On Friday 5th February a combination of engaging and influential industry speakers will share their knowledge and expertise during thought-provoking panel sessions and Q&As.
Conference Speakers & Panellists
Jono Vernon-Powell - ATN Conference Moderator
Further to setting up the award-winning travel company Nomadic Thoughts (Worldwide Travel) in 1987, Jono is a leading travel industry blogger, speaker, travel photographer and experienced conference moderator. At AITO (The Specialist Travel Association) he is a council member focusing on industry issues, Chair of the Climate Crisis Think Thank and a founding member of their Sustainable Tourism Programme.
Milena Nikolova - Behaviour-Smart, Founder
Milena is an expert and researcher in behavioural economics in tourism with a global professional network and experience gained across four continents. She has worked on projects covering various aspects of sustainable tourism development, business and market development, policy and planning, learning and education, as well as entrepreneurship and innovation.
Ashley Toft - KE Adventure Travel and Mickledore Travel, CEO
Ashley joined KE as CEO in April 2018 having worked in travel for over 3 decades, working his way up from tour leader to CEO/MD. With a focus on active adventures, KE operates in 100 countries, including some of the world’s most remote and wild places. In Dec 2018 the company acquired Mickledore Travel. Like KE, Mickledore is based in Keswick in the Lake District, and specialises in self-guided walks in the UK, using the very best B&Bs and Inns along the way.
Zina Bencheikh - Intrepid Group, MD
Born in Marrakech and educated in France and the UK, Zina Bencheikh started her career in finance before joining Intrepid as Finance Manager in Morocco in 2010. Shpe has progressed rapidly through a number of financial and operational leadership roles with the company, and last year was appointed EMEA Managing Director of Intrepid Travel. She is now responsible for achieving Intrepid’s dual goals of growth and balancing purpose and profit in the EMEA region.
Roy Barker - Spike Insight, Co-Founder and Director
Roy is a director of SPIKE - a consultancy that uses data and technology to help travel businesses increase revenues by improving their customer experience. Previously Director of Decision Science at Carlson Marketing Group, Roy has a wealth of experience in data analysis and market research.
Paul Charles - The PC Agency, Founder & CEO
Paul has been at the forefront of the coronavirus crisis, appearing as a leading commentator and adviser about the travel and tourism sector, which has been deeply affected by the pandemic. Before founding The PC Agency, Paul was Director of Communications for Virgin Atlantic and Eurostar, and prior to that, almost a decade reporting, producing and presenting at the BBC.
Julie Jones - ABTOT, Development Director
Julie's career in travel has taken her from working as an independent travel agent to ticketing and operations for Jetset to senior Sales and Commercial roles followed at Royal Brunei Airlines and British Midland International (BMI) then ABTA for 6 years managing the Member Services team. She Joined ABTOT 18 months ago as Development Director with the remit of developing the product, brand and increasing Membership.
Lloyd Figgins - Travel Risk & Incident Prevention (TRIP) Group, CEO
Lloyd Figgins is a travel risk expert, author and international security advisor. He has worked in over 80 countries, including some of the world’s more hostile and remote regions. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Lloyd is an internationally respected authority on the subject of travel risk and crisis management and often provides commentary on mainstream media.
Alex Narracott - Much Better Adventures, Founder & CEO
Much Better Adventures was founded in 2012 and offers unique adventures and experiences, delivered by expert local hosts and guides around the world. Alex is the founding partner in Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, a community formed in January 2020 to inspire and enable travel organisations to declare a climate emergency and come together to find solutions.
Daniel Turner - Animondial, Founder
Daniel Turner is an environmental biologist who has been working for the advancement of applied animal welfare for over 20 years. He created ABTA’s Animal Welfare Guidelines (2013). In 2018, Daniel co-founded ANIMONDIAL, a specialist consultancy that provides impartial advice and practical guidance to travel businesses to help better manage impact on animals and the natural environment.
Prue Stone - Explore!, Head of Sustainability
Prue has been in the travel industry for fifteen years and joined Explore after completing a Masters degree in 2009. With 12 years experience of driving change in the travel and tourism industry her role as Head of Sustainability is very broad, encompassing each team, and implementing a functional sustainability strategy within the business. Outside of work she enjoys trail biking, walking and traveling with her her young family.
Chris Haslam - The Sunday Times, Chief Travel Writer
Chris Haslam is the multi award-winning Chief Travel Writer at the Sunday Times. He has a special interest in conservation and has been writing and broadcasting about sustainability in travel since 2008.
Steve Rushton - Travel Marketing Systems, Founder
Steve is the founder of Travel Marketing Systems (TMS) with a rare mix of travel and hospitality experience from small owner-managed businesses through to large blue chips. He has started and sold 3 businesses, and TMS was set up to enable travel business owners to adapt and thrive in the digital age.
Tom Dun - Wild Dog Design, Director of Business Development
Tom has many years as a strategist, insight and digital specialist, in roles such as Head of Digital Strategy and Innovation at a WPP media agency. He has worked for Wild Dog for three years, responsible for strategy and development, as well as commissioning proprietary research into use of digital by travellers. Tom has been looking into how the events of 2020 has impacted web use, and how there may be lessons that small independent travel companies could benefit from.
Fiona Marshall - Macs Adventure, Head of Cusomters
Fiona is Head of Customers at Macs Adventure, the world’s leading self-guided active travel operator. Fiona has been in the adventure travel business since 1996 and has seen many changes. With experience of leading customer facing and product and operational functions, Fiona has a deep understanding of the industry, the trends, the markets and the clientele. In her spare time she teaches yoga and loves getting out in the Scottish hills.
Derek Moore - The Derek Moore Foundation, Founder, Director and Trustee
Over forty years working in travel and tourism - first as a tour leader and then as co-founder of the adventure travel company EXPLORE - has allowed Derek to travel to over 100 countries, many of them in the developing world. The Derek Moore Foundation has been set up to support education, health facilities, the nurturing of traditional art, music and crafts and the promotion of sport to improve the lives in the disadvantaged communities of so many countries.
Steve Venton - Kingfisher Journeys, Director
A former adventure expedition leader who travelled to over half of Africa. When Steve returned to Rwanda in 2015, he set about training a group of local tour guides to become qualified British Canoeing Paddlesport and Multi-Adventure Leaders. Diversifying tourism and innovating change, he founded Kingfisher Journeys that soon became the adventure and activity DMC for Rwanda.
Ariella Kageruka - Rwanda Development Board, Head of Tourism and Conservation Department
Ariella Kageruka is Head of Tourism and Conservation for The Rwanda Development Board. The Rwanda Development Board was set up by bringing together all the government agencies responsible for the entire investor experience under one roof. Ariella is tasked with leading the conservation efforts within the tourism vertical and has had great success in connecting public, private and community programmes across Rwanda.
Gustavo Timo - ATTA, Destination & Product Development Director
Gustavo Timo leads global destination and product development for Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). He has been involved with adventure and nature travel for 25 years. Gustavo has a wide and extensive experience designing and coordinating capacity building projects for territorial development, industry and market development globally. Most recently he has been instrumental in developing new protocols for adventure tourism organisations operating in a Covid world.
Tullia Caballero - S-cape Travel and SloWays, co-Founder & Director
Tullia is co-founder and MD of S-cape Travel, the Italian incoming leader in self-guided walking and cycling holidays since 2002. In 2016 she entered the domestic market by acquiring SloWays that specialises in Italian pilgrim routes and long distance trails. Tullia is co-founder and VP of ActiveItaly, the Italian Adventure Travel Tour Operator network and ATTA ambassador.
Hugh King - battleface, Director of Business Development, UK & Europe
Hugh brings over 25 years of insurance and business development experience with a customer-based focus, Hugh manages the relationships with UK and Europe corporate clients. With a customer-based focus, he manages the relationships with UK and Europe corporate clients. Through thorough understanding of the clients' needs, Hugh ensures that battleface provide innovative travel insurance solutions on a global basis. A keen sports enthusiast, Hugh is also a certified PADI Rescue diver.
Rob Fielding - Discover Adventure, General Manager
My outdoor career started in 1995 as a climbing instructor. After completing a degree in Outdoor Education and a PGCE in the same subject I worked in North Wales offering outdoor experiences to school aged pupils. With a love for mountains, it wasn’t long before the wider world started to appeal and I’ve spent the last 19 yrs travelling and guiding groups to the far-flung corners of the globe.