n What was your first job in travel and how much did you get paid?
It was with Delta Travel in Manchester as trainee travel clerk on a salary of £2,160 per annum.
n What has been your biggest challenge in the travel industry?
The last relocation of our offices.
n Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why?
Bert Goldie of American Express was probably the biggest influence on my career – he always had time for everyone and a great understanding of people and getting the best from them.
n Which company, apart from your own, do you most admire and why?
Page andMoy Motorsport Holidays. It has created a market of its own. There is nobody else to mount a significant challenge.
n If you weren’t in travel what would you be doing?
It would have to be something involving motorsport – either in Formula One or the World Rally Series.
n What advice would you give to someone starting out in the travel industry?
I would say persevere and be yourself as this is after all a people industry.
n What percentage of holiday bookings do you estimate will be taken direct by 2000?
It’s hard to say what percentage of holidays will be taken direct as the market is changing incredibly quickly, and who knows where it will be by then.
n How long do you expect it will be before a significant number of bookings are made by digital television?
I suspect digital TV will start to impact over the next three years but it could be five to six years before it comes into its own.
n Do you have a Web site and if so how many bookings do you receive on it?
We do not have a Web site yet.
n Do you think the growing consolidation in the industry is good forconsumers?
I am yet to be convinced that it is good for consumer. It may give value but I suspect less flexibility.
n How many travel agents do you estimate there will be left in the UK in five years’ time?
I don’t know how many will be around in five years. My feeling is it will be similar numbers but with more and more multiples and less independents.
n Do you agree with travel agents charging a fee for their work?
In this ever changing market agents will have to adapt in order to survive and if it means charging for a professional service then it’s fine.
Job title: commercial manager.
Lives: Brereton Green, Cheshire.
Status: married with one son aged 10.
Education: Nuttsford High School, Knutsford, Cheshire.
Path to career: trainee travel consultantat Delta Travel inManchester 1981-1982; senior travel consultant American Express, Manchester 1982-1988.Reservations manager at Valley Vacations until 1997 before beingpromoted to position of commercial manager.
n What is your star sign?
n What would you change about yourself?
n Which living person do you most respect?
I would have to say my father-in-law for his courage in the face of his serious illness.
n What is your greatest extravagance?
n What is your greatest vice?
n What are your hobbies?
Waterskiing and motorsport.
n What type of holiday would you avoid at all costs?
A package holiday.
n How do you relax?
By going boating.
n If you could be anyone for a day who would it be and why?
Wacky Irishman Eddie Irvine, especially now he’s stepped into the number one spot at Ferrari.
n Most memorable destination and why?
Montreal – the first Formula One race abroad.
n What’s your idea of a great night out?
A meal with friends.
n What would you have put on your gravestone?
It will get better.
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