Tourism South East Annual General Meeting and Tourism Conference 2016

News & Events

Tourism South East Annual General Meeting and Tourism Conference 2016

‘Creating Certainty in an Uncertain World’

Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey - 11th October 2016


Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey was the venue for this year’s AGM and Conference and over 90 delegates firstly, enjoyed a  round -up of TSE’s performance and achievements in 2015/16 and then experienced a wide variety of presentations and breakout sessions on the theme of ‘Creating Certainty in an Uncertain World.’ 

Epsom is the home of the iconic Epsom Derby and was at its best on a beautifully sunny day that showcased the the picturesque Epsom Downs and unrivalled views of London.


Ken Robinson, CBE, Chairman of Tourism South East welcomed members to the Annual General Meeting and Tourism Council.  Nigel Smith , Chief Executive, gave an overview of the main achievements during the year  and David Philip, Vice Chairman outlined the financial performance which for the first year since the loss of RDA funding in 2011 saw TSE making a surplus. The Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2015/16 were approved (and can be downloaded here). Ken also announced the successful candidate from the Tourism Council ballot that will now sit on the main TSE Board -  Wendy Van Halderen-Moss from the Aspinall Foundation.  Ken also thanked Terry Boswell who has now stepped down from the TSE Board after her three year term.


Nigel Smith, TSE Chief Executive, introduced the conference ‘Creating Certainty in an Uncertain World.’ The purpose of the conference was primarily to look at the issues and opportunities that have been created for the tourism industry following the EU referendum. Nigel also wanted to use the conference to showcase two of the most successful businesses in the region and how they have created their own certainty in an industry that is, Brexit apart, in a perpetual cycle of uncertainty. 



Key note speaker Bernard Donoghue, Chairman of the Tourism Alliance and Director of the ALVA, provided and insight into the bigger picture view and particularly what the Tourism Alliance are doing with the UK Government to ensure the industry isn’t damaged by Brexit. Bernard’s presentation is here.          


Aad van Duivenbode, the MD from one of the top Dutch inbound tour operators,House of Britain, relayed the positive impact already on Dutch visitors to the South East and how to capitalise even more going forward. Aad’s presentation is here.

For further details regarding how you can get involved in promoting to the Dutch marketand find out more about Vakantiebeurs and other international opportunities please contact  or click here



The audience then heard from two businesses starting with, Amy Dobson from  Bombay Sapphire Distillery on how it went from ‘new kid on the block’ to Best Small Attraction in England in two years. Amy’s presentation is here.


Tom Turney from award winning Tom’s Eco Lodge on how his business has taken glamping on the Isle of Wight to the next level and how diversifying their farmland has had a positive sustainable effect on the local community but also allows the guests to get back to nature whilst still having the luxury of home comforts. Tom’s presentation is here



The afternoon breakout sessions involved two workshops, one with digital expert Gareth Cairns from ZC Social Media UK, who gave the latest update on how best to work in the world of Social Media Gareth’s presentation, is here. The second, from Steve Plummer from Holiday Cruises, looked at  how businesses  might make more of the groups market (even if they never thought it was for them) .


For further details regarding how you can get involved in the Groups Market please contact  or click here


We would like to once again thank our sponsors for this event, Epsom Race Course; Pure Brand Media; Horizon Imaging and Shopper Anonymous.




Click here to view last years event at The Mill at Sonning, Berkshire.