Meet the Judges

  • This year's judges include business professionals and academics with a breadth of experience in sustainability and the travel & tourism industry. More judges coming soon.
  • Harold Goodwin, Chair of Judges

    Harold has chaired the judges since the Awards were launched in 2004 and he chairs the judges for the other Awards in the World Responsible Tourism Awards family for Africa and India. Harold is WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, he puts together the flagship Responsible Tourism programme at WTM London which attracts 2000 participants each year and the programmes run at WTM Africa, WTM Latin America and Arabian Travel Market. Harold has worked on 4 continents with local communities, their governments and the inbound and outbound tourism industry. He is Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership Harold works with industry, local communities, governments, and conservationists and undertakes consultancy and evaluations for companies, NGOs, governments, and international organisations. He is also Director of Responsible Tourism at the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is an Emeritus Professor, and Founder Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism promotes the principles of the Cape Town Declaration which he drafted.

    David Ville

    David joined Thomas Cook 4 years ago and leads Thomas Cook’s work on animal welfare. Over the past 4 years David has worked to establish the first animal welfare auditing programme and developed a new animal welfare strategy at Thomas Cook, as well as managing the companies response to a number of large NGO campaigns. In addition to animal welfare issues, David also leads workstreams across the sustainability agenda including child protection, human rights, local economic development and environmental performance.

    Before joining Thomas Cook, David worked in sustainability consulting for KPMG, advising large FTSE100 companies on sustainability strategy development and research projects. He has also completed a Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development with Forum for the Future.

  • Debbie Hindle

    Debbie Hindle is the Managing Director of Four Travel - part of Four Communications the leading integrated independent communications agency with offices in London and Cardiff, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Debbie has more than two decades of experience in tourism consultancy and has advised tourist boards airlines, hotels, cruise and ferry companies, online brands and major tour operators and travel agents. She has been recognised as one of the top 100 women in UK hospitality. Her teams start with strategic audience-led insight and then deliver integrated communications campaigns which could encompass crisis preparation and support, brand development, media buying, digital research, social media, SEO, video work, creative advertising concepts, destination representation services, influencer outreach, PR and digital PR. Debbie has been a long standing judge and supporter of the Responsible Tourism Awards. She is also a Trustee of the Travel Foundation charity and a supporter of Tourism Concern.

    Ian Corbett

    Ian is the Sustainable Business Manager for TUI UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest tour operator with key brands including TUI, First Choice, and Marella Cruises. Ian’s role is to integrate sustainability in to the overall business strategy and ensure its potential to be a catalyst for innovation, continuous improvement and brand differentiation continues to be realised. His remit also includes driving TUI UK & Ireland’s accessibility, charity and community engagement strategies. Ian works as part of a network of sustainable managers across the TUI Group that aims to harness the power that tourism has to benefit the destination communities that host the Group’s 30 million customers every year. Ian holds a law degree from the University of Sheffield and has worked in the tourism industry for almost twenty years. He decided to specialise in the area of sustainable tourism having started his career in marketing, product and commercial management roles.
  • John de Vial

    industry experience, followed by 8 years at ABTA. John is a long standing judge of the WTM RT Awards. He is a Director of Travelife – Sustainability in Tourism – the hotel accreditation system. He has a Masters Degree in Responsible Tourism Management and regularly provides guest lectures to Universities offering tourism courses. John established the first full time Responsible Tourism role within the Thomson Travel Group during the 1990s and was also responsible for establishing Group sustainability and reporting functions within the MyTravel and Thomas Cook Groups. He serves as a Trustee of The Travel Foundation, a sustainable tourism charity in the UK working with destination communities and of ABTA Lifeline, a charity for the people working in travel. He is a supporter and fund raiser for the Family Holiday Association (FHA) a charity providing short breaks to children and their families living in poverty in the UK, having run the London Marathon each of the last five years for them.

    Justin Francis

    Justin Francis co-founded Responsible Travel, the world’s first business dedicated entirely to sustainable/responsible tourism in 2001. Prior to that he spent 10 years at J. Walter Thompson Advertising and worked with Dame Anita Roddick (a seed investor in Responsible Travel) at The Body Shop as Head of Worldwide Marketing Communications. Justin was named one of The Times 50 most influential people in travel, and is one of the Courvoisier Future 500. In 2017 The Guardian described Justin as ‘the great activist traveller.
  • Mark Watson

    Mark has recently stepped down as the Executive Director at Tourism Concern, the UKs only charity campaigning for ethical and fairly traded tourism. For the last six years, he has been leading their campaigns against exploitation within the tourism industry and has been promoting better, fairer forms of tourism. Mark has an MSc in sustainability and a first degree in geography and international development. He was the campaigns director of the human rights charity Stonewall and the Executive Director of One Planet Products before joining Tourism Concern. In 1986 he spent three months in Dhaka, Bangladesh studying the effects of poverty on social exclusion; then in 1991 he led a six month expedition to the Amazon to consider the social and environmental consequences of rainforest destruction. Before going to university he spent one year working voluntarily in the township of Alexandria in South Africa and in 2003 he climbed Kilimanjaro to raise money for HIV / AIDS projects in Africa.

    Martin Brackenbury

    Martin Brackenbury is a Director of Classic Collection Holidays and Managing Partner of Brackenbury & Partners. Formerly a Director of Thomson Travel Group, he was also a Professor at Nottingham University in the UK. (in an instititute focussing on the economics of tourism). His special interest is in competitive strategy and sustainable development. He has served for a number of years on Industry bodies and was for UNWTO eight years Chair of Affiliate(Non-Government) members, President of IFTO, Chair of FTO, and served on the ABTA board. He has been for many years a special advisor to the Secretary General of UNWTO. For example, a mission for UNWTO in 2016 was in Sri Lanka supporting government initiatives to use the development of tourism as a means of peace and reconciliation. He is currently working on a two year UNWTO project as the Co-ordinator of the High Level Task Force on Tourism and Security at both national and international levels. He has carried out many missions researching and then advising Governments and the private sector on responsible tourism development in more than 40 countries in the past 30 years. He speaks widely on tourism matters at international meetings and policy forums. He is a member of the UK’s Tourism Hall of Fame and is a recipient of a number of significant awards.
  • Matt Walpole

    Matt is Senior Director for Conservation Programmes at Fauna & Flora International (FFI), responsible for FFI's field activities worldwide. Matt is a conservation biologist by training, and after graduating from Cambridge spent ten years at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology working on ecotourism development, park-people relations and human-wildlife coexistence in Africa and Asia. Between 2004 and 2007 Matt was at FFI leading a programme connecting conservation to local community well-being, as well as establishing FFI’s Rapid Response Facility for World Heritage Sites in danger. Subsequently, Matt spent almost a decade at the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, developing and delivering global biodiversity indicators and building national capacity to mainstream biodiversity into wider development decision-making, before returning to FFI in 2017. Matt has occupied roles on various UN and international fora and, amongst other things, is currently an advisor to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Matt is a longstanding member of the judging panel of the World Responsible Travel Awards. He has worked and travelled in over 70 countries.

    Rebecca Armstrong

    Rebecca Armstrong is an experienced sustainability consultant, with a particular focus on responsible tourism development and managing the impacts of the travel industry to benefit local communities and destinations. She originally qualified and practiced as a solicitor, before changing career in 2008, taking an MSc in Responsible Tourism Management, for which her research explored the conditions for success of community-based tourism. Rebecca has hands-on experience of working with large travel organisations including TUI and Virgin Atlantic, and on sustainable tourism projects from local to international level through her consultancy business, Responsible Tourism Matters. She is also an Associate of Equality in Tourism, an independent network working to ensure women share equally in the benefits of the global tourism industry.
  • Simon Press

    Simon is Senior Exhibition Director WTM London. He is a dynamic leader and together with the team they constantly look to innovate, delivering new facets and extending brand reach across media including digital and online opportunities as well as delivering return on investment for all participants at the live events. As part of the WTM Portfolio management team, Simon helps ensure consistency of message, approach and allows Reed Exhibitions the opportunity to learn more about our clients’ business objectives to find solutions from a range of products to suit their requirements and deliver a high return on investment. He has worked extensively in India and Middle Eastern markets. Previous experience includes working in two other large media companies, United Business Media and EMAP, working across exhibitions and publishing events. A former Captain and Officer of the British Army, he served for four years in the Cheshire Regiment (Infantry Regiment). He has played rugby extensively and is now a keen supporter.

    Tanya Beckett

    Tanya has worked in broadcasting and the media for over twenty years. She started out at the FT, then went to work for CNBC, Sky News, CNN and since 1998, the BBC. She has worked on a variety of programmes in both New York and London on BBWorldNews, the Newschannel, Radio 4 and BBC1 and BBC2 including Our World, Working Lunch, Today, World Business report, Newsnight and World Business Report. She also spent 3 years living in and reporting from New York. She also works with the World Bank, Chatham House and the Foreign Office in matters relating to trade and communication. Tanya has a degree from Oxford University in Metallurgy and Materials Science and spent 5 years as an investment banker in Frankfurt and London. She speaks fluent German and good French.
  • Tom Moorhouse

    Dr Tom Moorhouse is a post doctoral researcher at Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. His recent research has focused on the animal welfare and species conservation consequences of the human usage of wildlife for recreation. In particular Tom works on the consumption choices of tourists and exotic pet owners. He recently conducted the first audit of the diversity and impacts of tourist attractions that involve close interactions with non-domestic (wild) animals. He is currently studying the effectiveness of demand reduction messaging at mitigating the negative impacts of the purchasing decisions and consumer choices of exotic pet owners and wildlife tourists.

    Xavier Font

    Dr Xavier Font is professor of sustainability marketing at the University of Surrey. He researches and develops methods of sustainable tourism production and consumption. He is the most published academic in the world in sustainable tourism certification, and has consulted on sustainable product development, marketing and communication for UNEP, UNCTAD, UNWTO, IFC, EC, VisitEngland, Fáilte Ireland, WWF and the Travel Foundation amongst others. He has conducted over 130 courses for more than 2500 businesses on how to market and communicate sustainability.
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