Flash Harry would make a meal out of running for office and the ski lift

Flash Harry would make a meal out of running for office and the ski lift

Dare to be different - there are too many clones in the industry.

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

As many as it takes, usually around 60.

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

Five years.

n Do you have a Web site and if so how many bookings do you receive on it?

We launched our Web site on April 13 this year. For the first month it accounted for 1% of our bookings.

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

All the time quality and value

improves, then it's fine. Once

choice becomes affected, it has gone too far.

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

With the shareholders of multinationals expecting to see continuous returns, competition driving margins down and the rapid introduction of technology, I would say the signs aren't good.

n Do you agree with travel agents charging a fee for their work or should they provide their service free?

Every business must at least cover its costs. But if your future becomes dependent upon service charges you'd better make damn sure your service is worth paying for.

Industry talk

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

UKpassenger sales manager for P&O EuropeanFerries, for £24K a year.

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

Brian Lanford, marketing director at P&O. He was passionate about attention to detail and never let budgets stand in the way of brilliant marketing.

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

I work with a lot of ad agencies, I'd like to see life from their side.

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

Dare to be different - there are too many clones in the industry.

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

As many as it takes, usually around 60.

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

Five years.

n Do you have a Web site and if so how many bookings do you receive on it?

We launched our Web site on April 13 this year. For the first month it accounted for 1% of our bookings.

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

All the time quality and value

improves, then it's fine. Once

choice becomes affected, it has gone too far.

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

With the shareholders of multinationals expecting to see continuous returns, competition driving margins down and the rapid introduction of technology, I would say the signs aren't good.

n Do you agree with travel agents charging a fee for their work or should they provide their service free?

Every business must at least cover its costs. But if your future becomes dependent upon service charges you'd better make damn sure your service is worth paying for.

Personal talk

n What is your star sign?

Scorpio.

n What would you change about yourself?

My age.

n Which living person do you most respect?

Nelson Mandela.

n What is your greatest regret?

Not skiing before I was 35.

n What is your greatest extravagance?

Wining and dining.

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

President of the United States.

n When was the last time you did some exercise?

I cycle and play golf.

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

I like golf, tennis and football. I hate American football.

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

Kruger National Park. Animals in their natural habitat are great.

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

"I'll get your photo in Travel Weekly - honest!"

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

Pot-holing. I think tunnels are best left to the experts!

n What would you have put on your gravestone?

"You can't buy time so spend it wisely."

Peter Stratton

Job title: UK marketing and sales director.

Age: 41.

Born: Beckenham, Kent.

Lives: Rhodes Minnis, Canterbury.

Status: married with two sons.

Education: Kelsey Park Secondary Modern, Beckenham, Kent.

Path to career: started at Batchelors Foods in 1979 as sales rep before joining Brooke Bond Foods in 1988 as national account manager. In 1989 joined P&OEuropean Ferries as UKsales manager,promoted to general sales & marketing manager in 1991 and then to marketing and sales director in 1994. Joined Connex Rail as commercial director in 1997. Took up current position at Eurotunnel in 1998.

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