n What was your first job in travel and how much did you get paid?
ABCHoliday Extras marketing director. I was paid enough!
n What apart from your current position, would be your ideal job in travel?
An astronaut, with the franchise to market the moon.
n What has been your biggest challenge so far in the travel industry?
Figuring out why we are all prepared to do so much for such small margins.
n Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why?
On a negative note, Gerald Ratner – never compare jewellery to sandwiches, even if they are from Marks and Spencer. On a positive note, Maggie Thatcher, for creating UKplc, for a short while anyway.
n What’s the best job you’ve had apart from your current one?
As a consultant there’s lots to choose from. Probably working for the musician Peter Gabriel. I’m glad I don’t have his talent.
n Which company, apart from your own, do you most admire?
Airtours, for the fact that from small acorns grow great oak trees.
n If you weren’t in travel, what would you be doing?
I’d be a psychologist because people fascinate me.
n How do you deal with timewasters at work?
I find the best method is not to let them sit down.
n How long do you expect it will be before a significant number of bookings are made by digital television?
Within the next two years.
n Do you have a Web site and if so how many bookings do you receive on it?
We’ve had a Web site for almost three years. We’ve just launched a second-generation site and had our first booking on it yesterday. The address is www.holidayextras.co.uk
n Do you agree with travel agents charging a fee for their work?
If it is a fee instead of commission then it is easier for the consumer to judge if they are getting value for money from the service the agent offers.
n Make one prediction about travel in the 21st century.
We’ll all be going everywhere at a fraction of the cost with virtual reality.
n What is your star sign?
n What would you change about yourself?
Give me a photographic memory any day.
n Which living person do you most respect and why?
Nelson Mandela, for his achievements in South Africa.
n If you could be anyone for a day who would it be and why?
Anthony Hopkins, he leads such a varied life – cannibalism to Shakespeare in a day.
n What are your hobbies?
Tennis, walking, sailing, skiing, biking and any earth-based sport I haven’t tried – forget parachuting, if we were supposed to fly we’d have wings.
n What’s the corniest chat-up line you’ve ever used?
I think it would have to be: “I know this great airport hotel at Heathrow.”
n What is the most memorable destination you’ve visited and why?
Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies – small on culture but big on everything else, loads of snow, great summers too. Aren’t their moose unbelievably ugly?
n What type of holiday would you avoid at all costs?
Ocean cruising, what you do for a week, let alone two weeks on a ship is beyond me.
n What’s your idea of a great night out?
A sumptuous dinner on a desert island with my wife Rhona.
n How do you relax?
I would have to say entertaining the children.
n What would you have put on your gravestone?
I’ll be back in a flash.
Job title: managing director.
Born: Lagos, Nigeria.
Lives: Hythe, Kent.
Status: married with two children.
Education: Island School, Hong Kong; Bryanston School, Blandford, Dorset; and University of Bradford.
Path to career: from 1984-1988 worked for Esso Petroleum as strategic planning executive. From 1988-1994 worked as a management consultant for Smith and Williamson. Joined ABCHoliday Extrasin 1994, started as marketing director beforeprogressing to the role of marketing/insurancedirector, then to marketing/insurance/call-centre director before current role.
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