Programme - WSC Summit
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-11241,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,smooth_scroll,,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-3.8,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.5,vc_responsive
A full day of interactive discussions & business opportunities



The EARLY BOOKING delegate full day ticket to attend the WSC Summit is only £85 if booked before 31 May 2020, from 01 June 2020 it is £125.

To book your place, please click here now.

The 2020 Programme Will Be Available Shortly. 2019 Programme as Below:


2019 Programme

Are you ready to be inspired? We have a packed schedule of educational debates in the discussion hub, informative presentations and expert panel sessions.  Hear and learn from industry leaders about the challenges, opportunities and trends in wildlife, safari and conservation travel.

Interest in wildlife, safari and conservation travel is growing fast. This programme brings together compelling speakers, industry experts and the opportunity to network and do business with relevant partners.


Registration with coffee, tea & selection of Danish pastries: 09:30
WSC Summit Start: 10:00


DISCUSSION: Animal Welfare in Tourism. Being Responsible.

Savvy travellers are becoming more aware of animal welfare in tourism, with research now showing discerning consumers are more likely to book with travel providers who operate responsible animal welfare tours. It’s a hot topic, recently a couple of high-profile holiday companies have announced their decision to stop sales and promotion of captive animal attractions. Attend this round table discussion to learn more about the topic, so you are informed and have the inside knowledge when talking to your customers.

Discover the five simple steps designed to help travel companies to minimise their impact on animals and the natural environment.

This table discussion is facilitated by Daniel Turner, Director of animal welfare in tourism specialists Animondial

DISCUSSION: Travel Without Plastic. Sponsored by Water-to-Go

It’s a big problem, the planet is covered in plastic with wildlife and the natural environment at risk. But there are practical, cost effective solutions to reducing single-use plastic without compromising the guest experience. Discover top tips on working with travel partners to reduce and eliminate single use plastic.


We want to encourage sustainable practices and responsible tourism by drawing awareness to the growing problem of plastic pollution. Water-to-Go is the sustainable solution to this problem and we want to work with organisations and businesses that share our values, aims and goals. By encouraging you and your clients to buy a Water-to-Go bottle, we can help reduce your carbon footprint as we aim to save the planet from plastic pollution.

DISCUSSION: Online Marketing, PR and Social Media. The Latest Thinking on Engaging with Existing and New Customers. Sponsored by Mr Zen

Technology is playing an increasingly important part in wildlife tourism marketing. Gather around this table if you are looking for answers and interesting ideas to help your company to engage with your target audience. Find out what’s new, what is working and what is not! Is traditional advertising dead or still relevant? Is it worth developing a travel App? Do media influencers work? How do you convert social media engagement into sales?

This table discussion is facilitated by Anneka Roberts, Associate Vice President of Digital, The Brighter Group – Finn Partners

We know travel. We were contracting travel services and managing tour leaders in the late nineties. Since then we’ve clocked up experience with Travel IT and eCommerce second to none.

At Mr Zen use this experience to solve problems for our clients and try to deliver the best possible solutions for our clients’ budgets. Our range of products and services are specifically tailored to the Travel Industry and our fundamental goal is to increase client bookings and reduced admin.

DISCUSSION: Cruising On The Wild Side. Sponsored by ABTOT

Small-ship adventure and expedition cruising can offer the best ways to see some of the world’s most beautiful wildlife in remote settings, often only accessible by boat.

With more new expedition cruise vessels being launched, there is more choice than event for travellers. Join this session to learn about the opportunities in the exciting and fast-growing cruise sector.

This table discussion is facilitated by Martin Johnson, Co-Founder Polar Routes

ABTOT is recognised by the Travel Industry as a practical and efficient way of complying with the regulations and offering customers holiday protection.

We are here to offer you a guiding hand as we know you’ll want to focus your energies on making a success of your business. We have the experience and expertise to lead you through the regulatory maze.

DISCUSSION: Social responsibility and conservation…can the travel trade do more? Partnered by SAA

Tourism, social responsibility and conservation are working hard together on several projects, trying to find good practice. However there is a lot more to be done. So what can we do to help wider social, environmental and wildlife issues that really matter to the planet and our consumers.

This table discussion is facilitated by Kate Studholme, Founder & CEO, Tale2Tail

South African Airways offers daily overnight flights from London to Johannesburg on board the new Airbus A330-300, with easy onward connections to over 30 destinations across Southern Africa.

Business Class offers travellers their own ‘living space’ with improved privacy whilst Economy Class boasts newly designed seats with high-resolution screens and individual USB charging ports.



Home to the renowned Big Five, lesser known Little Five and Marine Big Five (with many other species in between), South Africa has an abundance of wildlife found across its reserves, oceans and skies.

Join Alison Towner, White Shark Biologist at Marine Dynamics, and marine expert to learn all about South Africa’s diverse ocean life – from Southern Right whales, African penguins, great white sharks, dolphins to seals. Find out why Alison believes ocean wildlife in South Africa is just as fascinating, if not more, as the terrestrial life!


South Africa is a dynamic, vibrant destination that offers an unrivalled wealth of experiences to the traveller. South African Tourism is the official tourism agency for the country of South Africa, tasked with marketing and promoting South Africa as a preferred tourism destination in the UK and Ireland, driving visitation to the country and showcasing the breadth of tourism experiences available, both supporting large tourism operators and the SMMEs.






13:35 to 14:15 How to Create Your Own High-Quality Video Content On a Shoestring. With Patrick Aryee – Television Presenter I Filmmaker I Biologist I Adventurer


From Blue Planet, Dynasties, Our Planet and Serengeti – the success of Natural History Documentaries have the nation talking about wildlife. Join Patrick Aryee as he talks about his life as a wildlife filmmaker and presenter. He’ll also share tips and valuable insight on how you too can shoot, edit and share your wildlife encounters in the field. Marketing professionals – you don’t to miss this session!

Patrick hosts the BBC’s 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter, he has a versatile presenting style which has allowed him a host a variety of other programmes; from the epic Amazing Animal Family franchise, to the expedition show Yellowstone’s: Wildest Winter, the heart-warming Nature’s Miracle Orphans and the fact filled Super Senses.


14:25 to 15:00 Disruptive Marketing: Standing Out from the Crowd and Connecting with New Customers.


In this session we explore motivated and innovative marketing approaches outside the traditional media channels. Get insight from marketeers on how to amplify your message, from “piggy backing” on the rise in popularity of wildlife television programmes or film releases, to engaging with new clients by joined-up marketing and PR actions that cut through the noise.


Guest Panellist: Tim Henshall, Chief Executive, Kamageo

Tim describes himself as a serial safari-er having first visited Africa over 20 years ago and has returned 60+ times since. Tim is a lifelong marketer, with over 30 years experience. He has held senior marketing roles at a number of international brands in various categories (from sports to jeanswear), as well as leading roles within marketing and advertising agencies. He has been fortunate enough to win industry awards for creativity, marketing strategy and effectiveness.  


Guest Panellist: Sara White, Marketing Director, Real World Travel & Conservation

Sara is the Marketing Director of Real World Travel & Conservation and co-founder and trustee of Explorers against Extinction. She has 25 years’ experience working in long-haul travel and conservation including roles in sales, product, marketing and editorial. Without any formal marketing qualifications, she’s approached the challenge of how to make a small specialist with minimal marketing budget stand out in a crowded market from a different perspective. By focusing on brand purpose, transparency and content geared for emotional engagement she’s been able to grow and collaborate with their audience.

Guest Panellist: Darrin des Vignes, Vice President – Destination Representation & Tourism Marketing, Finn Partners

Bon voyage to boring, in with new ways to connect. In these digital days of incredible change, marketers insist on new ways to inspire advocacy, instil brand loyalty, create an influx of leads and increase  sales.




Panel Chair: April Hutchinson, Editor, TTG Luxury

TTG Luxury: News and features about luxury travel trends, destinations, five-star hotels and resorts, luxury cruise, premium aviation, private jet travel, experiential travel, ski and wellness and spa products for high-end travel agents, advisors and tour operators.




15:05 Message from our Summit Partner, South African Airways. 


A welcome from Jon Danks at South African Airways with an introduction to Kate Studholme, the founder of Tale2Tail, a charity educating children to erode the demand for illegal wildlife trade, through storytelling. Tale2Tail is committed to curbing the demand on the illegal ivory trade, through providing educational resources that inspire and empower children to make change themselves.


15:20 to 15:45 COFFEE BREAK

15:50 to 16:20 PANEL DISCUSSION: Protecting Our Oceans – Marine Conservation, Tourism and Plastics.


Our planet is covered by around three quarters of water, yet it’s said we know more about the surface of mars than we know about our oceans. The seas shape our weather systems and provide food, yet 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enters our oceans a year, with a massive impact to marine life. For anyone selling holidays, coastal and marine tourism is an important element to our business. Are we doing enough or can we do more? Join our panel to learn more about what they are doing.


Guest Panellist: Tom “The Blowfish” Hird. Ocean Ambassador, Marine Conservation Society

Tom is a Marine Biologist, broadcaster, author and science communicator. His aim is to encourage conservation throughout the population by shaking up the established way of doing things. As “The Blowfish – The World’s ONLY Heavy Metal Marine Biologist” and sporting Mohawk, chains, guitar and beard, Tom has wowed audiences of all ages around the country with his Science Communication shows.

Between productions Tom has written a book called Blowfish’s Oceanopedia – 291 Extraordinary Things You Didn’t Know About The Sea for Atlantic Books, which has been an Amazon Best Seller and is now being translated into different languages for a global audience. He also holds the dubious honour of being the first person ever to play live music to sharks in both the UK and Africa.


Guest Panellist: Alison Towner. White Shark Biologist at Marine Dynamics, South Africa Tourism

Born and bred in Lancashire, Alison has been fascinated by sharks and marine life from a very young age. At 20 she graduated from the University of Wales with an honours degree in marine biology, and spent time as scuba-diving instructor before heading to South Africa where she became marine biologist for the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in Gansbaai, on the coast of South Africa. Over the last ten years, Alison has harnessed her passion for sharks and marine wildlife, guiding shark diving trips and taking travellers out on the water to see the Marine Big 5. Gansbaai in the Western Cape of South Africa is an absolute haven for marine wildlife, home to African penguins, white sharks, Southern Right Whales, Cape Fur Seals, dolphins, skates, rays as well as an abundance of birdlife – she challenges anyone to find another place on Earth that can offer such diversity so close to shore.


Guest Panellist: Elizabeth Cuevas, Oceanographer and Whale Watching Programme Manager, World Cetacean Alliance (WCA)

Elizabeth is currently working on the new global certification programme for responsible whale watching and developing relationships to grow the number of responsible whale watching partners.

The WCA is a partnership of over 100 non-profit organisations, whale and dolphin watching tour operators and individuals in 40 countries worldwide working collaboratively to protect cetaceans and their habitats.


Panel Chair: Darrin des Vignes, Belize Tourism Board


16:25 From The Summit of Everest to the Front Line of Conservation, Meet Holly Budge.


British adventurer, conservationist and motivational speaker, Holly Budge, was quite literally on top of the world when she summited Mount Everest. Her passion for adventure is evident with two world records under her belt so far, including being the first woman to skydive Everest and race semi-wild horses 1000 kms across Mongolia in just nine days.

Holly is not limited to adventure, she is also an acclaimed artist and passionate conservationist. She is the founder of How Many Elephants, an award-winning campaign raising awareness of the plight of elephants in Africa and funds for anti-poaching projects. Recently, Holly immersed herself with the Black Mambas, an all-female front line anti-poaching team in South Africa and documented this on film. She has helped raise over £300k for a diverse range of charities through her adventures and campaign work so far.


16:45 to 17:25 Trends, Challenges and Opportunities. The Business of Selling Wildlife, Safari & Conservation Travel.


In the final session of the day, we gather with an esteemed panel to discuss the challenges facing all of us, what they are doing to keep up with trends and what opportunities are open to us in order to maximise our potential in the wildlife, safari and conservation arena.


Guest Panellist: Anthony Daniels, General Manager UK & Ireland, Hurtigruten

Anthony describes Hurtigruten as “the green pioneer” in cruise. Hurtigruten introduced the world’s first hybrid battery-powered ship, the Roald Amundsen, this summer; it will be followed by Fridtjof Nansen in April 2020. “The push for sustainable solutions is the core of everything we do.” In 2015, Hurtigruten had 10 coastal ships and one expedition ship. By 2025 it will have seven coastal vessels and 14 expedition ships. It sails to Alaska, Antarctica, the Arctic, Central and South America and the Caribbean, and claims to be not only the world’s largest expedition cruise company but also a “world leader” in exploration travel.


Guest Panellist: Jonny May, Africa Product Manager, Audley Travel

Jonny has led overland expeditions across Africa and South America, spending time with communities and seeing a different side of some incredibly wild places. These experiences taught him that any attempt at creating responsible or conservation travel has to be in partnership with local people. He has created sustainable tourism strategies for tour operators, focussing on wildlife interaction and conservation. At Audley Travel he develops responsible, high end product and is also spearheading a project on child welfare.



Guest Panellist: Jarrod Kyte, Product Director, Steppes Travel

Jarrod has been at Steppes Travel for almost ten years and has played a key role in developing products that use wildlife tourism as a tool to support conservation. He is a passionate advocate that responsible travel can be a powerful catalyst for change, both in the improvement of local community welfare and better protection for wildlife and wild places. Before joining Steppes, he consummated his love affair with Africa by upping sticks and moving to Kenya for two years to manage Kicheche Mara camp. During this time, he witnessed first-hand the challenges of human-wildlife conflict and the positive role that tourism can play in mitigating this problem.


Guest Panellist: Naomi Jackson, Product Manager for Africa & Middle East, Explore
Naomi has worked at Explore for seven years in both operations and product, and also heads up their Responsible Business Forum. She passionately believes the tourism industry has the power for good and that many obstacles can be overcome if the industry pulls together. Naomi continuously challenges what it is to be a responsible tour operator and strives to push responsible tourism up the agenda.



Panel Chair: Mike Dilger, Ecologist, Natural History Presenter and Writer

Perhaps now best known as the ‘wild man’ off BBC1’s The One Show, Mike Dilger is a passionate naturalist who has birded, botanized and entomologised in a huge range of countries, accumulating along the way an unparalleled expertise of British and South American wildlife. Having spent long periods in the back-of-beyond, Mike was able to meet remote tribes, spot rare wildlife and rack up an impressive array of diseases along the way.



WSC Summit Close: 17:30
Drinks Networking Reception Until: 19:00


Delegate full day ticket to attend the WSC Summit is only £125, to book your place, please click here now.


We have a few more speakers to announce, please keep checking for regular programme updates over the next few weeks.

Supported by:

TTG was established as Travel Trade Gazette in 1953, as the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper. Today, TTG Media continues to deliver authoritative news and educational features in a weekly magazine in the UK & Ireland, and also offers a range of face-to-face training events, a news-led website, a community for luxury travel professionals, an annual travel awards, bespoke marketing campaigns, jobs, and much much more.