Susan Tanner joins Tourism Alliance Board as UKEVENTS representative

The Tourism Alliance has confirmed that Susan Tanner, CEO of the National Outdoor Events Association and UKEVENTS Vice Chair, has joined its 2023/24 board as the UKEVENTS representative. 

Tanner (pictured) takes the place of Michael Hirst OBE, UKEVENTS’ Immediate Past Chair, who has sat on the board since 2013.

The Tourism Alliance is an umbrella organisation representing the collective interests of the tourism industry and visitor economy in the UK.

UKEVENTS, itself an umbrella organisation, plays a crucial role in advocating and promoting the value of the events industry within the broader tourism sector. It brings together various stakeholders, including trade associations, event organisers, venues, and destination management organisations, to collaborate and work towards a common goal of supporting and growing the sector.

Outlining the role of the events industry in the wider visitor economy, Tanner said: “Naturally, I am delighted to be appointed to the Tourism Alliance Board for 2023/24. Approximately 50% of the tourism and visitor economy can be attributed to events, according to the UK Events Report of 2019. It’s a crucial component, not just from a fiscal point of view, but in the positioning of ‘Brand Britain’ as a whole; everything from Glastonbury and agricultural shows to the Coronation of King Charles III to The Ashes.

“Owing to the vast contributions made by events to the hospitality, tourism, and creative industries, it is important that we use the strong collective voice of the Tourism Alliance to ensure our sector is fairly represented and that our challenges are heard.”

On addressing the key issues presently impacting the events sector, Tanner said: “Our niche and smaller events need greater support. We have a resource crisis at the moment, with both people and equipment becoming harder to come by. Add to this the issues surrounding finance and repayment of pandemic loans, and we have a situation in which the daunting reality is being masked. 

“Many events are facing cancellation, with the sector creaking under strain, yet the view from outside paints a different picture. Together with our colleagues on the new Tourism Alliance Board, UKEVENTS will continue to raise awareness of these challenges, and provide what we determine could be solutions.”

Richard Toomer, Executive Director of the Tourism Alliance, said: “We are delighted to welcome Susan to the Board. UKEVENTS has been a strong and powerful voice for its sector both within the Alliance and beyond, and it is great that this will continue as Susan takes over the role from her predecessor, Michael Hirst OBE.

“The Alliance exists in recognition of the fact that each part of the tourism eco-system is interconnected with others. Self-catering businesses need restaurants and bars; attractions need good transport links; tour operators need hotels and hostels to accommodate their visitors. The events sector is a prime example. Events underpin a significant amount of the tourism industry in the UK. Ensuring that is understood in Government and Parliament is an important task for both UKEVENTS and the Alliance.”

Tourism Alliance Board 2023/24

  • Tom Jenkins – ETOA – Chair
  • Emma McClarkin – BBPA – Vice Chair
  • Nick Brooks-Sykes – Marketing Manchester – Vice Chair
  • Brigid Simmonds – BGC – Secretary
  • Deirdre Wells – Go To Places – Treasurer
  • Kate Nicholls – UKHospitality – Past Chair
  • Ben Cowell – Historic Houses
  • Joss Croft – UKInbound
  • Bernard Donoghue – ALVA
  • Alistair Handyside – PASC UK
  • Katherine Haynes – BH&HPA
  • Huan Japes – English UK
  • Nick Lomas – CAMC
  • Steve Lowy – BETA
  • Luke Petherbridge – ABTA
  • Phil Smith – CPT
  • Susan Tanner – UKEVENTS

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