n What was your first job in travel and how much did you get paid?
Very appropriate – a summer job as a bus conductor. I earned a ‘fare’ wage.
n What, apart from your current position, would be your ideal job in travel?
Carrying Richard Branson’s briefcase or choosing his ties.
n Which company, apart from your own, do you most admire and why?
Asda – another great Leeds institution.
n Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why?
Robert Peel, I watched him build the Mount Charlotte Thistle from next to nothing. He was extremely focused and dedicated, working an 18hr day.
n If you weren’t in travel, what would you be doing?
Wheeling and dealing in an environment where I could meet lots of people.
n What’s the best job you’ve had, apart from your current one?
I enjoyed my time working up front for the company – meeting hoteliers and other similar business partners to negotiate and plan the product.
n What do you always carry with you to work?
The solutions to yesterday’s problems.
n What one thing would you change about your job?
The introduction of anything that would encourage customers to plan their holidays earlier.
n How long do you expect it will be before a significant number of bookings are made by digital television?
When digital TVhas a marketing plan and knows what it is doing.
n Do you have a Web site and if so how many bookings do you receive on it?
Yes, we have a Web site – www.wallacearnold.com – principally for information. It will take some years for holiday information to be sourced this way rather than through using brochures and agents.
n Do you think the growing consolidation in the industry is good for consumers?
Choice is always good for the consumer and it only becomes a problem when it is limited. That hasn’t happened yet.
n Make one prediction about travel in the 21st century:
Technology, technology and more technology.
n What is your star sign?
n What would you change about yourself?
I would be less impatient.
n Which living person do you most respect?
My wife for putting up with me.
n What is your greatest regret?
Leaving school too early and not going to university.
n What is your greatest vice?
A good cigar.
n Who, apart from your partner, would be your ideal holiday companion and where would you go?
The late Jacques Cousteau – on any of his expeditions.
n What are your hobbies?
I enjoy both reading and fly fishing.
n What is the most memorable destination you’ve visited and why?
Australia, it has so much to offer – without the crowds.
n What type of holiday would you avoid at all costs?
Anything to do with jumping out of aircraft or using any form of propulsion that doesn’t have ABSbrakes, like skiing.
n What’s your favourite TV programme/film/book?
My favourite programme is Only Fools and Horses, I enjoy anyBond films and any John le Carre books.
n What’s your idea of a great night out?
Good company, good wine and good food.
n How do you relax?
A glass or two of Glenmorangie and a good book.
n What would you have put on your gravestone?
Someone else’s name.
Job title: director of product, sales and marketing.
Lives: Cleckheaton, Yorkshire.
Status: married with one daughter aged 13.
Education: Manchester Grammar School for Boys.
Path to career: started in 1974 at Scottish Bus Group as manager of holiday programme. In 1977 joined National Holidays as contracts manager, UK, Europe and Worldwide. Joined Wallace Arnold in 1985 ascontracts director. Promoted to product director in 1987 and to director sales and marketing in 1994.
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