1 -3 November 2021

Advisory Board

A critical success factor to World Travel Market London has been its ability to anticipate industry developments and trends and ensure these are reflected in the backbone of World Travel Market's strategic development.

The WTM Advisory Board plays a critical role in this, pulling together industry leaders from across the globe that reflect regional interests and those of our key global stakeholders including exhibitors, buyers, visitors, WTM Buyers Club members and trade associations.

The Advisory Board has also helped World Travel Market reflect on key strategic issues such as Apartheid, Responsible Tourism, 9/11 as well as helping shape the business effectiveness of the event. World Travel Market, the premier global event for the travel industry, appreciates and values the industry insight the WTM Advisory Board offers and uses this strategic body to help shape and develop the event for the future.

Tracey Poggio-Magnus, ANTOR

Chairman

Tracey has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years having started her career in tour operation. She moved into marketing and PR, working with a range of travel clients. She currently heads up the marketing team in the UK for the Gibraltar Tourist Board. Since 2006 she has been Chairman of the Association of Tourist Board and Representatives (ANTOR).

Chris Lee, Barclays Bank

Director, Head of Travel and Professional Sports

Chris has spent the last 25 years in customer facing corporate management roles in Barclays in London. He formed, and has headed, Barclays Travel and Professional Sports Teams in the UK for the last 15 years and has a specialist portfolio of large travel and sports customers many of which are household names.

Chris has had a large number of articles and quotations published in national and international newspapers and magazines, including Time Magazine, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Times, City AM, 

The Independent, Sunday Times, Daily Express, Sunday Telegraph, and publications in over 15 countries worldwide. He is one of Travel Trade Gazette’s resident columnists. He has featured live in the Sky News TV studio, on ESPN television, live in the LBC Radio studio, been interviewed by BBC Radio, and has judged many travel awards.

He is an experienced presenter and on stage panel member, with appearances including the Travel Convention, World Travel Market, the Travel Insurance Convention, the Guild of Travel Management Companies Conference, the Tourism Society Conference, & the Global Travel Group Conference, as well as being the host of the annual Barclays Travel Forum. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Travel and Tourism and attends many of their events.

Chris has a passion for travel and sport. He has visited more than 80 countries worldwide and has attended a football match at all of the 92 football league grounds in England and Wales.

Joss Croft, UKInbound (UKI)

Chief Executive Officer

Joss is an accomplished, entrepreneurial leader, who is delivery focused. His experience has given him a strong understanding of the international visitor economy and wider business, and the challenges facing organisations. He has a passion for developing people and delivering outstanding customer service.

Before joining UKinbound in November 2018, Joss was Managing Director of Marketing at the 

Department for International Trade, responsible for the marketing and communications programme for UK exports and investment including the delivery of the events programme of over 1,000 events per annum (including the prizewinning UK Pavilion at Expo Astana 2017). He was previously Marketing Director of VisitBritain, involved in the development of the award-winning GREAT Britain and NI campaign. Campaign successes include two gold and one silver awards at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Prior to that he was Regional Director for VisitBritain’s European source markets, Head of Business Visits and Events, and Manager of Strategic Partnerships. In February 2010 he was awarded Industry Personality of the Year by the readers of Meetings and Incentive Travel.

Finnbar Cornwall, Google, UK

Senior Industry Head, Travel

Finnbar is the Industry Sector Leader for Travel at Google UK, where he leads the team working with some of the largest Travel companies in the world helping them get the best from Google. He previously worked as a consultant with McKinsey and at a travel startup that built a booking engine to connect niche lodging suppliers with bespoke tour operators.

Baroness Trish Morris of Bolton OBE DL, House of Lords, the Conservative Party

Official Trade Envoy to the Middle East, Chair WTM Advisory Board 2009 to present

Baroness Morris of Bolton is a Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords and the Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Jordan, Kuwait and the Palestinian Territories.

Trish became a life peer in 2004 and served as the Shadow Minister for Education, Children, Families &

Women and as a Shadow Work and Pensions spokesman, before standing down from the front bench at her own request at the 2010 General Election. Prior to entering the House of Lords, Trish was Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party with responsibility for candidates where she instigated and oversaw fundamental changes in the selection procedure to increase diversity.

Trish Chairs the All Party Group for Qatar and is Deputy Chairman of the British Palestine All Party Group and Co-Chair of Women in Public Policy. She also Co-Chairs the British Kuwait Friendship Society. She is President of Medical Aid for Palestinians, the Bolton Lads and Girls Club and the National Benevolent Institution.

She recently stood down as a Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council and has previously served as a governor of her old school, Bolton School. She was the first Chancellor of the University of Bolton and was a trustee of UNICEF UK and The Disability Partnership. She was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Abbot of Ampleforth from 1998 to 2004 and Deputy Chairman of the Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust from 2003 to 2007.

Trish became Chair of the World Travel Market Advisory Board in 2009. In 2011 she joined the Advisory Board of TES Global.

Trish lives in Bolton with her husband William, who is a retired judge. They are both season ticket holders and lifelong fans of Bolton Wanderers FC.

Marcelo Risi, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Director of Communications

Marcelo Risi was appointed Director of Communications of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations in 2018. He first joined UNWTO in late 2006 to manage media relations, after working for more than 10 years as an international broadcaster for Deutsche Welle (Germany) and the BBC World Service (UK), fulfilling a wide range of assignments, including foreign correspondent, live presenter, economics editor and special envoy.

Between 2015 and 2017, Mr. Risi took a special leave from the UN to build up the global media presence of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), based in Madrid.

An economist by training, with a post-graduate in development theory and policy (University of Hamburg, Germany), he worked for the European Union in think tanks in Germany and in Spain before entering the field of journalism. He is a lecturer in post-graduate journalism programmes. Marcelo Risi is an Uruguayan national and speaks English, German, Italian and Spanish.

Lee Haslett, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd

Vice President UK & European Sales

Lee Haslett was appointed Vice President UK and European Sales in September 2019. Responsible for all of Virgin Atlantic’s sales efforts in the UK and Europe, Lee took on this expanded role following his appointment to the role of VP UK Sales in December 2018.

Prior to this, Lee held a number of positions at Virgin Holidays since joining the team in 2008.

Most recently, as VP Product and Distribution, he led the Product and Purchasing teams, Retail Stores, Customer Centres and e-commerce functions. As part of this role, Lee oversaw Virgin Holidays’ transition to a direct-only sales model, building the foundations to ensure that customers receive a seamless experience through all channels – online, through the contact centre or in a Virgin Holidays retail store.

Prior to joining Virgin Holidays, Lee cemented his experience in retail commercial development and strong team engagement with an eight-year tenure at the Home Retail Group where, as National Sales Development Manager, he was responsible for the company’s training and commercial development across the UK.

In his spare time, Lee is a keen golfer and running and has used both hobbies to fundraise for children’s charity Dreams Come True.

Ken Robinson CBE

Independent Tourism Advisor

Ken is an independent adviser who speaks and writes on tourism topics. He describes himself as "a tourism enthusiast" - his goal is to be a pragmatic pioneer of new initiatives, strategies and solutions to optimise the economic, cultural and social benefits of tourism. Following 50 years of accelerating global tourism growth, he advocates the changing needs - from marketing to management - and on increasing tourism resilience and recovery from the impact of interruptions, particularly in developing nations and regions.

Ken has held many senior Tourism positions: he was a founder member and Chair of the Tourism Society, and Chair of its Think Tank, and a former Chair of the Tourism Alliance (2009/10/11). He has been a Board member and Chair of Tourism South East, and a member of VisitBritain’s and Visit England's industry advisory groups. He has been an adviser to the UN’s International Trade Centre, on national and destination Tourism strategy development, and is a member of the World Travel Market Advisory Council. He is a Board member and Trustee of several other Tourism bodies. Ken was awarded the CBE for services to Tourism in 1997, and an Honorary Doctorate in 2014.

Tracy Halliwell MBE, London & Partners

Director of Business Tourism and Major Events

Tracy was previously in a similar role for Visit London, the Capital's global marketing organisation. Responsible for the Convention Bureau - managing the event solutions team, and a proactive global sales team, attracting discretionary business , cultural & sporting events to the capital; and working with the city stakeholders to develop London's Business and Major Events Tourism offering. Previously, over 20 years' experience in Senior Sales & Marketing positions including VP Sales EMEA for Millennium and Copthorne Hotels, Global Sales Director Thistle Hotels, Senior VP Sales Marketing North America - Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts, and numerous property based Director of Sales Marketing roles within London and the UK.

Dermot Blastland, loveholidays.com

Non Executive Director

Dermot Blastland, former TUI Travel UK and Ireland Managing Director, took on a senior role becoming a non-executive director at leading online travel agency, On the Beach. Following the sale of On the Beach to the PE House Inflexion Dermot then joined Love Holidays, a rapidly growing online travel agency as an investor and joined the Board as a Non Executive Director. Love Holiday is now the 9th largest ATOL holder in the UK 4 years after being formed in 2012. Prior to joining TUI Travel in February 1988, he was Commercial Director at Thomson and subsequently Managing Director of Portland Holidays.

Helen Caron, TUI Group

Group Purchasing Director

Helen Caron is the TUI Group Purchasing Director in the area of Hotels & Resort, Cruises, Destination Experiences. She is responsible for overseeing the commercial activity for hotel and overseas government partnerships. This covers 20,000 hotels, 70 destinations, 12 million annual passengers and a €5 billion-euro cost base.

Her position includes leading the purchasing five-year plan for TUI Group, which ensures the optimisation of commercial contracts, the setting of capacity growth and sourcing of hotel product concepts in close liaison with source markets.

Furthermore, in 2018 Helen became a member of the Board of Trustees of the TUI Care Foundation.

Helen was previously Distribution & Cruise Director at TUI UK & Ireland (2016- 2018) and Managing Director of Thomson Cruises (2014-2016). Besides her commercial and operational responsibilities, she has been at the forefront of both the rebranding from Thomson Cruises to Marella Cruises and the introduction of Discovery, Discovery 2 and Marella Explorer into service. She has also overseen the rebrand from Thomson to TUI across all distribution channels, including over 600 agency services.

Helen’s previous positions at TUI UK & Ireland have also included Director of Ireland (2012-2014), leading and managing Ireland’s largest tour operator. Prior to this, she was Commercial & Trading Director of the Distribution Division (2008-2011), during which she held responsibility for all commercial and trading activities across the Thomson and First Choice distribution channels in the UK market. She was also Head of Integration (2007-2008) when Thomson and First Choice merged, being responsible for identifying and implementing the strategy to integrate all distribution operations across the combined group.

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