Institute of Travel and Tourism director Ande Soteri has died.
Soteri, who had been on sick leave for the last two years, is understood to have been found dead this morning. She was 52.
No further details are known at this stage.
ITT chairman Steven Freudmann said he was “devastated” by the news.
He said: “She was incredibly loyal and she loved ITT. She loved her job and we will miss her very much.”
Soteri suffered with a severe leg injury from a traffic accident a few years ago, from which she never really recovered, and had been on long-term sick leave, added Freudmann.
She had been commercial director at ITT since 2004 and sat on the board.
She was well-known in the trade and previously worked at Abta from 1992 to 2000 as an executive officer.
Sarah Clayton-Turner, Association of Women Travel Executives chair paid tribute, she said: “I’m extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Ande. Always a great supporter of AWTE, and friend to many on the board, both past and present including myself; Ande was always armed with a smile and was one of life’s very kind souls.
“She always made people feel at ease in her company, and she was never short of a great tale to tell. She will be sorely missed by many and our thoughts go out to her family and loved ones.”
Joanna Kolatsis, partner at Hill Dickinson said: “I am absolutely devastated by the loss of my beautiful and wonderful friend Ande. I first got to know her when she was at ABTA and we became firm friends almost immediately; but that was our Ande all over – you would struggle to find a friendlier person in the room.
“She was absolutely amazing – loving, caring, effervescent and couldn’t do enough for people. Ande would greet everyone with a smile and a hug and was unwavering in her enthusiasm and love for her travel industry friends. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that she will be sorely missed.”
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