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Meet the Team

Rob Debenham, Show Manager
Email: rob.debenham@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7384 8129

No alternative text providedRob has worked directly for a number of enigmatic and successful entrepreneurs over the years including Felix Dennis, Richard Desmond and Lord Heseltine. This has reinforced in him that vision and passion are key to the success of any venture. It’s this approach that was instrumental in bringing Rob to the role of Show Manager for the Destinations shows 6 years ago. Travel now courses through his veins and as a member of the AITO, VUSA and ITT he has found the industry and market that he will remain in for many years to come.

Top 3 places worldwide?
Sienna for the Palio - The beautiful streets of this idyllic and mesmeric walled city resound with the cheers and cries of each Contrada as they sing and wave their horse to victory. A truly spectacular setting in the Tuscan hills. Oh yes, they have Chianti there too… Enough said.

Las Vegas - Having stayed at The Mirage, Treasure Island, Bally’s, The Flamingo Hilton, Monte Carlo, The Imperial Palace, The Rio, The Venetian, Excalibur and Bellagio – the best still has to be Caesars for a tad of history and class (as much as you can expect in Vegas).

Rome - Although it’s the second Italian destination here, it just has so much of everything… Great architecture, history, music, food and yes… wine.

Best holiday?
The next one…

Recommend a place to stay
Hotel Delle Nazioni, in Via Poli, Rome. 50 yards from the Trevi Fountain and perfectly positioned within walking distance of Piazza Navona, Villa Borghese, The Vatican, The Colosseum and Roman Forum. A cracking hotel with great staff and a really friendly approach.

Nick Pratt, Sales Manager
Email: nick.pratt@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7384 8127

No alternative text providedNick joined Clarion Events in 2011 working on the Top Gear Live Shows as a sales executive. Nick quickly worked his way up to become the Sales Manager across Clarion’s Motoring Portfolio including The NEC Classic Motor Show, Classic Motorbike Show, Practical Classics Restoration & Classic Car Show, Race Retro and the National Car Club awards. Looking for a new challenge and a change of directions, he decided to join the Travel team, having already worked for the Destinations Shows shortly in 2012.

Top 3 places worldwide?
Southern Provence, Sri Lanka - Beautiful country with amazing people.

San Francisco - Cool city with awesome things to see and do.

Three Valleys, French Alps - Beautiful scenery and best skiing in the world.

Best holiday?
Sri Lanka, I don’t think I have a bad word to say about my holiday to Sri Lanka. An absolutely stunning country coupled with some of the kindest, most polite and chatty people I have ever met. The food was great wherever we went and the wildlife was absolutely amazing, seeing elephants, water buffalo, crocodiles and even a leopard. 

Recommend a place to stay
Pokkuluwa Tea Cottage, Mepe Village, Sri Lanka is a beautiful indoor/outdoor living cottage on a working tea plantation in the middle of the jungle. With absolutely stunning views, you are looked after by the unbelievably kind Namali, who is the house keeper, and Manoj the chef. Manoj will cook, undoubtedly, some of the best food you will taste in your life, all from his mother’s recipe books. You will be able to watch the wildlife including monkeys and peacocks whilst chilling out around the beautiful infinity pool. 

Syed Hassan, Sales Executive
Email: syed.hassan@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0)20 7384 8143

No alternative text providedSyed joined Clarion Events in 2015 and has been working as part of the Destinations team since August 2015. He has a real passion for travel and the industry as a whole.

Top 3 places worldwide?
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - For its beautiful beaches and majestic waters. You can also take a ferry (approx. 30mins) to Cozumel Island, which is one of the top diving destinations in the world. Stunning clear water just off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.
 
Cartagena, Colombia on the Caribbean coast - It has excellent beaches and is a historic old town with beautiful colonial architecture.

Miami, Florida - World Class hotels and restaurants. Plenty of activities such as parasailing, surfing as well as being able to take the Jet Ski for a spin!

Best holiday?
I would say Cartagena just because of the rich culture and the beautiful walled city which really lets you soak in the local culture. There are plenty of fantastic restaurants and it has amazing weather all year round.

Recommend a place to stay
Fontainebleau, Miami. By far the best hotel that I have stayed in. 5 Star Hotel with all the trimmings. Being able to wake up on the 24th floor of the Trésor Tower looking over the ocean with a stunning city view was something special not least to mention you get to relax with the celebs who also admire the quality and taste of the hotel. Would definitely recommend this hotel if you ever visit Miami!

Robert Hawthorne, Senior Marketing Manager
Email: robert.hawthorne@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7384 8128

No alternative text providedHaving worked as marketing manager for Wanderlust for over 3 years, Rob joined Clarion Events to run the marketing for the Destinations Shows, London & Manchester, in 2011. 

Top 3 places worldwide?
Iceland - For its incredible landscapes, natural wonders and the northern lights. 

New York - For the iconic sights, delicious (and fatty!) foods and the amazing Empire State Building.

Marrakech - For the magical atmosphere of Jemma el-Fna in the evening, mint tea on roof top terraces and the souks. 

Best holiday?
It's a toss up between Iceland and Kefalonia, Greece. I spent my honeymoon in Iceland having an amazing time quad biking, having a dip in the Blue Lagoon, being sprayed by the erupting Strokkur and driving across its wild landscapes. Kefalonia is a wonderful island with beautiful locations such as Myrtos Beach (one of the top beaches in the world) and the lovely towns of Assos and Fiskardo. 

Recommend a place to stay
One of the rented houses on Ocean View Avenue, Carmel, California. It's moments from the nearest beach, 15 minutes from Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch Restaurant (amazing steaks) and you're just over 2 hours drive up the breath-taking Pacific Coast Highway, Route One from San Francisco. 

Alexandra Neill, Senior Marketing Executive
Email: alexandra.neill@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7384 8126

No alternative text providedThe latest recruit to the Destinations team, Alex has in fact been at Clarion Events since 2013, working on design-led B2B retail events such as Pulse, Home & Gift and Top Drawer.

Top 3 places worldwide?
Betty’s Bay, South Africa – This place is seriously beautiful. With the ocean ahead of you and the mountain behind you, it’s simply an adventurer’s paradise. Plus, you get to see the African Penguins up close while all of the other tourists queue up at Boulder’s Bay.

Gorges Du Verdon, France – When you reach this incredible river canyon, you will think you’re in Thailand. Don’t be fooled… it is none other than the French Alps. We’re talking 25km of pure beauty, warm turquoise blue water and utterly priceless views. The perfect spot for kayaking, bike riding or even just driving around.

Berlin, Germany – This place has an unparalleled energy about itself. It oozes with creativity, music and culture. Every time you visit, there is always something new to discover. I’ve always said: If I had to pick a place to relocate, Berlin would definitely in the top 3.

Best holiday?
My dad, sister, brother and I packed the Vauxhall Astra with some clothes, a tent and a camping stove and headed off for a two week adventure down France and across Italy. Our only aim was to end up in Venice - everything else, we made up as we went. It ended up being the most fun and spontaneous holiday with some real family bonding time.

Recommend a place to stay
I absolutely loved the Sensatori resort on the Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica. It’s small, intimate and so friendly. And that’s on top of the stunning beach and great food!


Paula Campos, Marketing Assistant
Email: paula.campos@clarionevents.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7834 7864

Paula joined Clarion Events in summer 2017 working on The Luxury Travel Fair and is the newest member of the Destinations team. Her passion is tourism and how it can be a force for good in the development of countries.

Top 3 places worldwide?
Granada, Spain – A vibrant city full of culture, art and amazing food! There is always a gazer to discover, a new side to the Alhambra, getting lost in the Albaicin.. Plus you are 30km away from Sierra Nevada, where you can ski in the winter and hike the highest peak in mainland Spain during the summer, and 30min drive from the beach! Paradise… 

Split, Croatia – a breath-taking destination, the city centre is the old roman Diocletian’s palace; you can enjoy a walk to the top of Marjan hill or a coffee by the Riva, always with the blue ocean at sight. Why not hop on a ferry and enjoy a day in one of the over 40 islands of Croatia? Hvar is only 40 mins away…

Stockholm, Sweden – I was lucky to go whilst the cherry trees blossomed in Kungsträdgården Park, walked all over just to be amazed by such an outstanding modern city that balances the history and old architecture with the latest trends. 

Best holiday?
During Christmas, four friends and I decided it was about time to see each other again so we met in Barcelona only to hop in a car with our suitcases, a very tight budget and toured the south of Europe: France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina. We enjoyed it so much that we decided we wanted more so we headed up to Hungary, Slovakia and Austria! Good times.. 

Recommend a place to stay
Stay with locals wherever you go! They will give you the best insider’s knowledge and take you to places you would have never discovered staying in a resort.