An independent judging panel of no less than 7 industry experts will participate in the selection process. Reviewing all nominations, and utilising their extensive knowledge of the sector, the judging panel will select 4 finalists in each category.  The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 21st November.

Sophie Lam

Travel Editor at i news
Sophie is Travel Editor at i and brings a wealth of knowledge of both the domestic and international travel markets to the judging panel. She has an affinity for i's audience and shares their passion for everything the UK has to offer holidaymakers. Having travelled the world from Belize to Vietnam, she believes in the importance of discovering and celebrating the best of what's on our doorstep.

Alastair Dick-Cleland

Project Development Manager at the Landmark Trust
One of Britain’s leading building conservation charities, Landmark has been pioneering the rescue of at-risk historic buildings for nearly 55 years, sensitively restoring each one into spectacular self-catering holiday accommodation. Today some 60,000 people take a restorative break each year in one of Landmark’s 202 remarkable buildings. Alastair has worked for Landmark for over twenty years overseeing many of Landmark’s building rescue projects, including the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize winner Astley Castle, and he now scours the UK looking for potential buildings for the charity to take on. In 2015 he co-presented the six-part documentary Restoring Britain’s Landmarks broadcast on Channel 4.

Natasha Foges

Editor of BRITAIN magazine
Natasha Foges is the Editor of BRITAIN magazine, the official, award-winning magazine of VisitBritain and the trusted voice on all things British, from travel to culture, to heritage and style. Having worked as a travel editor and writer for 15 years, exploring destinations across the globe, she is now a dedicated staycationer. Based in London, she escapes the Big Smoke as often as she can for a breath of fresh air and a pub lunch.

Justin Francis

CEO and co-founder of Responsible Travel
Justin describes himself as "an entrepreneur, an idealist, an activist, a dreamer – the kind of things CEOs are not supposed to be!" and launched Responsible Travel in 2001. After years working in advertising, Justin landed a job with The Body Shop which opened his eyes to working ethically and so went back to university earning a Masters in Tourism, Conservation and Sustainable Development. Justin has pursued his passion for travel to help change the tourism industry and is heartened by the thousands of people now working in responsible tourism that share the same values.

Vanessa Griffiths

Chief Executive, Ramblers
Before joining the Ramblers, Vanessa was Assistant Director, National Trust Wales. The Trust is Europe’s largest conservation charity, supported by over 5 million members and caring for special places, for ever, for everyone. Before joining the National Trust, she was a Director at Groundwork, a charity working locally and nationally to transform lives in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities. She has previously been a senior civil servant and has also held leadership positions at the BBC, Mars UK and Business in the Community, the responsible business charity. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, business leader of the Marketing Society and trustee of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and of Mostyn, the foremost contemporary art gallery in Wales. She is married with two teenagers and is a dedicated walker.

Jessica Monaghan

Head of Experiences & Programming, National Trust
Jess has been leading the Visitor Experience & Programming communities within the National Trust across England, Wales and Northern Ireland for three years. She and her team support National Trust property teams of all types - houses, mills, landscapes, coastline, gardens, collections – to deliver audience-led experiences and programmes, and to grow visits. The sort of experiences they support include sport, play, contemporary art, cultural programmes and exhibitions, Christmas and Easter events and activities, and transformation of the entire visitor experience at individual properties.

James Morris

Founder / CEO – The Travel Chapter (home of holidaycottages.co.uk)
James Morris is the CEO & founder of The Travel Chapter, one of the UK’s leading holiday letting agencies. James has overseen the company’s growth over a number of years as well as witnessing many changes in the staycation industry. He was pioneering in taking the business online when the industry was still dominated by brochures and print and has continued to innovate, introducing new brands that appeal to niche audiences such as Canine Cottages which was launched in 2017.

James is passionate about the UK staycation industry and his entrepreneurial spirit mixed with his focus on quality has seen The Travel Chapter go from strength to strength, helping owners to maximise their letting potential in a variety of unique and innovative ways.

Having his home in the beautiful South West of England means James doesn’t need to go far to see some beautiful parts of the UK, but he’s regularly on the road, visiting a variety of locations across the country, keen to discover the best of what the UK has to offer.

Liz Simpson

Founder, Kip
Liz Simpson is the founder of Kip, an exciting new website featuring fabulous small UK rentals. In previous lives she was editor of i-escape.com (an award-winning site of worldwide boutique hotels and rentals), and has contributed to a wealth of magazines including Wanderlust, Elle (Chic Shacks) and Glamour.

Danny Waine

Director of UK Domestic Tourism at the Institute of Travel & Tourism
Danny Waine is the Director of UK Domestic Tourism at the Institute of Travel & Tourism (ITT). The ITT is the leading professional membership organisation for travel and tourism individuals employed in the UK, dedicated to developing and raising professional standards throughout the industry; Danny also serves as Vice Chair of the ITT’s Education & Training Committee part of which he launched the successful ITT Future You initiative, inspiring the next generation to choose the travel and tourism industry as a career path.
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