Celebrity & Expert Speakers

Engage with our line-up of knowledgable travel experts and be inspired as they share accounts of their own travel experiences and offer essential advice for the discerning traveller. 

Each talk in our Meet the Experts Theatre is complimentary for visitors to the Fair and offers inspiration and essential advice. Here are just a few of our headline speakers from 2016... 

Michael Portillo

Michael Portillo

British Journalist, Broadcaster & Former Member of Parliament, Michael Portillo spent the summer of 2015 filming the seventh series of Great British Railway Journeys, the fourth of Great Continental Railway Journeys and the first of Great American Railroad Journeys, all of which will be shown on BBC 2 between November 2015 and February 2016. Visitors to the 2015 Fair enjoyed listening to him in conversation with Condé Nast Traveller at the Fair.

Kate Adie

Kate Adie

Kate grew up in Sunderland and gained her BA from Newcastle University where she read Swedish.

She became a familiar figure through her work as BBC Chief News Correspondent. She is considered to be among the most reliable reporters, as well as one of the first British women, sending despatches from danger zones around the world. Kate is also the long-serving presenter of Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent and a presenter or contributor to many other radio and television programmes.

Nicholas Crane

Nicholas Crane

Nick is a geographical writer and broadcaster. The author of several travel books, he has also been published in the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times and the Guardian. In 1986 he was part of a two-man team which identified and visited for the first time the geographical Pole of Inaccessibility, the point on the globe most distant from the open sea, in a remote corner of the Gobi Desert. He has travelled extensively in Tibet, China, Afghanistan and Africa.

Nick Joynes

Wildlife Worldwide

Having spent 10 years working in the television industry, the travel-bug overcame Nick in the late 90’s and he went to embark on a significant round the world journey throughout 2000, capitalising on his interest in wildlife and community’s. Keen to share his experiences and encourage others to do the same, Nick was instrumental in the creation of a highly successful youth expedition company, before changing tack and focusing on wildlife and remote locations. Nick is a Director of Wildlife Worldwide and continues to travel as often as work and family allow him.

Robin West

Robin West

Born and raised in South Africa, Robin West could either be found in the ocean or on the rugby pitch while growing up. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Port Elizabeth, his love for adventure developed into a career when he became an owner and operator of two outdoor adventure companies.

Mary-Ann Ochota

Mary-Ann specialises in presenting anthropology, archaeology and adventure travel, combining a real passion for people and the outdoors with enthusiastic onscreen expertise. She’s a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a GetOutside Champion for the Ordnance Survey.

Aleem Raheed

Aleem Raheed

The Earth Trip

Aleem is one of the co-founders of The Earth Trip along with his partner Izabela. Born and raised in hill country of Sri Lanka and passionate about Sri Lanka and responsible tourism. He has  travelled to every every corner of Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean. In his early days in London worked in most luxury hotels in Mayfair. Studied International relations at University of London, Geography, Environmental Management & Tourism at University of Hertfordshire. He teaches  on Sustainable tourism in UK & Madagascar universities. 

David Lee

David Lee

Into Japan Specialist Tours

David Lee originally studied Japanese in Kyoto and has lived in Japan for a total of 8 years. His company has been arranging travel and educational programmes between the UK and Japan for more than 20 years.

Robin West

Seaborn Luxury Cruises

Born and raised in South Africa, Robin has worked on expedition ships, covering all corners of the globe over the course of 15 years, gaining tremendous experience in the operations of the expedition business and a deep knowledge of some of the most remote and exciting places in the world including Antarctica and the Polar Regions

Martin Johnson

Latin Routes

Hannah Blustin

Pomegranate Travel

Hannah Blustin is the Founder and Managing Director of Pomegranate Travel.  Hannah studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, and then Commercial Law (LLM) at Cambridge, before embarking on a successful career in Investment Banking in London.  Having met and married an Israeli, Hannah moved to Tel Aviv.  Inspired by the city’s spirit of innovation and entrepreneurialism, she decided to follow her oldest and truest passion – travel – and founded Pomegranate Travel.

Mark Bingley

Louis Roederer Champagne

Soon after graduating from Cambridge, Mark became fascinated by the mystery and variety of fine wines. Starting in the wine trade specialising in Champagne and Burgundy, in his spare time he studied to be a Master of Wine. His keen enthusiasm for Champagne led him to becoming, in 1986, a founding member of Maisons Marques et Domaines. Mark has been a Master of Wine for 30 years and is Chair of the Events & Tasting committee for the institute of Masters of Wine. 

Dorji Wangchuk

Simply Bhutan

Dorji Wangchuk is one of the key members of Simply Bhutan Travels and lives in London.  He studied MBA at the University of Cambridge and also has a degree in engineering. Dorji served as a civil servant for the Government of Bhutan for many years during which he travelled extensively throughout the country. He is a keen observer of economic, social and political developments in Bhutan and gives regular talks on Bhutan. 

Malcolm Peasnell

The Independent Traveller

Malcolm Peasnall is a director of The Independent Traveller based in Loughborough. He has been travelling in North America since 1968. Over that period of time there is very little of Canada, the world’s second largest country, he has not visited. He has travelled the Canada railways from east to west and is probably uniquely placed to discuss how rail travel fits into a holiday in this great country.

Chris Smith

Wildlife Worldwide

Chris is a wildlife consultant at The Travelling Naturalist. Having previously travelled to countries including Alaska, Madagascar, Canada, Australia, India, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, nothing had prepared him for the incredible wildlife, the breathtaking landscapes or the unforgettable wildlife encounters he experienced in Alaska.

John Berry

John Berry has safari expertise across 17 African countries and has been MD of Zambezi Safari and Travel Co since the business started in 1995. Also CEO of the USA company, Zambezi Safari and Travel Co and a past director of ATTA, the UK's largest travel trade association.