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Saturday 20 July 2024
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16 Aug 2023
Sir Nick Varney to headline VAC as conference celebrates 20th anniversary

Sir Nick Varney has been revealed as the headline speaker at this year's VAC.

Taking place on 5 October at the QEII Centre in London, VAC – the UK’s leading conference for visitor attractions – celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2023.

Varney – who was instrumental in Merlin Attractions becoming second only to Disney in scale globally – will take the stage during the morning session, where he will be interviewed by Liz Terry MBE, editor of Attractions Management magazine.

In a session titled "The Big Interview" Varney, the former Merlin CEO, will reveal how he led the company to become the UK’s most influential and successful attractions operator.

When he retired in November 2022, Merlin operated more than 140 theme parks and attractions, 23 hotels and five holiday villages employing 27,000 people in 24 countries across four continents. He was knighted in the King’s 2023 birthday honours.

Varney will be one of a host of high-profile speakers and industry professional at the 20th anniversary event. Others include:

• Dr Mark Baker, chair, Gyrych Castle Trust (of “I’m a Celebrity” fame)
• Rob Chatwin, group CEO, The Eden Project
• Bernard Donoghue OBE, CEO, ALVA, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions
• Paul Kelly, Chief Executive, BALPPA, the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions
• Lycia Lobo, commercial director, English Heritage
• Victoria Lynn, MD, Drayton Manor
• Kelly Molson, founder and head of commercial, Rubber Cheese
• Richard Nicholls, head of research and insights, VisitBritain
• Fiona Pollard, chair, VisitEngland Advisory Board
• Laura Pye, director, National Museums Liverpool
• Ken Robinson CBE, founder of VAC
• Richard Toomer, executive director, The Tourism Alliance
• Jon Young, director, BVA BDRC

• For more information on VAC and to book your place at the event using the earlybird discount, visit: https://vacevents.com/.


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02 Jul 2024
European College of Sports Science Annual Congress kicks off in Glasgow
The European College of Sports Science (ECSS) welcomes 3,000 academics to the University of the West of Scotland in Glasgow from today (2 July) to Friday 5th July for its Annual Congress where delegates and speakers will share and debate research and insight relating to sport and physical activity.
24 Jun 2024
Good Spa Guide crowns UK’s best spas of 2024
The 15th annual Good Spa Guide (GSG) Awards winners were unveiled tonight (24 June) at a gala dinner during the Spa Life Convention in Hampshire, UK.
21 Jun 2024
Global Wellness Summit 2024 to make waves in Scotland with theme “A Watershed Moment for Wellness”
The 2024 Global Wellness Summit (GWS) is set to make a splash in Scotland from 4-7 November, with the theme “A Watershed Moment for Wellness”.
13 Jun 2024
World leaders gather at luxury Italian wellness retreat Borgo Egnazia for G7 Summit
The 2024 G7 Summit is now underway at a destination spa resort in Puglia, Italy, with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US convening to address some of the world’s most urgent issues.
10 Jun 2024
Global Wellness Day 2024 shatters records as 1 billion people unite for wellness and nature
Global Wellness Day (GWD) marked its 13th anniversary on Saturday, 8 June and was reportedly celebrated by a record-breaking 1 billion people worldwide, making it the most successful year yet.
19 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort gears up to host UK Aufguss Championships next week
UK sauna enthusiasts will converge at Galgorm Resort in Northern Ireland next week for the highly anticipated second annual UK Aufguss Championships.
27 Mar 2024
Thailand's first lady attends APSWC Awards ceremony recognising industry excellence
The Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition (APSWC) recently marked another year of industry achievement with a prestigious awards ceremony held during the 2024 APSWC Round Table event in Bangkok, Thailand.
08 Mar 2024
Global Wellness Day 2024 to champion reconnecting with nature
Global Wellness Day (GWD) is set to mark its 13th annual celebration on 8 June 2024, under the theme #MagentaNature, emphasising the vital connection between humanity and the natural world.
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Diary dates
28-29 Jul 2024
Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Conference 2024
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SpaFest
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SPATEC North America
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18 Sep 2024
Redefining Outdoor Hospitality Summit
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Kenilworth
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19-19 Sep 2024
Destination Deluxe Awards & Wellness Day 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok
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Thailand
20-22 Sep 2024
World Wellness Weekend
Locations worldwide
24-26 Sep 2024
Live Love Spa - Destination Wellness
Amrit Ocean Resort
Florida
United States
24-26 Sep 2024
SpaChina Summit
The Ritz-Carlton
Nanjing
China
24-27 Sep 2024
28th European Spas & Balneology Congress
Druskininkai
Lithuania
26-28 Sep 2024
Termatalia: 22nd International Fair of Thermal Tourism, Health and Welfare
Expourense
Ourense
Spain
29 Sep - 01 Oct 2024
Spa Life Ireland
Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort
Ireland
more diary dates
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