What is the Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board?

The West Midlands Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board (THAB) is facilitated by the West Midlands Growth Company, bringing together all areas of the tourism industry to drive growth in the region’s visitor economy.

The Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board was established in March 2023 and meets quarterly. It comprises representatives from sectors across the tourism industry and reports to the West Midlands Combined Authority and the West Midlands Mayor.

The Board’s vision is to align the activity of partners working in the tourism and hospitality industry in a way that builds a strong profile of the West Midlands as a tourist destination.

What does the Board do?

The West Midlands Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board represents and speaks on behalf of the tourism and hospitality sector in the West Midlands. Members of the Board work to advise regional partners, aligning efforts to achieve the vision for the West Midlands.

The Board reports to both the West Midlands Combined Authority and the West Midlands Mayor. The Board can advise on policy and funding needs at a regional and national level, informing the region’s domestic and international tourism strategy.

From the Board’s perspective, a key point of growth is the success of Coventry being named the City of Culture and the incredible Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. These keystone events and achievements give the region a jumping-off point for further economic growth in the tourism and hospitality sector.

To this end, the Board meets quarterly, attending further meetings and appointments where necessary, while serving or leading any relevant task forces in between.

The Board also:

  • Acts as a sector consultee for proposals (such as from the UK Government or the British Tourist Authority)
  • Give weight to the sector when lobbying to decision- and policy-makers
  • Provide a high-profile voice for tourism and hospitality in the region
  • Review progress made by the West Midlands Growth Company and other relevant hospitality bodies to deliver sustainable tourism and hospitality services, such as ensuring that national initiatives are properly leveraged for action in the region

Decisions of the Board are made by discussion and consensus, rather than a vote, although a formal vote can be called for should the Board be unable to reach a shared decision.

Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, said:

“Hospitality is a real strong suit for us here in our region. The sector has the potential to be a major growth area and job creator in the months and years ahead – despite the many pressures and challenges we’re facing today. 

“To help support businesses during these tough times, we’re introducing a top-notch West Midlands Tourism & Hospitality Advisory Board. We now have a vastly experienced team in place, with some of the region’s biggest and brightest names taking part to drive the sector forward.

“If we can work together to get this right, our hospitality sector will support our efforts to promote pride in place as well as attract more people to visit, live and work in our wonderful region. Our new West Midlands Tourism & Hospitality Board will bolster these efforts – tapping into the wealth of expertise we are blessed with to reinforce some of our natural strengths as a region.” 

Who are the members of the Tourism and Hospitality Board?

The Tourism and Hospitality Board members are passionate, knowledgeable individuals with experience and influence in the sector. They share the core value of wanting to grow the sector sustainably, generating and protecting jobs for the people of the region, while creating memorable experiences for visitors

Alex Claridge

Restaurateur and WM Night Time Economy Advisor

About Alex

Andrew Lovett

Chief Executive, Black Country Living Museum

About Andrew

Al Titterington

Terminal Operations Director, Birmingham Airport

About Al

Ninder Johal

Experienced Managing Director and Board Level Director

About Ninder

Nicola Underhill

General Manager, Hilton Birmingham Metropole

About Nicola

Sara Blair-Manning

Heritage and Cultural Leader and Chief Executive, Birmingham Botanical Gardens

About Sarah

Sarah Rennie

Accessibility and inclusion consultant, trainer and non-practising solicitor

About Sarah

Wendy Parry

Trained Archaeologist, Trustee for Culture Coventry

About Wendy

Kelly Haslehurst

Commercial Marketing Director, NEC Group

About Kelly

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