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BTETalks: What Visitors Want From Visitor Attractions

25 Jan 2024 17:00 - 19:30

The talk will look at how COVID changed the UK visitor economy and, in-particular, visitor attractions. It will identify how visitors' needs for a day out, or a cultural experience, have changed; how consumer behaviour has altered; and what visitor attractions are doing to meet these needs and expectations.


17:00 Welcome and networking with refreshments

17:30-18:30 BTETalks 'What Visitors Want from Visitor Attractions"

18:30 Networking with refreshments

19:00 (approx) Close

About the Speaker:

Bernard Donoghue OBE

Bernard Donoghue OBE has been the CEO of the UK’s Association for Leading Visitor Attractions since 2011, following a career in advocacy, communications, and lobbying, latterly at VisitBritain. ALVA is the principal advocacy body for the most important and significant museums, galleries, palaces, stately homes, cathedrals, heritage sites, gardens, zoos, performance venues and leisure attractions.

In 2017, the Mayor of London appointed Bernard to be the Mayor's Ambassador for Cultural Tourism and a member of the Mayor's Cultural Leadership Board. He is Co-Chair of the London Tourism Recovery Board, tasked with the sustainable recovery of London’ s visitor economy, created in February 2021. He is Co-Chair of the Tourism Advisory Board of London and Partners (VisitLondon) and was previously the Chair of VisitManchester (2006 – 2010).

He was Chair of LIFT, the award-winning London International Festival of Theatre between 2010 and 2021 and was a board member from 2005.

Bernard was appointed Chair of the Board of the Bristol Old Vic theatre, the oldest continually working theatre in the English-speaking world, in June 2021.

In November 2021 he was elected Chair of the People’s History Museum, the Museum of Democracy, having been a Trustee since 2018. In January 2022 he became Chair of the London and South-East Regional Advisory Board of the National Trust.

He is a former trustee of The Museum of The Home, London; the Heritage Alliance; Kids in Museums; and Centrepoint, the youth homelessness charity. He was a founder trustee of the international LGBTQ Kaleidoscope Trust. He has been an appointed member of the Cathedral Council of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, since 2009. He was a Trustee of WWF-UK between 2002 and 2008, and then was Chair of the Council of Ambassadors of WWF-UK between 2010 and 2020.

He has been a member of the UK Government's Tourism Industry Council, advising Ministers on all matters relating to domestic and inbound tourism, since 2016.

In 2020 he was named by Blooloop as one of the world’s 50 most influential people in museums, and in July 2021 won the public vote for the COVID Special Recognition Award from the UK Museums and Heritage Awards for his service to, and leadership of the museums and heritage sector in the UK during the pandemic.

He was awarded an OBE in HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Birthday Honours in 2022 for ‘services to tourism and to culture’.