist, international speaker, author, humanitarian, adventurer and believer in change for good. 

Vikki qualified in 2011 with a Doctorate in Clinical and Community Psychology, following a Masters in Neuropsychology and a BSc in Psychology and Social Studies. With over 10 years of NHS service, she has provided mental health interventions and education to patients and staff in a variety of services. Bridging the gap between operational and corporate worlds, she designed and led a national wellbeing programme with Virgin, working alongside leaders and executives, embedding effective practices into company strategy and ethos, with sustained, outstanding results. 

In 2018, Vikki was asked to work in the British Virgin Islands with Sir Richard Branson, to set up a mental health service for survivors following hurricane Irma. She worked with the community as well as health professionals, developing much needed provision and continues to support this remotely. 

In 2019, Vikki founded Positive Wellbeing, a business that focuses on proactive and preventative strategies for forward thinking organisations, enabling them to create long lasting, successful cultures by putting the health of people first. Her client list includes universities, schools, healthcare, the armed forces, the royal navy, aviation, maritime security, law firms, management companies, property agents. Typically, she offers specialist consultation, inspirational speaking, 1:1 coaching, bespoke workshops and award winning retreats. 

A member of the Wellbeing Economy, Vikki promotes positive leadership and a movement towards a better world, by blending the wellbeing of people with wellbeing of the planet. Her new book Free Happiness: the art and science of positivity is used within organisations to improve people experience and culture. 


Becky Frall 

Head of Tourism (VA) 

West Midlands Growth Company 

Becky Frall is the Head of Visitor Attraction at West Midlands Growth Company. She has 20 years’ experience in the visitor economy sector, from an economic development and research focus through to strategy, policy and attracting project funding for delivery across the region’s destinations. She is passionate about curating the visitor experience and linking the many agents involved with this across the region. 

She has a strategic aim to drive overnight stays through a positive change in perception of the region, and increased international awareness, to increase dwell-time and value to the West Midlands’ destinations. The past 2 years have seen a focus on this through the inaugural Business & Tourism Programme, a partnership between government, national and regional agencies, to leverage the impact of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will bring the increased exposure on the national and international stage, and in longer-term planning for delivery post-B2022 Commonwealth Games and Coventry City of Culture. Becky’s focus is to ensure that shareholders and partners are in a position to support, and benefit from, this visitor economy sector growth. 


Dr Natalie Semley 

Lecturer in Sustainable Tourism Management, Falmouth University 

Growing up in a traditional seaside resort on the North coast of Cornwall, Natalie Semley has a detailed understanding of the tourism industry. Her career path has taken many turns and her experience varies, from delivering visitor services to working in academia. 

Natalie's engagement in industry and academia over the years has helped to establish her passion for, and understanding of, the tourism industry. She has been recognised for her contribution by the Tourism Management Institute and is currently employed as a lecturer in Sustainable Tourism Management. 

Prior to this appointment, Natalie worked as the Development Manager for Trenance Cottages Newquay – a registered charity who own and manage a heritage site in Newquay, Cornwall. This role involved marketing management, event feasibility and planning, fundraising, as well as engagement with public and private organisations and individuals – with the main aim to generate a sustainable income to 'keep the cottages alive' for generations to come. 

Natalie's academic roles extend back to 2007 when she was first appointed as a Lecturer at the University of Plymouth. It was within this role that Natalie developed her pedogeological practice and worked towards becoming a Senior Fellow of the HEA (2016). 


Dr Peter Robinson 

Head of the Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Management, Leeds Beckett University 

Peter is Head of the Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Management at Leeds Beckett University. He is the author of several books and peer-reviewed journals and has appeared on a number of television and radio programmes discussing the tourism industry. Peter has owned businesses in the travel, ICT, waste management and publishing sectors, and has delivered consultancy work for organisations in a wide range of sectors across the world. In 2021 Peter was Awarded the Victor Middleton Prize for Education and Scholarship by the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE).  

Peter is a Fellow of the Tourism Management Institute and the Yorkshire and Humber representative, a Fellow of the Tourism Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Travel and Tourism, and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is Co-Chair of The Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE), a Director of The Institute of Travel and Tourism and sits on the Board of The Tourism Society. He is Chair of a £41m restoration of a historic house and country park near Derby and was formerly Vice-Chair of The Museum of Carpet.  

Peter's research interests focus on business planning, visitor experiences, special interest tourism, tourism marketing, heritage management and Cold War tourism. He also writes transport history books, most recently in partnership with National Express as part of their 50th Birthday celebrations. 


Alison Burgh

Director at Acorn Tourism 


Alison Burgh is Director of Acorn Tourism Consulting which she co-founded in 2002 and has led Acorn’s ambition to own a sustainable office and become the UK’s first Green Tourism Silver accredited consultancy. She is a member of the Glasgow Declaration UNWTO Working Group and an independent Green Destinations representative.

Alison works with destinations and place managers in the UK and internationally. During the pandemic she worked with Bristol and Bournemouth to develop Future Parks strategies and produced a Green Tourism Toolkit for businesses in Thanet. She is currently working with post-conflict communities in Colombia, coaching destination managers in Jordan to strengthen sustainability and diversity across the sector and is supporting destinations in sub-Saharan Africa to celebrate their achievement though the Green Destinations Top 100 programme.   

Before establishing Acorn Tourism, Alison specialised in consumer research for the Consumer Associations in London, Hong Kong, Penang and Sydney and spent seven years producing high-profile cause related music events for global broadcast.

Kevin Millington

Director at Acorn Tourism 

Kevin has over 30 years’ experience in the tourism sector, building up a strong reputation for creating
tourism solutions for public and private sector organisations having worked in over 60 countries on
more that 160 projects.

In 1996 he established his first tourism consultancy firm that focused predominantly on developing
systems of tourism statistics and measuring the economic impact of tourism. Over the next five years
he worked with a number of organisations including the United Nations World Tourism Organisation
and World Bank, developing tourism satellite accounts, measuring the economic impact of tourism and
assisting local teams to build their market research base and measure the tourism sector.

In 2010 he launched T-Stats, responding to the needs of UK and international destinations for an
organised and accessible way of collecting, storing, processing and disseminating tourism-related data
through an online database system. T-Stats is currently used by destinations across the UK, in Africa,
the Middle East, and a number of island destinations in the South Atlantic and South Pacific.

Duncan Parish 

Deputy Director, Tourism & Cultural Diplomacy, DCMS.

Duncan took up his role as Deputy Director for Tourism, International Culture and Diplomacy in August 2020.

Prior to joining DCMS, Duncan worked on transition period negotiations and domestic preparedness at the Department for Exiting the European Union.

Duncan has over 15 years' experience in the Civil Service, serving as Principal Private Secretary to the Attorney General and Chief of Staff at HM Revenue and Customs, as well as holding roles in HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office

Deborah Heather

Chief Executive Officer , Quality International Assessment Services

Deborah Heather is Chief Executive Officer of Quality International Assessment Services (QIAS), the parent company of Quality in Tourism (QIT). QIAS works across a broad range of sectors delivering accreditation, assessments, verification with all focused on driving business improvement. QIAS operates a number of outsourced contracts including Further Education verification for the MOD and international government contracts managing tourism registration and quality schemes.  

In the UK QIT operates on a B2B and is the biggest hospitality and tourism accreditation body in the UK with nearly 30,000 property members.  Deborah is an ex-hotelier with over 25 years' experience as an operator and was professionally educated at the General Managers Programme focused on Hospitality Administration/Management from Cornell University. Deborah is newly elected Chair of the Tourism Society and is on the Board of Visit Isle of Man and Trusted Stays.  Deborah will be talking about 'The New Excellence' on 20th October. 

Richard Veal 

Managing DirectorSimpleview Europe



Richard has been at the forefront of developing digital marketing platforms and services to destinations for over 20 years, initially as New Mind and now as Managing Director of Simpleview Europe. 

One of the differentiating factors behind Simpleview’s success is the significant investment they have made in software development for public sector tourism. Simpleview's Destination Management System was launched in 2001 and is now a mission-critical application used by over 900 destinations world-wide. 

Simpleview provides solutions for destinations of all sizes and budgets. Our clients range from national tourism organisations including Visit Scotland, Visit Norway and Visit Northern Ireland to destination marketing organisations including Visit Bristol and Bath, English Riviera, Visit Brighton, Visit Isle of Man, Visit Isles of Scilly and Visit Manchester to name a few. 

With unparalleled industry experience and a focused and dedicated team, we pride ourselves in offering destination marketing excellence - we have the resources, bandwidth, experience and expertise to help our clients achieve their digital marketing objectives. 

Clare Bushby 

Managing Director, Clockwork Marketing


Clare has spent her entire working life working in the hospitality industry. In 1992, Clare started Clockwork Marketing to provide marketing support for hospitality businesses, taking away their stress. The business flourished and celebrates 30 years this year; the company has grown to a team of 18 working with hospitality clients throughout the UK. 

The founding pillar for Clare when starting the business was her interest in data systems and the insightful information they held, and how these data insights can create marketing opportunities and boost bookings. 

Tina Woodcock, Gift Voucher Brilliance Manager 

Tina has worked in the hospitality industry for over 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge and practical operational and marketing experience. Tina leads the Gift Voucher Team at Clockwork Marketing and is known fondly within the business and with clients as the Queen of Vouchers.