RHS Executive Vice President Wins International Award

Friday 10 October 2014

Jim Gardiner named Person of the Year

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Executive Vice President, Jim Gardiner has been named International Gardens and Tourism Person of the Year 2014 at the Gardens Without Limits Conference in Metz, France.

The annual awards, now in their fourth year, were presented to organisations and individuals who have played a fundamental role in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourist attraction. The aim of the awards is to highlight the world’s most dynamic garden experiences and garden tourism’s vast potential. Recipients of this award came from as far afield as Mexico, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

The Gardens and Tourism Person of the Year Award is presented to individuals who have an international background in horticulture and in-depth knowledge and experience of gardens which are open to the public.
Former RHS Director of Horticulture, Jim Gardiner, who was made Executive Vice President of the RHS in 2014, was recognised by an international panel for the pivotal role he played shaping RHS Garden Holiday Tours.

Jim Gardiner said of his win: “It is humbling and a true honour to be recognised in this way and to be a part of the drive to highlight the important role garden tourism has in the wider tourism industry.
“Through RHS holidays more people have been able to explore some of the world’s most incredible gardens, in countries such as China, South Africa, America and of course Britain which has many wonderful gardens, with people who share my lifelong passion for gardens and horticulture. To be rewarded for the small part I have played in this revolution is brilliant.”

Tourism is the world’s number one industry. And Garden Tourism is a significant part of it. Dr. Richard Benfield, author of ‘Garden Tourism’, estimates that annually there are 120 million garden tourists worldwide. If garden events and tours were included, the number would reach more than 300 million,” said Alexander Reford, director of Jardins de Métis in Québec, Canada and chair of the Canadian Garden Council. “It is a great pleasure to celebrate the contributions that gardens make to the international tourism offering for travelers from around the world.”



Notes to editors

For more information, interview opportunities and images please contact Erin O’Connor at erinoconnor@rhs.org.uk/ 0207 821 2264.

Notes to Editors:

1. Garden of the Year
Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton, New Zealand
2. Festival of the Year
International Garden Festival, Chaumont-sur-Loire, France

3. Event of the Year
Keukenhof, Lisse, The Netherlands

4. Exhibition of the Year
Qingdao International Horticultural Exposition, Qingdao, China

5. Initiative of the Year:
Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

6. Promotion of the Year
National Garden Scheme, United Kingdom

7. Website of the Year
GardenDrum.com, Australia

8. Achievement of the Year
Singapore Garden Festival, Singapore

9. Person of the Year
Jim Gardiner, Executive VP Royal Horticultural Society, United Kingdom

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, the first of our gardens, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 210 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262