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Responsible tourism Awards

About the 2015 judges of the Responsible Tourism Awards

The Responsible Tourism Awards judging process is chaired by Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University and Founder of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, and draws on the expertise of carefully chosen professionals from throughout the tourism industry. Find out about our judging process and our judging criteria.

Our panel includes representatives from responsibletravel.com, ABTA, World Travel Market, bgb, UNEP, and CESHI. Read about our Judges below.

Harold Goodwin


Harold Goodwin Chair of Judges, and Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University and Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism. The ICRT is a community of Responsible Tourism Practitioners in business, government, NGOs, conservation and heritage. The ICRT is for Responsible Tourism. Their work focuses on the principles of the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, working in originating markets and destinations around the world, to harness tourism to make “better places for people to live in and for people to visit.” They work with governments, tour operators and accommodation providers to realise the aspirations of the Responsible Tourism Movement in which we have played a major part since 1997. .

There is a postgraduate professional Masters in Responsible Tourism which is taught in the Centre for Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University where Harold researches on Responsible Tourism and tourism and local economic development and supervises PhDs. Harold drafted the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations in 2002 which defined the agenda for change and has written extensively on responsible tourism and worked with UK companies and with governments in Kerala, South Africa and The Gambia to develop and implement responsible tourism policies. He is a partner in the Pro-Poor Tourism Partnership and Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership which is the rights holder for the International Conferences o Responsible Tourism in Destination. http://www.haroldgoodwin.info/

Justin Francis


Justin Francisis founder and director of the Responsible Tourism Awards; managing director, http://www.responsibletravel.com/, http://www.responsiblevacation.com/, http://www.our-land.co.uk/

Justin set up responsibletravel.com in 2001 following a career in marketing at the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson and later on, as Head of Worldwide Marketing at The Body Shop.

The idea for the business was borne out of a camp fire conversation with a village headman in Zambia. An MSc in Responsible Tourism had provided him with the academic grounding in responsible tourism and a keen understanding of the difficult issues that faced the travel industry. Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop) invested and it became the first, and remains the world’s leading company for responsible, green, eco or sustainable tourism.

In 2004 Justin founded The Responsible Tourism Awards. Justin was one of the founding trustees of The Travel Foundation in the UK. He also sits on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University and the Advisory Board of Hidden Britain. He is a Non-Executive Director of Basecamp Explorer Kenya.responsibletravel.com organises The Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards in association with The Metro, World Travel Market, Geographical Magazine and headline sponsors Virgin Holidays. Justin is a Trustee of The Travel Foundation, and writes regularly on responsible tourism for magazines and papers.

Jane Ashton

Jane Ashton


Jane has been driving policies to steer TUI Group towards being a more sustainable business for over a decade. Her focus has been to align sustainability with the business’s strategic imperatives so as to harness the power of tourism and maximise benefits for communities, for the environment, and for the company.. Jane works with industry peers and organisations on a national and international level to develop a more sustainable tourism industry, e.g. a member of the Advisory Committee to the UN 10 Year Framework Programme for Sustainable Consumption & Production in Tourism, and Executive Board Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

TUI Group TUI Group has received various accolades for its sustainability work, having been listed on FTSE4Good since 2005 and the only company ranked in the Carbon Disclosure Leaders Index for 7 consecutive years, ranking joint 1st in 2014. Visit: http://www.tuigroup.com/

Dr Rebecca Hawkins


Rebecca Hawkins Rebecca has worked in the field of sustainable tourism for more than 20 years and has played a key role in the development of a number of the publications and tools that have driven this agenda (e.g. Agenda 21, criteria for Travelife standards, guidance to UK hotels on sustainable management practices etc.).

In 2010, following a successful career in academia at Oxford Brookes and Leeds Metropolitan universities, she founded RHP, a consultancy company, where she focuses on providing resource saving advice to businesses across the hospitality/food-service and tourism industry. She is a Resource Management specialist and has undertaken training in ISO 14001 implementation. Rebecca has an extensive insight into the sector, managing most of RHP’s research projects, developing RHP's training materials and running many of RHP's strategic workshops.

She continues to write much of the guidance available to the hospitality industry on resource efficiency. Recently, she published a book entitled ‘Responsible Hospitality, Theory and Practice ’, which is recognised as ‘the complete handbook for corporate responsibility in the hospitality industry’.

Simon Press


Senior Exhibition Director, World Travel Market (WTM)
Simon has been employed by Reed Travel Exhibitions for the last five years. His first role was Exhibition Director on Arabian Travel Market (ATM) held in Dubai; the sister show to World Travel Market (WTM) takes place in May and very much replicates the WTM model but for the Middle Eastern market.

Simon PressHe moved to WTM after two years to take responsibility for Head of Sales and new projects and following one year in this role he was promoted to Exhibition Director of WTM. In December 2012 Simon received his Senior Exhibition Director role in recognition of his efforts and wide ranging initiatives from the expansion of the WTM Vision conference platform across the world and the introduction of Social Travel Market to the development of Decisionmakers.TV.

Simon constantly looks to innovate and deliver new facets to WTM including looking at the online and social community opportunities around responsible tourism linking this to WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Day. His assistance and persistence with new show projects outside of WTM has also been invaluable.

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.

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.

Dr Dilys Roe


Dilys Roe is a principal researcher at the sustainable development think-tank, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), based in London. Dilys leads IIED’s work on biodiversity and wildlife management. She has written extensively on community based natural resources management; “pro-poor” conservation; biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction; and, more recently illegal wildlife trade. Prior to this, the focus of Dilys’s work at IIED was on tourism including wildlife tourism, community based tourism and pro-poor tourism.

During her 20+ years at IIED, Dilys has also spent some time seconded to the UK Department for International Development as a consultant biodiversity advisor. Dilys is a member of the steering committee of IUCN’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi) and is a Fellow of the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). Dilys has a PhD in biodiversity management from the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent.

John de Vial


John de Vialis a tourism professional with 30 years experience, principally in the mainstream, UK outbound market, with a particular interest in sustainability. He was literally born in to the industry, being the son of a Spanish resident manager for an ABTA tour operator to Spain and an English customer, so tourism is in his blood. John's career, after an academic background in Engineering, returned to tourism in 1980 when he joined the International Leisure/Air Europe Group, ultimately becoming Director of Consumer Affairs. John went on to work for the Tour Operators' Study Group (TOSG), the forerunner of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and as a contractor for the Civil Aviation Authority, Consumer Protection Group. He joined the Thomson Travel Group where he stayed until after the creation of TUI UK Limited, where he was Holiday Services Director. John then joined the MyTravel Group plc, where he was Consumer Affairs Director and in 2007 became a Group Director of the newly formed Thomas Cook Group plc in 2007.

In 2009, John moved to ABTA, where he is a Director of the trade association, Travelife (ABTA's Sustainability System) and ABTA's charity, the ABTA Benevolent Fund. John has been closely involved in the completion of the ABTA and FTO merger, the subsequent organisational change and restructuring of the new ABTA and the creation of ABTA's new strategic Vision. Sustainability and Responsibility are at the heart of that vision for a successful industry. John also Chairs ABTA's disciplinary committee, responsible for the ABTA Code of Conduct, a key element of ABTA's self regulation and consumer protection. John is a Fellow of the Institute of Travel & Tourism; a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; an Associate of the Chartered Quality Institute and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. He is also Director of External Affairs at the Shearings Group (Shearings, National Holidays, Caledonian Travel, Wallace Arnold Travel, Coast and Country Hotels and Bay Hotels.)

Dr Matt Walpole


Matt Walpoleis Director of Programmes at the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). After graduating from Cambridge, Matt spent ten years with the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), where he undertook a range of research and consultancy focusing on the role of nature-based tourism as a tool for conservation and local development in and around national parks and protected areas in Africa and Asia. His PhD, on the impacts of dragon tourism in Komodo National Park, Indonesia, was one of the first inter-disciplinary studies of its kind. His later time in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve included working with safari tour drivers to map their patterns of use of the park, examining the impact of tourism on wildlife including the endangered black rhino, and bringing together local Maasai communities and eco-friendly tour operators to explore options for small-scale community-driven tourism. He also helped to research and develop strategic tourism plans for various parks in Africa, and taught and supervised dozens of international postgraduate students in tourism and conservation. In 2004 Matt moved back to Cambridge and into the NGO sector to direct Fauna and Flora International's Biodiversity and Human Needs programme, exploring the widespread links between poverty and conservation and developing staff and organizational capacity to deliver multiple benefits from FFI's field programmes including support to community-based tourism initiatives.??

Matt joined UNEP-WCMC at the beginning of 2008 to lead the Ecosystem Assessment Programme. This encompassed a broad range of work on biodiversity change and the value of nature to society, ensuring that environmental trends are fully incorporated in reports to the UN General Assembly and a range of multilateral agreements. In 2013 he became Director of Programmes, charged with enhancing the quality and impact of the centre’s portfolio and overseeing the growth and development of strategic external partnerships, including with the private sector. Amongst other things, Matt sits on the WTM Responsible Tourism Advisory Panel. His work has allowed him to travel in over 60 countries worldwide, gaining first-hand experience of tourism, particularly nature-based tourism, in all its guises.

Mark Watson


Mark Watson Mark is a brand new judge on our panel and is the Chief Executive of Tourism Concern, a unique independent charity dedicated to campaigning for ethical and fairly traded tourism. Mark has nearly 30 years' experience in campaigning for social justice both in the UK and internationally and has travelled widely in Africa , Asia and South America.

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 to study environmental geography and international development, he spent one year working voluntarily in the township of Alexandria in South Africa.

In 2003, he climbed Kilimanjaro to raise money for HIV / AIDS projects in Africa and in May 2013, he climbed Mt Toubkal (North Africa’s highest peak) to promote ethical and responsible tourism.

Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Chartered Manager with an MSc in Sustainability and a First Degree in Geography and International Development. During the 90s, he lead campaigns on equality and social justice and successfully changed primary legislation and public attitudes in relation to lesbians and gay men.

Nikki White

Nikki White


joined ABTA as Head of Destinations and Sustainability in October in 2009. Nikki has gained an impressive grasp of travel and tourism strategy over her years as Head of Strategy and Development at travel and leisure marketing experts Fox Kalomaski.

Here she worked with a number of destinations as well as specialist agents, tour operators and airlines devising a range of strategic policies. Nikki's expertise in sustainable tourism has recently been enhanced by her completion of a Masters degree in Sustainable Development. Nikki is Head of Destinations and Sustainability at ABTA which includes responsibility for sustainability, operations, health and safety and crisis management.

Read about our winners
Michael Palin supports the Responsible Tourism Awards