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.

    Madhu Rajesh

    Madhu began her career in the hospitality industry in operations, sales and marketing. She has spent the last decade working in the not-for-profit sector on a range of sustainable development issues including education, gender equality, water and sanitation, sustainability and human rights. She currently works as Director for International Tourism Partnership – working together with hotel companies on environmental and social responsibility. She joined ITP from WSUP (Water & Sanitation for Urban Poor) where she was Director for Partnerships and Development.

  • 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.
  • 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.

    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 independent sustainability consultant, with a particular focus on managing the impacts of tourism and on responsible tourism development to create benefits for local communities, destinations and economies. Rebecca has a Masters in Responsible Tourism Management, as well as hands-on experience of working with large travel companies including TUI and Virgin Atlantic, and on sustainable tourism projects both in the UK and overseas through her consultancy business, Responsible Tourism Matters.
  • Caroline Warburton

    Caroline Warburton is VisitScotland’s Regional Leadership Director for the East of Scotland. Caroline’s role is to oversee VisitScotland’s strategic engagement for the East region and with direct responsibility for Fife, Perthshire, Dundee and Angus.

    Caroline joined VisitScotland in April 2018 from the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) where she was responsible for coordinating Scotland’s first industry-led national tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020. Prior to being at the STA, Caroline set-up and ran Wild Scotland, Scotland’s wildlife and adventure tourism association which brought the sector together and established Scotland’s national and international profile as a wildlife-watching and adventure destination.

    Crista Buznea

    Being acknowledged as one of TTG’s 30 Travel Leaders and Edie's 30 Sustainability Leaders Under the age of 30, Crista Buznea is a marketing and responsible tourism specialist; working to promote sustainable tourism through the use of an agile, modern approach to marketing. Having recently moved to Heathrow Airport to take up the role of sustainability manager, Crista has an extensive history in the tourism sector - previously creating award-winning content that positioned sustainability as a key marketing message for TUI UK, reaching 4.5 million holiday-makers in the process. Crista has also worked on a sustainable travel education programme that reached 60,000 pupils and holds a MSc in Responsible Tourism from Manchester Metropolitan University.

  • Nikki White

    As ABTA’s Director of Destinations & Sustainability, Nikki is responsible for destination government liaison, sustainability, operations, crisis management, and health & safety in destinations. Nikki chairs a number of committees, including the Federation of Tour Operators, ABTA’s accessibility committee, and ECTAA’s destinations and sustainability committee. Nikki also sits on the WTM advisory council. Nikki is Vice President of her local Rotary club.

    Nikki gained an impressive grasp of travel and tourism strategy over the years, as both a Board Director and Head of Strategy and Development at a travel and leisure marketing strategic communications firm. 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 been enhanced by her Masters degree in Leadership for Sustainable Development.

    Soren Stober

    Sören is Director of Business Development ESG & Sustainability for Trucost, part of S&P Global. Trucost assesses and prices risks relating to climate change, natural resource constraints and broader ESG factors, enabling companies and financial institutions to understand exposure to ESG factors, inform resilience and identify the transformative solutions of tomorrow.

    Sören is responsible for corporate business development in Northern Europe, Africa and Japan. He began his career at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and Environment followed by Group Communications and Social Affairs positions in Germany’s retail/mail order group KarstadtQuelle AG. From there he moved into tourism and to the UK to join Thomas Cook Group PLC. His experience at Thomas Cook includes Group Sustainability & ESG Reporting Manager and Interim Head of Sustainability. Most recently he was Commercial Director for the ABTA-owned sustainability certification scheme Travelife. He served as an ISO principal expert for tourism services and Board Member of the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism.

    Sören holds a BA in Philosophy & Economics from Bayreuth University in Germany and MSt in Sustainability Leadership from the University of Cambridge.

  • Carol Hay

    With her rich experience in the global tourism sector, Carol Hay has directed multi-national marketing portfolios spanning destination branding, product development, sustainable tourism development, public relations, crisis management and social media. Carol has served as Director of Marketing UK & Europe for the Caribbean Tourism Organization for more than 9 years. This role follows a fruitful stint as Director of Marketing UK & Europe for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.

    In fact, for 25 years, Carol has filled senior roles within vital tourism and promotions organisations: The Jamaica Tourist Board, BWIA International Airways and Jamaica Promotions Corporation. Her wealth of knowledge positions her as a sought after Influencer and Speaker to Global Tourism audiences, specifically in the areas of female leadership; destination branding and competitiveness.

    Stephen Farrant

    Stephen has extensive leadership experience across the private sector, civil society and the public sector. Passionate about the environment, he has a proven ability to combine an ambitious change agenda with practical solutions to global sustainability challenges. As a linguist by training, he has a strong interest in relationship-building, shared understanding and coalition-building.

    Previously he was Director of Sustainability and Innovation at Business in The Community (the Prince’s Responsible Business Network). In this role he successfully led ground-breaking programmes including the Waste to Wealth campaign, the Circular Economy Taskforce, the innovation, digital and Purpose agendas for the Global Goals, and the Responsible Business Tracker. Steve started his career in marketing, operations and strategy roles at British Airways, followed by a decade with VisitBritain. Increasingly motivated from the early 2000’s onwards by the unfolding climate and ecological emergency, Steve then worked at the RSA before serving for 6 years as Director of the International Tourism Partnership, where he played a leading role in shaping the sustainability agenda across the global hotel industry.

    Steve is as an Adviser to the Board of ITP and a qualified Executive Coach. He volunteers with Thames 21 and the Hardknott Forest Restoration project. He recently became a French citizen to keep up with his bilingual wife and two kids. In his spare time he enjoys singing with a west London choir, climbing mountains and exploring nature on two wheels.

  • Rebecca Hawkins

    Rebecca Hawkins has worked in the travel industry for the last 25 years. She started her career with the World Travel & Tourism Council, where she worked with many of the largest travel companies in the world helping them to create their responses to the sustainability challenges raised (initially) by the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. She subsequently went on to make input into many of the policies and programme that have shaped the sustainable tourism movement. She still works regularly for large companies such as TUI and Virgin as well as international conservation organisations, travel trade associations and charities, advising on a wide range of issues from reducing plastic pollution, conserving water and enhancing the local economic contribution of tourism. More recently, she has been working in the UK, in Dorset among other places, bringing creative and tourism professionals together to develop experiences that reflect the essence of place and encourage tourists to linger for longer. Rebecca delivers much of this work within her own small business, but she also does some teaching and PhD supervision for Oxford Brookes University.

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