The Tourism Society Board has established six working groups to oversee strategy planning and business plan development in the following key areas:
- Meetings and Events
- Tourism Symposium
- Students and Young Members
- Think Tank and External Affairs
Each group meets regularly, either physically or by conference calls, and provides an update of its activities at every Board meeting. The strategies they are working on will provide growth and success over the coming years.
The group leaders are:
Membership – Brandon Crimes FTS
A former academic in the field of tourism, Brandon has gained considerable knowledge and insights of the importance of developing stronger links with sectors of the industry and how these can be of mutual benefit in enhancing the standing of the Society. He has directly contributed to a range of research projects in both the private and public sectors, with an emphasis on planning and development of tourism. Furthermore, he has continually supported and lobbied in a positive manner for greater recognition of the vital role that tourism contributes to the economy, but also the wider benefits to communities.
Communications – Philippa Harris MTS
Philippa Harris has been in the travel and tourism industry for over 25 years and is Managing Director of Take One Media, the UK’s leading company for display and distribution of tourism literature, and part of Menzies Distribution.
She started her commercial career as a market researcher, and moved into marketing in travel with time spent at Thomson Holidays, British Airways and the International Leisure Group before becoming Marketing Director for Eurotunnel when it launched in 1994, then Marketing Director at First Choice Holidays and finally Managing Director of luxury holiday brands, Sovereign (part of First Choice) and Harlequin Worldwide.
Before joining Take One Media she helped define the start-up of www.lowcostbeds.com and advised Thomas Cook on a restructuring of their ‘Rooms and Hotels’ brand.
Meetings and Events – Alison Cryer FTS
After a career in Hotel and Restaurant Management Alison moved into marketing with Copthorne Hotels as Director of Marketing Worldwide, setting up a network of global sales offices. One of the first ACORN Award winners and Chartered Marketers, she launched Marketing and PR company, Representation Plus, in 1988, later expanding into Europe. In 2003 Representation Plus acquired CIBPR and in 2012 First PR, specialists in the travel, tourism and leisure industries. Clients include all aspects of the tourism and travel industry from the UK and across the world. Alison, also acts as Director of Tourism UK and Ireland for the Sultanate of Oman, Lithuania Tourism Authority and Samoa Tourism Authority. In 2010 Alison was awarded the Shine Award for Leadership and in 2011 named as one of the most influential 100 Women in the Industry. Alison was Chairman of the Tourism Society from 2007 to 2011 and is currently Executive Secretary for ANTOR (Association of National Tourist Offices and Representatives). Representation Plus also runs the PATA secretariat.
Tourism Symposium – Benjamin Carey FTS
Managing Director of Dunira Strategy, Benjamin is an international marketing expert, accomplished trainer and former tour operator (Thomson and Airtours). With a passion for the sustainable development and environmental management of tourism, his expertise is in capacity building, revenue management, co-operatives, protected areas and less established destinations, especially those emerging from conflict. Consultant to UK, European and UN agencies, a visiting academic and member of UNWTO’s Panel of Experts, Benjamin has established DMOs in Europe, Asia and the Middle East and represented a wide range of heritage destinations. Extensive project experience in more than 40 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Caribbean.
Students and Young Members – Carole Sherlock FTS
A Tourism professional and member of The Tourism Society for over 10 years, with a BA (Hons) in Tourism from University of Strathclyde and over 15 years’ experience as a Tourism academic, lecturing in Further and Higher Education. Currently working as a consultant involved in training and research. Past Chair of the Tourism Society Scotland (2011 - 2014) Member of the TS Education Group and the Skills Development Scotland Tourism Skills Forum, dedicated to strengthening links with the Education sector. Carole is extremely passionate about ensuring the development of Tourism businesses and realises the importance of keeping up to date with all aspects of tourism and hospitality and indeed passing the knowledge on to other TSS members.
Think Tank and External Affairs – Julie Russell FTS
Julie is the outgoing Chair of Tourism Society Europa. As a Board Member since 2003, she has taken an active role in developing the Tourism Society’s regional chapters and started the Society’s European chapter whilst working in Brussels as a national expert with the European Commission’s Tourism Unit.
With over 30 years in the tourism industry, Julie's experience encompasses both the public and private sectors, having worked overseas tour operators, Tourism Quality Services Ltd (now the Adventure Activities Licensing Service), the Wales Tourist Board, the European Commission, UK and Welsh Governments. Her international experience spans Europe, the Americas and Asia. Her areas of expertise include: new business start-up, skills and product development, destination marketing, delivery of quality assurance schemes and associated consultancy projects.