It may be cold outside but our advisory team and judging panel are here to get your eyes all a’glow…
Join us in London on the 21st November 2023
Our wise men & women:
Senior Partner, FINN Partners Travel UK
Amy Skelding is senior partner at FINN Partners Travel UK.
Last Christmas they all went to Brighton for their festive party where they were simply having a Wonderful Christmas Time.
The snow made them all say Baby, It’s Cold Outside and the ensuing train chaos meant that some were left Home Alone, but the rest decided to Step Into Christmas and have a truly Blue Christmas as the Die Hard fans went to see the band perform at the Brighton Centre.
The Power of Love, the Christmas Lights of the Brighton Pier combined with lots of Mistletoe and Wine made them Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, however one of the team had to Stay Another Day thanks to the trains.
Amy’s hobbies include celebrating Christmas, joining advisory panels and hiding Christmas song lyrics and film titles in bios.
Account Manager, Travel & Tourism Marketing
David Venables is Account Manager at Travel & Tourism Marketing.
His experience in the travel industry is only outweighed by the number of Christmases he has been alive, while December is his favourite month of the year, and he is delighted to share the same star sign as the baby Jesus (Sagittarians unite).
An ideal Christmas for David is spent determining how much one can drink before Christmas Dinner, eating said Christmas Dinner, then trying to fit more drink on top, post-Christmas Dinner.
More often naughty than nice, David expects many lumps of coal every year, but due to the increasing price of fossil fuels, now settles for a much cheaper commodity in bottles of bourbon.
Marketing Manager UK/Europe, Intrepid Travel
Jamie-Lee is currently the Marketing Manager UK/Europe at Intrepid Travel, but has worn many hats!
She has been a DEI Ambassador for the travel industry, assisting companies such as Women In Travel on events.
Previously worked at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, where she employed TCG to run media events.
Director, Flamingo Public Relations
Manty has been representing travel companies for many years, and is considered by many people in the industry as one of the leading PR representatives.
Likely to be seen at many industry gatherings….when she’s in the country!
Co-Founder, The Tonic Magazine
Benita Finanzio hails from Melbourne, Australia and as the co-founder of Tonic, a drink / travel magazine, she knows exactly where to find the Christmas cheer – in both hemispheres!
Although more accustomed to a steamier festive season, she has now acclimated to our chillier variety of Xmas, replacing her festive Santa suit themed pub crawl in 30+ degree heat (pictured), for a festive jumper, mince pie and mulled wine on a chilly evening in Hackney.
A huge fan of vintage Xmas tunes and films, her vinyl contribution to any good Christmas shin-dig would have to be the classic Bing Crosby Christmas Album featuring White Christmas. Despite dreaming of one for most of her life, in her almost 20 years in the UK it remains elusive – she may just have to settle for Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree…
Media Project Manager UK & Ireland, Switzerland Tourism
Having organised four staff Christmas parties for Explore France and one for Switzerland Tourism, she is a festive fiend, not to mention a stickler for wearing reindeer antlers at all times and playing Christmas songs in the office the MOMENT the Christmas lights have gone up on Oxford Street.
Further passions include amdram, pub quizzes and cheese.
Communications and Partnerships Manager, G Adventures
Whether it’s through media relations or consumer partnerships, Leah’s role as Communications and Partnerships Manager sees her spreading the word of G Adventures across the EMEA region. Drawn to a business which has purpose at the heart of everything it does, Leah is passionate about responsible travel and the industry’s potential to be truly transformative – both for travellers and for local communities around the world.
When she’s not talking about travel, you’ll usually find her up a mountain, as she works to tick off the 10 highest peaks of Africa.
Leah is also a huge Christmas fan, with her Christmas decorations going up on the 1st November. We love that her company name also has the word ‘advent’ in it!
Director, Travel Trade Marketing Solutions
Experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the leisure, travel & tourism industry.
Previous chair of AWTE with a history of managing events.
Assisted TCG with the management of Media Getaway in 2022 and 2023
Managing Director, Bradt Guides
Founder, Women In Travel CICs
Presenter, BBC Travel Show
Content Director, Culture Trip
Head of PR & Communications, Intrepid Travel
Co-Founder, ITT Future You
Head of Comms, Ambassador Cruise Line
Freelance Editor & Writer / Sustainability Editor at Wanderlust
CEO, Visit USA Association
Managing Director, LOTUS
Founder, House of Coco Magazine
Co-Editor, Travel Gossip
Head of Travel, The Sun
Travel Editor, Attitude Magazine
Head of Global Communications, Brand USA
Founder, Charitable Travel
Sales Director, Princess Cruises
Vice President, Finn Partners Travel
VP Global PR & Comms, Small Luxury Hotels
Freelance Travel Journalist
Event Manager, Destinations Travel Show
Co-founder, Captivate Digital Media
CEO and Founder, Geotourist
Travel PR Consultant
Tolene van der Merwe
Director – UK & Ireland, Malta Tourism Authority