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bgb at Best of British & Ireland Show

Debbie Hindle, bgb managing director, will be one of the panelists on sustainability at this year's Best of Britain & Ireland Travel Trade Forum. She'll be joining a panel of prominent sustainable journalists on Friday 27 March at midday to discuss whether green issues are marginalised or considered mainstream by British media. To register for the event visit, email or call +44 (0) 1883 333 195.

The new format show will take place in London’s ExCeL on 26 and 27 March. It has unveiled a series of hard-hitting industry seminars broaching the role of sustainable tourism within the UK and Ireland. Confronting the emerging market, the series of talks will gather the elite of the industry including high-profile government figures, tourism board chiefs and representatives from leading eco-tourism destinations in an inspiring programme of topical sessions.

The sustainable tourism programme is being organised by VisitEngland with support from the national tourism organisations in Britain and Ireland. It will kick off on Thursday 26th March with the following sessions:

12.15 – 12.45: Making sense of sustainable tourism in England

To open the Sustainable Tourism suite at the Best of Britain and Ireland show, Christopher Rodrigues, chairman VisitBritain, sets the scene for the day, followed by Tourism Minister Barbara Follett to introduce a Framework for Sustainable Tourism in England.


  • Julia Hailes
  • Barbara Follett MP
  • Christopher Rodrigues, VB

13.00 – 13.45: Responding to Climate Change: perspectives from the South East and South West

Leaving the doom and gloom scenarios behind, this interactive workshop explores how tourism organisations in the South East and South West of England are responding to the challenge of climate change. This session will focus on the positive action taking place and offer an opportunity to network.


  • Emma Whittlesea, South West Tourism
  • Paul Jeffries, Tourism South East
  • Stephanie Wait, Visit Wales

14.00 – 14.45: Voluntourism: how conservation holidays are changing the UK landscape

Working holidays aren’t just for globe trotters. In the UK they’re proving to be the unexpected short break of choice for many. Voluntourism offers travellers young and old experiences that are affordable, active, sustainable and sociable. This session looks at success stories and the environmental impact of working holidays.


  • Gill O’Brien, BTCV

15.00 – 15.45: The Hoteliers’ Million-Pound Question: how to save a fortune by saving the environment

Hoteliers everywhere sat up and took note when a UK hotel chain announced a million pound saving on its running costs after an environmental culture change. This debate session looks at how hotels can make earth friendly changes for significant bottom line savings.


  • Alexandra Hammond, Group Responsible Business Manager, Rezidor Hotel Group
  • Rebecca Hawkins, Considerate Hoteliers
  • Suzie Newham, Bedruthan Steps Hotel

16.00 – 16.45: What happens next? Equipping future tourism professionals to keep things green

This session is aimed at students, apprentices, trainees and young protagonists working in tourism. We look at how we can keep sustainability at the heart of tourism. The session also explores possible future developments for sustainable tourism.

  • Three universities to provide student speakers on three chosen subjects.

17.00 – 17.45: Coming clean: tour operators get serious about sustainability in the UK and Ireland

Tour operators are keener than ever to declare their green credentials. It comes as little surprise when they rely on the environment to provide their customers with unique experiences. This debate session asks operators to discuss the real reasons for going green, what it means to them and how their customers respond


  • Robin Worsnop, Rabbies Trail Burners
  • Andrea Nicholls, GTBS
  • Charlie Cornelius, Wild Green Travel

Continuing on Friday 27th March the programme continues with its focus on green with sessions that range in focus from the media to the differing faces of rural and urban destinations:

11.00 – 11.45: Green Destinations: GreenBox - Ireland’s Ecotourism Destination from idea to reality

The Greenbox has emerged as Ireland’s first genuine ecotourism destination. In this session, CEO Mary Mulvey, introduces the policies and practices that helped build the destination and offers advice on how to engage stakeholders and small businesses


  • Mary Mulvey, Greenbox
  • Noleen Tyrell, Ard Nahoo
  • Mary Stack, Fáilte Ireland

12.00 – 12.45: Ecoescape forum Marginalised or mainsteam? How the media responds to green tourism

Media coverage of green tourism has inspired consumers to go green and created a demand for sustainable tourism products. But are we communicating to the converted or genuinely helping to build a new market? We talk to editors, writers and PRs to find out if sustainability is on the agenda for good


  • Debbie Hindle, BGB
  • Catherine Mack, Freelance Journalist
  • Valere Tjolle, TravelMole · Richard Hammond, Founder of

13.00 – 13.45 Green Destinations: addressing the different needs of rural and urban tourism destinations

This session challenges the common misconception that sustainable tourism is only for rural economies. It looks at how cities including London are supporting sustainable tourism in urban areas.

In addition to a dedicated Sustainable Tourism programme of back-to-back sessions, the main stage at the event also features Tourism’s Footprint: the Big Green Debate, organised by the Tourism Society.

Other main stage programmes include debates and talks for educational visit co-ordinators and advisors, group travel organisers, and coach tour operators. For more information on these seminars go to:

Registered trade can pre-book their spaces on the seminar and workshops programme using the Personal Agenda Planner that is available to all registered trade visitors. In addition to managing attendance at the sessions, the planner also allows appointments to be made with exhibitors and trade professionals, ensuring maximum efficiency from a visit to the show.

To register for the event visit, email or call +44 (0) 1883 333 195. Once registered, trade and media visitors should visit: to download the Personal Agenda Planner.

Notes to Editors:

About the Best of Britain & Ireland Travel Trade Forum Best of Britain & Ireland 2009 is a four-day event taking place at London ExCel from 26 - 29 March next year, comprising the two-day business focussed Best of Britain & Ireland Travel Trade Forum followed by a two-day consumer event which will be a showcase of the domestic tourism experience Registration for genuine travel trade is Free of Charge (registration available now via

Registered trade visitors and press will receive admittance to the Best of Britain & Ireland consumer event on 28-29 March 2009 at no extra charge. Members of the public will not be permitted access to the Travel Trade Forum on 26-27 March 2009.

The Show is organised by Best of Britain Events Ltd (BoBI Events) under licence from VisitBritain.

About Best of Britain Events Ltd

Best of Britain Events Ltd is an independent professional exhibition and event organiser, headed by Single Market Events managing director Tim Etchells and London EventCo managing director Rob Mackenzie.

About VisitBritain

VisitBritain is responsible for promoting Britain as a world class tourist destination and for developing England’s visitor economy. It has representatives in 36 countries around the world and, in the last three years, has expanded into China, throughout Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, and increased its presence in India with representatives in Bangalore and Mumbai.

Provisional figures for 2008 indicate overseas residents made 32 million visits to the UK, down by -2% on 2007. They spent £16.4 billion, which before adjusting for inflation, is +3% up on 2007.

VisitBritain’s international website,, was awarded World’s Leading Tourism Authority Internet Site for the fourth year in a row at the 2007 World Travel Awards by more than 200,000 travel and tourism professionals. With information provided in 26 different languages, every year over 12 million visits are made by international consumers to the 46 websites that make up

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