Working as Director of Slovenian Tourist Board responsible for all promotional and business development activities in UK and Ireland. Slovenian tourist board is a world advocate on Responsible and Eco-friendly tourism, positioning itself as a destination for 5-star travel experiences.
Beside eco-friendly values I love the outdoor activities and being connected and one with nature. Once a basketball player, I still hold sports close to my hearth and go by the life mantra to always challenge the status quo.
Vicky Hayden, Head of Private Sector Programmes, has worked at Stonewall (Europe’s largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans rights charity) for 4 and a half years working directly with employers on embedding LGBT inclusion in the workplace. Her specialist subjects include; global LGBT rights, inclusive leadership and LGBT-inclusive customer service delivery. As the Head of Private Sector, Vicky leads a team of 15 people and oversees the delivery of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme across over 15 different private sector industries.
Ray Murphy is a senior editor at global socially-led creative agency We Are Social, where he produces social media content strategies for clients including Audi, HSBC UK and Pernod Ricard.
He was previously the editor of PORT magazine, and a journalist at publications including Men's Health, Dezeen and The Irish Times.
Donnya Piggott is a 28-year old LGBTQ+ advocate from Barbados. She founded the organisation B-GLAD - a public advocacy organisation that focuses on public education, awareness and discussion as the step towards creating an inclusive for LGBTQ+ people in Barbados and Caribbean by extension. Donnya was named a Queen’s Young Leader by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 for her work in LGBTQ advocacy in Barbados. She is currently working on a the Pink Coconuts social start-up - a tourism-based social venture that uses commerce approach to LGBTQ advocacy in the Caribbean while improving the lives of communities and creating a more inclusive Barbados and Caribbean.
Susie is a veteran in the field of marketing, having spent the last 20 years in the industry. With a passion for people it’s her personal and professional mission to instigate change for the better. In the work place this means championing diversity and inclusion and mental health awareness, believing inclusive employee engagement ensures all colleagues are in an environment that they can be the best version of themselves. As marketing director this passion has taken Susie on a path to change James Villa Holidays’ marketing from an unconscious bias towards white middle class families to one that’s representative of the UK population.
Gabriel Dorch is Country Manager for VisitSweden UK, overseeing the promotion of Sweden as a travel destination for curious travellers of all backgrounds. For the last 5 years, Gabriel has been invested in developing LGBTQ tourism to Sweden (a country that is proud of its openness, making it a destination of choice among gay and lesbian travellers), working with regional tourist boards (and forging landmark partnerships with regional tourist boards in Stockholm, Gothenburg, West Sweden, Malmö, Skåne and Swedish Lapland) to demonstrate the value of the UK LGBT travel community. “Sweden. You’re Welcome” - www.visitswedenlgbt.com - the current UK LGBTQ campaign has been a storming success and Stockholm had the pleasure of winning the inaugural British LGBT Award back in 2013, all fruits of VisitSweden’s work to be part of the community.
James has a decade of experience in the travel industry ranging from retail, to overseas, to industry sales. In 2015 he took on his “dream job” as North UK and Ireland sales manager at Contiki - the industry leaders in youth travel. Contiki has been operating tours exclusively for 18-35’s for the past 56 years, and is passionate about people, experiences and living life unashamedly with absolutely no regrets.
Tris Reid-Smith co-founded Gay Star News with Scott Nunn in 2011. The site has now grown to be one of the world’s biggest LGBTI news providers, reaching 5 million different people a month in 238 countries. Gay Star Travel is a market-leading online travel magazine. Tris is a regular commentator on LGBTI issues on TV, radio and at events.