First lady serves up love game with order of Becks on the side

First lady serves up love game with order of Becks on the side

n What advice would you give to someone starting out in the travel industry?

It's a great industry - work hard and you'll get the breaks.

n What percentage of holiday bookings do you estimate will be taken direct by the year 2000?

It's a growing part of our business, but I still think clients like the personal service - therefore, around 25%.

n How long do you expect it will be before a significant number of bookings are made by digital television?

Not long at all. The youth of today live with computers and technology.

n Do you think the growing consolidation in the industry is good for consumers?

Yes, the deals and holidays represent tremendous value no as competition and consolidation continues.

n How many travel agents do you estimate there will be left in the UK in five years' time?

Half of the amount there are now - all will be vertically integrated.

n Do you agree with travel agents charging a fee for their work?

I agree with charges. There are too many customers who believe that travel agents are the equivalent of information bureaus.

Industry talk

n What was your first job in travel and how much did you get paid?

I worked for Club-1830 as a representative. I earned £7,000 a year and a car.

n Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why?

My husband Trevor Davis, sounds corny but we have worked together on two occasions and he supports my career.

n If you weren't in travel, what would you be doing?

My plan was to live abroad using languages, but who knows?

n How many hours do you work a week on average?

More than I like to admit.

n What advice would you give to someone starting out in the travel industry?

It's a great industry - work hard and you'll get the breaks.

n What percentage of holiday bookings do you estimate will be taken direct by the year 2000?

It's a growing part of our business, but I still think clients like the personal service - therefore, around 25%.

n How long do you expect it will be before a significant number of bookings are made by digital television?

Not long at all. The youth of today live with computers and technology.

n Do you think the growing consolidation in the industry is good for consumers?

Yes, the deals and holidays represent tremendous value no as competition and consolidation continues.

n How many travel agents do you estimate there will be left in the UK in five years' time?

Half of the amount there are now - all will be vertically integrated.

n Do you agree with travel agents charging a fee for their work?

I agree with charges. There are too many customers who believe that travel agents are the equivalent of information bureaus.

Personal talk

n What is your star sign?

Gemini.

n What would you change about yourself?

I'm a Gemini, so it depends what mood I'm in.

n Which living person do you most respect?

Hillary Clinton, handling pressure so well but having a cunning plan to do well in the future.

n If you could be anyone for a day who would it be and why?

Victoria Adams. I could enjoy the adulation of millions of people and then go home to David Beckham.

n What is your greatest regret?

Not taking up a tennis scholarship at 16 - I could have been a star - or not!

n What is your greatest extravagance?

Shoes, my husband calls me Imelda.

n Which sports do you love and which do you hate?

I love squash, tennis and football. Ican't think of any Ihate.

n What is the most memorable destination you've visited and why?

New York because it is so cosmopolitan and alive.

n What's the corniest chat-up line you've ever used?

Get your coat - you've pulled!

n What type of holiday would you avoid at all costs?

Anything linked to water, like whitewater rafting or canoeing. I don't like water very much!

n What would you have put on your gravestone?

I've lived life to the full.

Mandy Davis

Job title: sales and operations director.

Age: 40.

Born: Whitley Bay, Northumberland.

Lives: West Yorkshire.

Status: married.

Education: Whitley Bay Grammar School.

Path to career: Started career at a chemical company working for French and German teams in sales. Moved into travel late in 1981. Joined Club 18-30 as its first UK representative. Within six months the company became part of Intasun. Progressed through the ranks and became general manager for the North East of England for ILG in 1986. Joined Travelworld as sales director for the newly formed direct division. Moved into the role of sales director for the retail shops and direct in July 1998.

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