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Meet The Team

Visit Bristol has a dedicated team of people focussed on delivering an exceptional return on investment for all members and stakeholders, and genuinely doing the best for the Bristol city region.

The team have a vast and diverse range of experience in destination management and marketing, with most of the team having strong backgrounds working within hospitality, retail, leisure, culture and travel.


John Hirst Profile

John Hirst - Chief Executive

How long have you been with Visit Bristol / Destination Bristol and what do you do?

I originally came to Bristol in 1997, where my work focused on the massive project to regenerate the shopping area of Broadmead in the heart of Bristol city centre. I became Chief Executive of the organisation in 2013, and my work focuses on a large number of tourism initiatives for Bristol with our main aim being to constantly increase the value of the Visitor Economy in this region, we have a truly great and varied offer to share with people from all corners of the world.  

Do you have a typical day?

Absolutely not – my best job ever - no two days are the same and that is one of the main attractions of the role. The variety is extensive and 99 % of the time interesting and very challenging

What’s your top tip for businesses working with Destination Bristol?

My top tip for businesses working with Visit Bristol is to realise that we have a team of passionate and professional people who are very keen to give excellent service to all our members. The best way to get the maximum value from Visit Bristol is to link closely with the team, be challenging, be demanding and have a clear focus of what you want to achieve. The Visit Bristol team will do the rest and help you to meet and beat your objective and targets.

What is your top tip for visitors to Bristol?

My suggestion for all visitors to Bristol is to set aside more time than you originally planned; there is much more to do than our visitors imagine. Visitors must also bear in mind Bristol is addictive and once you have visited you will find it hard to let go!

Email: john.hirst@destinationbristol.co.uk


Kathryn Davis Profile

Kathryn Davis - Head of Tourism

How long have you been with Destination Bristol and what do you do?

I joined DB in 2000 when it was the Bristol Tourism & Conference Bureau as a Marketing Executive looking after print and PR.  Fast forward several years (and two children) and I am now Head of Tourism.  This involves overseeing the marketing, conference, membership and commercial activities based in the Queen Square office, plus managing the research programme, development opportunities and many of our stakeholder relations.  Working with the team, I focus on strategic planning for the future, learning from the lessons of the past. 

Do you have a typical day?

Never.  There are obvious things like data collection and events that will happen at a particular time, but it could be anything from delivering presentations to representing DB at events, or supporting key stakeholders to develop new business.  One of the best things about Bristol is that there is so much happening and so much being developed – however this can be quite a challenge to stay ahead of but it’s important to be able to introduce new businesses to the opportunities presented by the Visitor Economy.  Basically the only constant about my day is that it always starts with a coffee and usually ends with a small G&T.

What’s your top tip for businesses working with Destination Bristol?

Tell us everything and respond to everything.  We are constantly on the lookout for new partnerships and new ways to promote Bristol and our members, so it always helps enormously if we know what’s happening.  There is nothing worse than learning about something after the event, or too late to do anything with.

Email: kathryn.davis@visitbristol.co.uk


Marketing


Jon Chamberlain Profile

Jon Chamberlain - Marketing Manager

How long have you been with Visit Bristol and what do you do?

I started at Visit Bristol in spring 2013 as Marketing Executive brought in to help with the RGF campaigns. I was promoted to Marketing Manager in 2015 and oversee the team but also handle travel trade and campaigns on a day-to-day basis.

Do you have a typical day?

Not really – which is something I love. I could be attending an event and having 30 face-to-face meetings with travel trade representatives, planning or showing around a fam trip, handling our latest campaign, or travelling across Europe to meet with contacts or attend a Visit Britain or partner event. I deal with everything from the here and now to up to three years ahead, it really does keep me on my toes. Bristol being Bristol means there is always a new development just around the corner to add to the offer and give us more to talk about, new possibilities to promote and new ways to get more visitors into the city and surrounding area.

What’s your top tip for businesses working with Visit Bristol?

The more you put in, the more you will get out. Upload your events and offers to the Visit Bristol website, interact with us on social media, take advantage of our networking possibilities, host a press or fam trip and much more. Look out for our industry enews that comes out each Friday as there are always new opportunities there. Overall, talk to us and let us know your plans. We can help promote it all for you and one thing to remember; it is NEVER too early to tell us!

What is your top tip for visitors to Bristol?

What, apart from checking out visitbristol.co.uk first?! If you are staying overnight, consider booking an extra night. Saturday nights are always busy, but you can get really good rates on Fridays and (particularly) Sunday nights so extend your stay and really get under the skin of the city.

Email: jon.chamberlain@visitbristol.co.uk
Jon works full-time


Laura Valentine Profile

Laura Valentine - Digital Marketing Manager (job-share)

How long have you been with Visit Bristol and what do you do?

I joined Visit Bristol in January 2013 and I, alongside Shonette Laffy who I job-share with, am charged with managing Destination's Bristol's main online presence and digital channels and assets. This includes overseeing the content, development and every day running of visitbristol.co.uk and its channel sites to maximise visitors to the site and make Visit Bristol the ultimate tourist guide to the city. 

Do you have a typical day?

I’m a planner and I try my very hardest to plan each day at work, however with Bristol being the enigmatic and every changing wonder that she is, that always ends up being pretty hard to do as there are always new and exciting things going on, to add or amend on the website or tell the world about. When I do get to plan though, I can be found developing VisitBristol.co.uk making it better and easier to use for our visitors, making sure our members are represented in the best possible way, having my head deep in Google Analytics writing reports, snapping Instagram pictures or delving through our image library to find the best possible picture of the Harbourside.  

What’s your top tip for businesses working with Visit Bristol?

Keep checking your listing on VisitBristol.co.uk, send us all your beautiful and quirky images and videos and get involved by keeping us up to date on what you have going on, as early as you can.

Email: laura.valentine@visitbristol.co.uk

Laura's working days are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday


Shonette Laffy - Digital Marketing Manager (job-share)

Please note Shonette is currently on furlough.

Shonette Laffy Profile

How long have you been with Visit Bristol and what do you do?

I joined Visit Bristol in early March 2017 and job-share with Laura Valentine - the dream team! My main responsibilities are making sure that the Visit Bristol site is kept ticking over with exciting, fresh and up-to-the-minute information and content, as well as managing our social media channels.

Do you have a typical day?

I try to keep on top of my emails and social media scheduling throughout the day, as well as monitoring what people are saying about the city across social media, websites and beyond. You can often find me scrawling ideas for blogs, round ups and Twitter polls in my notebook, and I send out the Visit Bristol newsletter twice a month, so that also takes a fair bit of planning. Luckily I'm also a stats geek, so I'll scroll through Google, Twitter or Mailchimp analytics between tasks.

What’s your top tip for businesses working with Visit Bristol?

Make sure you keep us posted with any news & events, send us your latest pictures, and join us in celebrating all of the great things Bristol to offer its visitors and residents!

What is your favourite Bristol activity?

Wandering around the diverse neighbourhoods of Bristol - I love exploring new areas, shops and markets, and it's even better that so many interesting areas are within walking (or cycling) distance of the city centre.

  

Email: shonette.laffy@visitbristol.co.uk
 

Shonette's working days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday


Susie Bowers ProfileSusie Bowers - Media Liaison Manager

Please note Susie is currently on furlough.

How long have you been with Visit Bristol and what do you do?

I’ve been with Visit Bristol since July 2018, but have lived in the city for 16 years now, so am glad to put my local knowledge to good use in my role here. I job share with Lesley Gillilan and our job is to shine a light on the best aspects of Bristol to visiting press, be that print or broadcast media or social media influencers. We also respond to press enquiries, organise interviews or quotes from spokespeople and make sure media outlets are up to date with all our city’s latest news and developments.

Do you have a typical day?

There isn’t a typical day, really! I might be booking a tailor-made press trip, liaising with media, writing press releases, meeting our business partners, welcoming visiting media to the city in person or visiting a new attraction, restaurant or hotel. Only one thing is guaranteed every day: I will always discover something new about this amazing city, which is pretty mindblowing!

What’s your top tip for businesses working with Visit Bristol?

I’d say be as accommodating as possible when we are booking press trips, and tell us all your news so we can promote your business in the most effective way, to the most suitable audience. I’d also say that personal stories about the people behind our business partners really help convey the spirit of Bristol, so do tell us about yourselves and why you’re so passionate about your business and its place in this city.

What is your favourite Bristol activity?

Too many to list, honestly! I love shopping in the independent boutiques and pre-loved/charity shops on Gloucester Road, Park street and Clifton, as well as enjoying all the green spaces we have here like Ashton Court, Blaise Castle estate and marvelling at our beautiful bridge from The Downs. Then of course there’s our incredible and diverse music scene, which I’m a huge fan of, too!

  

Email: susie.bowers@visitbristol.co.uk
 

Susie work Wednesday and Thursday mornings and all day on Friday


Kavita Ashton ProfileKavita Ashton - Content Executive (part-time)

Please note Kavita is currently on furlough.

What do you do at Visit Bristol?

As Content Executive, my main responsibility is making sure the Visit Bristol blog is updated with fresh content that inspires people to visit the city. This means sharing all the exciting things to do and events that are happening, shouting about our members, and thinking up ideas for posts that will get people to click through and read.

Do you have a typical day?

Every day involves lots of writing, editing and proofreading – that’s a given! Other than drafting posts about everything from where to drink cider to where to host your meetings, I’m liaising with members, updating our editorial calendar, keeping an eye on our blog stats and working on any other Visit Bristol content tasks that come up.

What is your favourite Bristol activity?

I love going to gigs and in Bristol you have the chance to catch some of the bigger names who tour in the city but are just as likely to stumble across some brilliant live music by accident whenever you’re out and about. Enjoying the amazing food on offer is another of my favourite things to do in Bristol – I’m constantly adding to the list of restaurants I want to try!

Email: kavita.ashton@visitbristol.co.uk

Kavita's working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday AM and Friday AM


Lacey Trotman ProfileLacey Trotman - Marketing Executive

How long have you been with Visit Bristol and what do you do?

I have been with Visit Bristol since April 2018. My role is Marketing Assistant - so I want to let everyone know how amazing Bristol is and ‘what’s on’ when you get here! This involves working on new campaigns, updating events on the website, promoting exciting competitions, logging press coverage and much more.

What is your favourite Bristol activity?

My favourite Bristol activity is going to watch football with my dad. Both season tickets holders at Bristol City FC, many Saturdays and weeknights are spent at Ashton Gate enjoying the entertainment on and off the pitch as they have bands playing beforehand too along with food and drink stalls. 

  

Email: lacey.trotman@visitbristol.co.uk
 

Lacey works full-time


Membership and Commercial


Faye Batchelor Profile

Faye Batchelor - Membership and Commercial Manager

How long have you been with Visit Bristol and what do you do?

I joined Visit Bristol in November 2014 and my primary role is to develop and support the membership programme. This involves liaising with existing members on a daily basis to ensure they are maximising all areas of their membership, keeping up to date with all things new in the city (which can be quite a task at times) and managing the commercial opportunities available at Visit Bristol. I also coordinate the regular members’ forums which take place every few months and our annual conference which is usually held in January.

Do you have a typical day?

My days are very varied which is one of the things I love about my role as I get to meet so many different people as well as discover areas of the city that I am less familiar with. However an example day would usually consist of a couple of meetings visiting existing or potential members and this could be with a restaurant, hotel, zoo, activity centre or sports stadium for example. Once back in the office I can be found updating member’s listings on VisitBristol.co.uk, writing the weekly industry newsletter or chatting to businesses in the city about all things Visit Bristol.

What’s your top tip for businesses working with Visit Bristol?

Keep us up to date with everything you are doing however small you think it may be and make sure you are fully utilising all benefits of your membership (sorry, that’s two tips).

Tell us three things you like?

Dogs, Italy, Cheese

Email: faye.batchelor@visitbristol.co.uk
 


Meet Bristol


Amy Profile

Amy Bramhall - Convention Bureau Manager

What’s your role at Meet Bristol and what does it involve?

I manage the Meet Bristol Convention Bureau brand. Our key objective is to promote Bristol as a first-class destination for business events. In addition to managing the team my job involves identifying opportunities for the city and bidding for events, exhibiting at industry trade shows, hosting destination familiarisation trips, overseeing the venue finding service, marketing planning for Meet Bristol and lots of other exciting projects including developing a conference ambassador programme for the region.

What did you do before joining the team?

My previous job was as a Senior Event Manager in a 5* London hotel, where I managed an extensive portfolio of events ranging from conferences to high profile awards dinners up to 2000 people. Prior to this I have gained experience working in hotel operations and restaurants. I also spent 2 years as a Corporate Events Coordinator in a London University managing their recruitment and profile-raising events.

What’s your favourite place to eat in Bristol?

There are a lot! I love tapas style food with Root and Paco Tapas being two of my favourites. Find more recommendations in my ‘Food Friday’ blog.

What do you do to unwind?

In my spare time I enjoy playing netball, going for long walks and dining out at restaurants with my fiancée and friends.

What’s your top tip for anyone visiting Bristol?

A guided harbourside boat tour is a great way to see some of the city and learn some interesting facts. Brunel’s SS Great Britain is an award-winning interactive museum that’s not to be missed and you can get there by boat too. I’d also recommend venturing out of the city centre where you can find some great things to do, such as a wine tour and tasting at Aldwick Estate or staying at the luxurious Thornbury Castle.

Email: amy.bramhall@meetbristol.co.uk
Phone: + 44 (0)117 946 2218

Amy works full-time 


Vicki Webb Profile

Vicki Webb - Sales Executive

Please note Vicki is currently on furlough.

What’s your role at Meet Bristol and what does it involve?

My role is to ensure every event enquiry is looked after from initial contact to conclusion. I am here to support our clients and members throughout the event booking process. In addition to this I build good working relationships and pro-actively look for new clients to whom I can introduce to the delights of Bristol. Another important aspect of my job is to be familiar with our member organisations offerings and the venues themselves, this means I can match the clients specifications perfectly.

What did you do before joining the team?

Prior to Meet Bristol, I worked in a number of Bristol’s 4* hotels over a 20 year period, predominantly in the Conference Sales offices.

What’s your favourite place to eat in Bristol?

Food is a passion of mine and there are so many wonderful places to eat in the city it is hard to pick just one, but if pushed San Carlo might just win.

What do you do to unwind?

I love to read – it is my one luxury to hide myself away with a book.

What’s your top tip for anyone visiting Bristol?

Check the Visit Bristol website for what is happening in the city – Bristol is such a diverse city and there is always something going on to suit all ages and tastes. From great family days to nightlife, street art walks to International festivals, Bristol has them all.

Email: vicki.webb@meetbristol.co.uk
Phone: +44 (0)117 946 2208

Vicki's working days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday


Amelia Profile

Amelia Jewitt - Sales Executive

Please note Amelia is currently on furlough.

What’s your role at Meet Bristol and what does it involve?

I am the Sales Executive at Meet Bristol and my job varies day to day. My main responsibilities are dealing with enquiries through the events channel and then working effectively to convert and win business for the Bristol venues. I also attend destination familiarisation trips, attend exhibitions and workshops. I am in charge of the Meet Bristol social channels and newsletter, ensuring that these are always up to date and that we are following what is going on in the city and the event trends.

What did you do before joining the team?

I moved to Bristol around 5 years ago from Cornwall to study Business management and events at the University West of England. Once I graduated, I started working at a unique venue within Bristol as their Corporate Sales and Event Coordinator.

What’s your favourite place to eat in Bristol?

Bristol has so many amazing places to eat and drink, so it is hard to choose one restaurant! However, one of my favourites is Per & Kor on Gloucester Road. It’s a Persian and Korean restaurant run by a lovely couple. I would also recommend going to St Nicholas Market for some amazing street food! They run different markets throughout the week so there is always something new to try.

What do you do to unwind?

I enjoy spending time with friends and family, catching up over dinner or drinks. I also love reading a good book.

What’s your top tip for anyone visiting Bristol?

Bristol has so much to offer, so I would really recommend spending a few days exploring the city. Take a ferry boat ride or stroll around the Harbourside and stop in at Bristol’s award – winning attraction, Brunel’s SS Great Britain or explore The Clifton Suspension Bridge and see some of the amazing views of Bristol. If you are lucky you may even get to see some hot air balloons. Make sure you also go to some of Bristol’s independent restaurants and bars.

Email: amelia.jewitt@meetbristol.co.uk
Phone: +44 (0)117 946 2200

Amelia works full-time 


Visitor Services (Tourist Information Centre)


Marlena Profile

Marlena Wolf - Tourist Information Centre Manager

How long have you been with Destination Bristol and what do you do?

I have been working with Destination Bristol since April 2014 when I graduated with a Master’s degree in International Tourism Management at the University of the West of England. In December 2016 I was promoted to deputy manager. It became more challenging. That is why I like it so much. I also enjoy dealing with the tourists and locals who want to discover more about this incredible and independent city. I love my work because the ability to communicate with other people is one of the most valued skills we can possess as it opens up the door to the world.

Do you have a typical day?

Every day at work is different, it brings new interesting people and new, sometimes challenging enquiries that is great because we have a chance to expand our knowledge and it keeps us always busy.

 What's your top tip for businesses working with Destination Bristol?

 Effective communication and cooperation is crucial to meet all the targets and to make every business happy. We all need to work closely to create a strong brand and to build a unique destination image.

What is your top tip for visitors to Bristol?

Be adventurous! Perfect moments are lying around every corner of this wonderful city waiting to be grabbed :-)

Emailmarlena.wolf@destinationbristol.co.uk
Phone: 0333 321 0101


Claire Makin Profile

Claire Makin – Tourist Information Centre Assistant Manager

How long have you been with Destination Bristol and what do you do?

I started working for DB as Tourist Information Centre (TIC) Supervisor in March 2011 and I have been The Manager since August 2012. I manage day to day running of the TIC and a dedicated team of TIC staff to ensure all visitors to the TIC and Bristol are welcomed to the City and are provided with all the information and knowledge to make their visit the most enjoyable and varied as possible. I continually try to support and promote local artists, photographers and suppliers by selling their products in the TIC and help support the local economy by being an Access Point for Bristol Pound.

Do you have a typical day?

No day is the same, which is what I like about my job. I enjoy meeting new people every day and helping them choose from the vast number of attractions to visit and events to attend to ensure they enjoy their visit to Bristol and hopefully they will come back and tell their friends all to visit. I work 5 out of 7 days a week, including weekends and therefore my job is very varied. I complete administrative tasks, manage the TIC financial budget, write rotas/HR duties but also work on the ‘shop floor’ assisting visitors, both local residents and international visitors.

What’s your top tip for businesses working with Destination Bristol?

Make sure you keep the TIC team up to date with any regular or one off events so we can tell all our visitors all about what’s happening in the vibrant city. We can display leaflets and A4 posters of any special events, concerts, fundraisers, special offers and provide visitors with many options to enjoy the cosmopolitan and diverse city. 

What is your favourite Bristol activity?

Dancing (Latin and ballroom lessons twice a week) and cycling (commuting to work along Bristol-Bath railway path and long distance rides on days off)

What’s your favourite joke?

I’m really upset because my pet mouse Elvis died yesterday – He was caught in a trap!... 

Tell us three things you like? 

Cheesecake, dancing, anything vintage

What is your favourite Bristol activity?

Cycling along the Bristol to Bath cycle path or around the Harbourside and stopping for a picnic and watching the sunset (and hopefully seeing some balloons..)

Emailclaire.makin@destinationbristol.co.uk
Direct Line: 0333 321 0101


Diane Profile

Diane

How long have you been with Destination Bristol and what do you do?

I have worked for Destination Bristol at the Tourist Information Centre since 2000. I really enjoy my job as every day is a little bit different. We get asked the same question many times, like where to go in Bristol but we are also asked questions that really challenge us. To have a job where you help people on a daily basis and make their visit to Bristol as enjoyable as possible gives me a great amount of personal satisfaction.

Do you have a typical day?

Every day at the TIC is different as we never know who we will meet or what we will be asked!  There is always something new and different going on in Bristol, and we are constantly having to expand our knowledge to keep up to date with all the changes.  Bristol is a city that never stands still! We all enjoy the variety that working at the TIC offers, and meeting lots of people from all over the world.

What's the most unusual question you have been asked at the TIC?

Where can I hire a punt on the docks?

Emailbristoltic@destinationbristol.co.uk
Phone: 0333 321 0101


Elly Profile

Elly

How long have you been with Destination Bristol and what do you do?

I began working at the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) in December 1999 when we were part of Bristol Tourism and Conference Bureau. I have been here a long time, but I still love my job as I feel part of something very special;  I enjoy the customer contact, every day is different and we have a great team of people who are all passionate about promoting our friendly, beautiful and exciting city. Our job at the TIC is to promote Bristol to visitors face-to-face, on the phone and by email.  We display literature on accommodation, attractions, what to see and do, and what’s going on, as well as selling a great range of Bristol made/related gifts and souvenirs, books, artwork etc, and tickets for transport, tours, attractions and events. We also do a lot of work ‘behind the scenes’ such as managing an online shop, preparing and sending out visitor information packs, compiling and updating useful information sheets and events lists.

Do you have a typical day?

Every day at the TIC is different as we never know who we will meet or what we will be asked!  There is always something new and different going on in Bristol, and we are constantly having to expand our knowledge to keep up to date with all the changes.  Bristol is a city that never stands still! We all enjoy the variety that working at the TIC offers, and meeting lots of people from all over the world.

What’s your top tip for businesses working with Destination Bristol?

The main thing that we would ask of businesses working with us is that they keep us informed of what they do and what’s going on.  We like to keep up to date and able to fully promote whatever businesses offer.

What is your favourite Bristol activity?

I have lots of ‘favourite Bristol activities’ but one that I really love, on a dry day (especially in Spring when the daffodils come up, or in August when the balloons are flying over) is to go up onto Brandon Hill to feed the squirrels, take in the views and climb up Cabot Tower.  It’s so central yet it feels so peaceful and natural.

Emailbristoltic@destinationbristol.co.uk
Phone: 0333 321 0101


John ProfileJohn 

How long have you been with Destination Bristol and what do you do?

Since October 2017. I'm an assistant based at Bristol TIC after taking early retirement from the Civil Service.

Do you have a typical day?

Working and listening to the experienced team dealing with so many varied queries, or battling with the till! Using my Bristol knowledge to help visitors.

What is your top tip for businesses working with Destination Bristol?

Whether you're part of a small or large company, there are so many ways we can publicise your business by website, leaflets/flyers or even in person.

What is your favourite Bristol activity?

Volunteering at Bristol Manor Farm FC in Sea Mills, or using the Bristol Ferry to get around the Floating Harbour. It's a great way to see what a fab city we live in.

Tell us three things you like? 

Live music, red wine, Rihanna.

Emailbristoltic@destinationbristol.co.uk
Phone: 0333 321 0101 

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