FIONA ATTRELL After many years spent working in tourism in Italy, Fiona returned to the UK to work in product development for large tour operators such as TUI and Hotelplan. During her time working in tour operating she was involved with product marketing and public relations as well as the commercial side of creating profitable holidays. She qualified as a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 2003 and works in English and Italian and offers both daily sightseeing and extended tours. She is still involved with tour creation for inbound tour operators and runs her own tour operator business selling walking and skiing trips to Italy.
TIM BARBER After 25 years running a marketing agency, Tim decided upon a change of direction and trained as a Yorkshire Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He now runs Real Yorkshire Tours – providing bespoke driver guided tours and unique experiences to a predominantly US audience. Tim was lucky enough to gain a grant from the Discover England Fund to promote Yorkshire to overseas markets, attending various trade shows and being part a Visit Britain trade delegation to promote UK tourism to US Tour Operators. An active user of social media, he regularly updates his blog – www.realyorkshireblog.com – using it as a key source of content for his social media activity. Tim is also an active Instagram user, understanding that a great photograph can help generate tour interest.
SUSAN BROWN qualified as a Scottish Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 2014 having previously worked internationally in logistics and training in the alcoholic beverages industry. Since 2015, she has worked with a variety of Tour Operators on mainly multi-day guided tours and with Destination Marketing Companies (DMCs) on Meetings Incentives Conferences and Events (MICE) programmes. The mix of guiding jobs she has undertaken has evolved over the years including taking a bold decision in 2022 to move away from one of her main sources of work to make space for new tourist guiding opportunities.
DR CHERYL BUTLER Blue Badge Tourist Guide Cheryl has a long career in Tourism, and in Destination Management at Southampton and Eastleigh. Based in Southampton, Cheryl has deep experience of today’s challenges and opportunities for badged guides working with ground handlers and shore excursion companies in this very competitive cruise port including meet & greet, airport transfers, and day excursions. Course director for Blue, Green and White Badge courses; member of the Guild’s training commitee and the Institute of Tourist Guiding’s accreditation committee; arranged large-scale heritage tourism programmes – Titanic 100, Mayflower 400, Jane Austen 200. Current projects include Jane Austen 250, Telling Other Histories – black history tourism – and developing a tourism programme linked to the University of Southampton Maritime Communities AHRC-funded project. Cheryl was Head of Marketing at the Portsmouth Naval Heritage Trust, ran her own ground-handling company with major corporate clients, lectured in tourism for Winchester University and acted as external supervisor for postgraduate students at Winchester and Southampton.
NICOLA BUTLER Since 1986 NoteWorthy has been specialising in creating exceptional travel experiences throughout the UK, Ireland, Paris and Normandy; Nicola became the proud owner in 2014. Her leading position in the travel industry has seen her recognised by both Travel + Leisure Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world’s top travel specialists. She was listed in the 2023 DIVA List of 100 trailblazing visionaries for LGBTQIA women and in Checking-IN’s 2023 list of 50 LGBTQ+ Champions Making an Impact in Hospitality. Nicola started the first Preferred Guide programme back in 2015. A great champion of the guiding community, she supported NoteWorthy’s guiding team through the pandemic and made sure to provide them with business opportunities as soon as the situation allowed. With newly qualified guides, she offers advice on how to best approach this career journey and be well equipped for it.
JOSS CROFT OBE is an accomplished, entrepreneurial leader, who is delivery focused. His experience has given him a strong understanding of the international visitor economy and wider business, and the challenges facing organisations. He has a passion for developing people and delivering outstanding customer service. As CEO of UKinbound, Joss leads the award-winning trade association that advocates and lobbies for policies that drive the UK’s second largest service export sector, and plays a crucial role in developing its members’ inbound businesses, connecting buyers and sellers to drive profitable outcomes. Before joining UKInbound in November 2018, Joss was Managing Director of Marketing at the Department for International Trade, responsible for the marketing and communications programme for UK exports and investment. He was previously Marketing Director of VisitBritain, involved in the development of the award-winning GREAT Britain campaign. Campaign successes include two gold and one silver awards at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Prior to that he held various roles at VisitBritain and contracting sales for global theme parks.
NICK GANE is working as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide in the South West of England and living between Bristol and Bath. Nick has a background in commercial accounting working with businesses of all shapes and sizes. He is a co-owner of Sulis Guides and Professional Tourist Guide Training.
TINA GWYNNE-EVANS started her career as an in-house guide in the cellars of Champagne Mumm in France. She went on to juggle studies in French & Politics with seasonal work as a tour manager shepherding American students across Europe. After university, she worked for the London Tourist Board and in the US selling educational tours, before moving into a 20-year career in marketing and communications. Since qualifying as a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 2014, Tina has specialised in delivering small group tours for families, bespoke tours for corporate clients, and garden talks and tours. She also works in grant making in the heritage sector.
AUGUSTA HARRIS qualified as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 2016 and joined NoteWorthy’s guiding programme in 2018. In 2020 she became a NoteWorthy Exclusive guide, the highest tier of the company’s three tier guiding programme, looking after the most important and high net worth clients and supporting guides new to the sector. Many guests come to NoteWorthy specifically requesting her as their guide, either because she guided for them before, or because she was recommended to them. Her understanding of American clients and their needs, paired with her British manners and customs, equips her with the perfect skillset to best accompany guests in their exploration of London and its surroundings. In addition to being a Blue Badge guide, she is a City of London guide, giving her an intimate knowledge of the historic financial district’s alleys, institutions and unique governance.
IAN JELF first qualified – after a spell in training and museum management – as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide in the Heart of England in 1993. Ian has subsequently expanded is areas of interest and qualification to include London (1998) and South-West England (2010). He has also been extensively involved in both training and examining. Although his repertoire covers a wide range of tour types, he has developed a particular niche for running urban walking tours in unusual places. Lockdown has him expand into online virtual tours as well. Oh and dog ownership has meant that his “scenes from todays dog walk” stream on social media has developed a new and unexpected following!
MARK KING is a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide and City of London Green Badge Tourist Guide. Mark is Conference Chair (2019, 2020, 2024) and was Chairman of the British Guild of Tourist Guides, 2016-18. Graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Modern Languages & Modern History. International career in marketing and business development at Saatchi & Saatchi and City corporate/commercial law firms before finding his true vocation as a guide. Author of The Blue Badge Guide’s London Quiz Book and consulting editor for Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Oxford.
DR ROB LYMAN is Chief Executive Officer of Guidl (pronounced guide-ull) which is an audio experience, consumed on a smart device, linked to a specific geographic location. Guidl launched in October 2023. Rob has over 20 years of experience helping global businesses deliver complex outsourcing projects, with lifetime contract values worth in excess of £2.5b. Rob is also a popular historian of the Second World War, the author of 18 books to date.
RICHARD MADDEN As well as being a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, Richard is a freelance writer and travel journalist. He has written, co-written or ghost-written eight books as well as numerous travel features for newspapers and magazines, in particular for the Daily Telegraph where he was Adventure Travel Editor for many years. He has ghost-written three books for the TV survival expert Bear Grylls – including a Sunday Times Top Ten best-seller – as well as both The Great British Bucket List (Utterly Unmissable Britain) and The Nature Lover’s Bucket List (Britain’s Unmissable Wildlife) under his own name for the National Trust. He is currently teaching writing skills at Sussex University to everyone from first-year undergraduates to post-Doctoral researchers in his role as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and an AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) Travel Writer of the Year.
NADIA MARCHANT is a London historian and Blue Badge Tourist Guide, and an inspirational storyteller in business. Nadia has experience of working in both profit and not for profit organisations, from scientists and technical experts to management and board level executives. She has supported leaders for over ten years, working for petroleum and publishing companies in the Middle East and UK, strategy consultants and scientists across Europe, a multinational food brands conglomerate as well as business schools in the UK, China, Asia and the Middle East. “Nadia lives what she teaches. She is very engaging, professional, respecful and helpful.” – Strategy Consultant, AIM Listed Company.
EVE MILNER was a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide for 16 years to 2019 before pivoting to become a full-time photographer. During her career as a guide, she specialised in multi-generational tours for families with children. Together with BB guide Sarah Ciacci, she ran 2 extended CPD programmes for the Guild on the subject of ‘Guiding Tots & Teens’.
JULIA MORRIS initially trained in 2000 as a South West Blue Badge Tourist Guide but has since added the South Central region and more recently Wales. A Director of Professional Tourist Guide Training and recently a Course Director for Cruise Ship Certificate leading to Blue Badge Guide training for Devon and Cornwall. Julia is convinced cruise ship guiding is an excellent early career option and provides a good baseline income for longer qualified guides. We serve as important ambassadors for Britain and professional British guides and should aspire to being regarded as the natural choice to lead tours by customers and industry bodies alike.
MIKE NEWMAN is Managing Director of b2me Tourism Marketing and has over 20 years experience of working with buyers and suppliers across the travel and tourism industry. Mike is training partner for UKinbound on all aspects of travel trade engagement, and Arival Marketing for their Get Connected! digital transformation toolkit – most recently delivered to businesses across Scotland. In addition from 2021- 2023, Mike was lead consultant on connected distribution for Failte’ Ireland’s Digital That Delivers programme, mentoring hundreds of owner/operator and SME businesses through the process of developing their digital transformation process from website and booking system through to working with OTAs. Mike is also travel trade strategy lead for the Destination Delivery Partnership (DDP) Pilot across the North East of England, and works with destinations across the UK. A regular industry event speaker and workshop facilitator, Mike is delighted to be speaking at the Guided to Growth Conference.
DANNY PARLOUR has been working as a full-time London Blue Badge Tourist Guide since 2016. Outside of guiding, he is happy to give back, annually taking on at least one mentee. He is passionate about the tourist guiding associations connected with our qualifications. Served on Branch Council for the Association of Professional Tourist Guides (Dec 2016 – Dec 2021) holding the position of Chair for the last two years. Led a team of dedicated individuals, playing a vital role in the coordination of the association and supporting its members during uncertain times. Together, they navigated the difficulties faced by the travel industry and explored innovative ways to connect with clients, such as the introduction of virtual tours. Throughout his tenure, he employed his people skills to communicate effectively with a diverse range of individuals, addressing various issues and finding solutions. Danny utilised his organisational abilities to plan projects, chair meetings, and contribute creatively to the association’s monthly Guidelines magazine through his Chair’s letter. Danny is a committed user of LinkedIn.
SIMONE PETER is a Liverpool Blue Badge Tourist Guide and a Chester Green Badge Tourist Guide with a background in corporate design and production, as well as experience as an English teacher in Brazil. She became a parent at the same time as embarking on a career as a guide and has enjoyed the flexibility and variety that tourist guiding can provide. She is currently working as a tutor on the new Liverpool Blue Badge training course.
TESS PIKE is a Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Yorkshire and North-East England tourist guide. She studied languages at University and lived in Germany and Italy before training first as a translator and interpreter and then as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 1995. She is highly experienced with guiding visitors of all ages from all over the world. Qualified by the Institute of Tourist Guiding to guide in German, she welcomes coach groups and private clients to Yorkshire, Cumbria, Liverpool and the North of England and is experienced with working with interpreters when guiding visitors from other non-English speaking countries. As an Institute trainer, she has delivered Welcome Germany training across the north of England and has trained tourist guides in Japan.
RUTH POLLING is a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide, freelance lecturer and trainer on the London Blue Badge Course. She has a degree in International History from the London School of Economics and before guiding worked full time in politics for eleven years including in the House of Commons, House of Lords and four years as a local Councillor in London. Since qualifying in 2014 she has been involved in the guiding community as an active member of the guiding organisations. She was a member of the Association of Professional Tourist Guides Branch Council for five years, including three years as Secretary, where she introduced and helped to facilitate forward planning awaydays and worked with the Guild and the Institute to represent guides’ voices outside the profession. She regularly delivers CPD sessions, has acted as a mentor for new and student guides and helps organise the annual guides’ Carol Service.
ALICE PROCTER is an art historian, museum enthusiast and author. She created Uncomfortable Art Tours, unofficial guided tours exploring how major institutions came into being against a backdrop of imperialism. She runs these regularly at various sites, exploring the role colonialism played in shaping and funding national collections, looking beyond the surface of paintings to unravel the ideological aesthetics at work. Alice’s academic work concentrates on the intersections of postcolonial art practice and colonial material culture, the curation of historical trauma, myths of national identity, and envisioning a decolonised future for museums. Her MA thesis looks into protest, disruption and rule-breaking in art galleries. In 2020, Alice’s thoughtful, provocative book The Whole Picture: The Colonial Story of the Art in Our Museums and Why We Need to Talk About It was published and has been helping to open up discussion about this sensitive area. She is Australian but grew up in London, and maintains a very stubborn accent.
NIGEL RUNDSTROM In his first career, Nigel worked for over 20 years in a variety of sales, marketing and business development roles in the telecommunications sector. He has seen first hand how markets can change and how you need to keep innovating to succeed, or even survive. Since qualifying as a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 2011 he has been; a tutor on the London Blue Badge course, a board member at the Institute of Tourist Guiding and involved in website / marketing efforts for APTG / Guide London. Like everyone else, Nigel had plenty of time for reflection during Covid. This has since led to a greater emphasis on guiding work which is fulfilling and not simply to ‘pay the bills’.
SEREN WELCH has over 25 years’ experience across tourism marketing and a track record in promoting Britain internationally through screen tourism. As GM International Marketing at VisitBritiain, she led on all consumer product development, which included music and film, delivering global destination campaign from Harry Potter to Downton Abbey and Bond. In 2012, she joined the Mayor of London’s Culture Team to assist in telling London’s cultural story during the Olympics. For the past 10 years her focus has been assisting destinations with product development, and how to benefit from the rise in High End TV opportunities from both broadcast and streaming networks. She is also the UK-based destination consultant for US Broadcaster WGBH Masterpiece (PBS), assisting them in bringing to life the locations narrative for some of the UKs best loved dramas, such as Downton Abbey, Victoria, Mr Selfridge, Sherlock, Poldark, Endeavour, Grantchester and All Creatures Great and Small.
KATIE WIGNALL qualified as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 2018. Alongside her work as a London guide she has cultivated an online following under the brand and business, Look Up London. She has published two books, Abandoned London and the guide book, Look Up London and regularly appears on television, radio, YouTube and podcasts as an expert London historian. Since 2015 she has concentrated on building a dedicated readership of her weekly London history blog and more recently focused on Instagram and TikTok growth, both of which now have over 100,000 followers, generating well paid guiding work and further industry opportunities.
MARC ZAKIAN is a journalist and Blue Badge Tourist Guide with a background in photography, TV and film production. He has worked for several film and TV companies and produces the award-nominated www.storiesofbritain.com history podcast.