Tourism South East Annual General Meeting and Tourism Conference

News & Events

Tourism South East Annual General Meeting and Tourism Conference

September 27th 2018



Members and Partners came together at the impressive Sheepdrove Farm Eco Conference Centre for TSE’s Annual General Meeting and Tourism Conference.

Following a review of the 2017/18 year and presentation of the Financial Statements by TSE’s leadership team,  Chairman Mark Smith led the final meeting of the Tourism Council which included the results of the election for new Directors to the main Board.

The new Directors are:-

·         Graham Hukin, currently Operations & Commercial Manager at the Royal Engineers Museum and Chairman of the Association of Tourism Attractions in Kent (ATAK) , Graham was previously, Visitor Centre Manager, at Britain’s Oldest Brewer, Shepherd Neame, where he led the team to multiple successes in the Beautiful South Awards and Visit England Awards for Excellence. His career has also seen spells as Commercial Manager at the Kent & East Sussex Railway and Hastings Aquarium.

·         Caryl Oliver has her own business,Topkit, in Oxfordshire but has a background which includes working for the Australian Tourism Commission  and being CEO of Tourism Council Australia, advising and guiding government on Tourism Policy. Caryl also delivered the fencing and wheelchair fencing at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and continues as a top veteran fencer herself representing Great Britain at European and World level.


Councillor Dan Humphreys was automatically elected for another three year term as the local authority representative. Dan has previously worked at TSE in Policy and Research  before launching into a political career. He is currently Leader at Worthing Borough Council in Sussex.


TSE Chief Executive Nigel Smith introduced the Tourism Conference and Workshops and the opening presentation by sponsors Quality in Tourism (QIT). Andy Woodward, Director of QIT, standing in for Deborah Heather, outlined the new approach being taken by QIT toward quality assessments. QIT was recently recommended by the Government to tackle the growing concern about sharing economy accommodation such as AirBnB in meeting standards. Andy also spoke about the intentions of QIT to create more contemporary quality schemes for attractions, food and drink and visitor services that are more in tune with modern visitor expectations. Presentation is here.


Helen Laing from Clockwork Marketing followed with an overview of the trends in tourism marketing, posing fun questions with the audience on ‘Fad or Fortune’ trends from hiring Goldfish in your hotel room to virtual reality(VR). Presentation here. 

David Andrews, Chief Executive at VisitWiltshire, updated the audience on the Discover England Fund supported Great West Way project. The ambition to create one of the world’s premier touring routes from London to Bristol is now well under way and garnering support from many destinations, businesses and organisations along the route.  Presentation is here.


After a splendid Sheepdrove lunch and networking session, Helen Laing and Pete Stevens from Clockwork Marketing led on a workshop about how to make the most of websites and how to get the best out of your website provider or agency. Presentation is here. Fran Downton TSE’s Senior Marketing Manager, led a workshop on working with the Travel Trade. From Wholesalers to Group Travel Organisers Fran outlined what potential suppliers will need to consider if they are to make the most of or to initially engage with, the different types of travel trade. 


87% of attendees rated the venue either ‘very good’ or ‘good’ and 89% rated the presentations very good or good.

"Thank you all for a very informative and interesting day. It was a lovely and unusual setting but always good to compare venues. Thank you to your team" Helen, Winchester College

"Thanks for hosting me yesterday, great day and what a great location" Andy, Qaulity in Tourism

TSE would like to thank Quality In Tourism for its sponsorship, all the speakers for giving up their time to support the event, to Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre for the use of the venue and the excellent level of service throughout the day and, finally, everyone that attended.




To view last year's event at Chessington World of Adventures click here