Our advisory board is comprised of senior leaders in tour operating, events management, hotel management, air travel, restaurants and consultancy. the board determines our priority areas of research and maximise its impact all over the world.
Meet the team
Niel Alobaidi joined Emirates Holidays as Managing Director in the UK in April 2015. In his role he has responsibility for all elements of the Emirates Holidays performance for the UK source market, with the key objectives of strategically supporting the Emirates brand proposition and driving significant long term growth to Emirates through the sale of holidays.
Prior to joining Emirates Niel was with TUI Travel where he held a number of senior leadership roles over a 15 year period, including Managing Director of the Scandinavian Specialist brands and Commercial Director of the UK portfolio of scheduled tour ops businesses (nine brands, operating as Specialist Holidays Group).
Suzie is a 1990 graduate of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Following her graduation, Suzie held three operational roles with contract caterers at Wembley Stadium, Chester Boyd and Sutcliffe Catering over a period of seven years. Suzie moved into recruitment in 1997 and set up her own business, Troika Recruitment with her business partners in 2010. Based in central London, Troika acts as trusted advisor to some fabulous hospitality businesses and focuses on sourcing candidates for senior managerial and director level appointments.
Joel is founder and chief executive of Longshot Limited. Alongside his partner, Ollie Vigors, he has built up a company that develops a wide range of property and leisure businesses across central London.
These have included Vingt Quatre – London's first and only 24-hour restaurant, The Groucho Club, and The Third Space – a health club that incorporates an organic supermarket and London's largest Integrated Centre of Medicine. Since the sale of these businesses in 2007, Joel has made numerous investments in entrepreneurial businesses in the UK.
Michael is a graduate of Westminster Hotel School. He was appointed head of Accor’s hotel division in 1983, then chief operating officer for Northern, Central and Eastern Europe for Accor in 2006.
In 2009, Accor appointed him chief operating officer for the Americas, where he was responsible for over 1,200 Hotels throughout North and South America. In 2001, Michael was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French Government for services to France. Michael is now independent and holds a number on non-executive and consultant posts.
Michael Glennie was president and chief operating officer of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI), the parent company of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts from 2012-2016. In July, 2016 FRHI was sold to Accor and Glennie retired.
Glennie joined FRHI in 2005 in the role of executive vice president, real estate, where he spearheaded several programs and initiatives related to the company’s hotel real estate portfolio. Following this, he held the position of president real estate & development for FRHI and was responsible for directing the company’s global growth and development strategy, asset management activity, and real estate functions.
Prior to joining FRHI, Glennie was president and CEO of Ripplewood Lodging and the Phoenix Resort company. Before this, he was employed by Boca Resorts, Inc. as president of the Boca Raton Resort & Club, and senior vice president, resort operations for the group. Earlier in his career he held a variety of management positions with RockResorts and also served as manager of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria.
Glennie holds a BA (Hons) Hotel Administration from the University of Surrey.
Fiona Jeffery OBE
After joining Reed Exhibitions in 1986, Edinburgh University graduate Fiona quickly climbed through the ranks to become exhibition director for the World Travel Market in 1994 and the British Travel Trade Fair in 1996, becoming managing director and ultimately chairman of WTM until 2013.
In 1998, Fiona founded the international water aid charity Just a Drop, of which she is chair. Its aim is to encourage the travel and tourism industry and businesses generally to give back to communities across the world with the provision of clean water and sanitation. In 2007, she launched World Responsible Tourism Day at WTM in partnership with the UNWTO which is now the largest responsible tourism gathering across the world.
In 2012, she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to travel and tourism, and the Hall of Fame Award for her contribution to the Environment. In 2013 she was awarded TTG Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award and the World Tourism Award for her philanthropic vision in creating Just a Drop.
Simon Kelly is an expert in how technology and software can disrupt traditional industries. He is a business leader from influential tech companies like Accenture, Vodafone, Microsoft, Babylon Health, LinkedIn and Aula Education. Simon was part of the exec team for LinkedIn Europe when it was just a small startup in 2008 and spend eight years growing the business across the world when the membership grew from 20m to over 500m. He is a board advisor to many founders of start-up’s and has worked with the University of Surrey on improving employability programs and he has written for Financial Times ('ask the expert' column). Simon is an economics graduate from Trinity College Dublin and has worked in Silicon Valley (California) and Asia (Singapore) and has travelled extensively and as a result he is a passionate believer in responsible and sustainable tourism.
Nick is Managing Director of TUI UK.
TUI UK and Ireland is the UK’s largest tour operator with key brands including Thomson, First Choice, and Thomson Cruises. Sub brands include Sensatori, Sensimar, and Family Life, as well as First Choice Holiday Villages and SplashWorld Resorts. TUI UK and Ireland’s airline, Thomson Airways is the UK’s third largest airline with 62 aircraft operating to over 88 destinations in 30 countries. Thomson Airways was the first airline in the UK to take delivery of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. TUI UK and Ireland has a team of more than 10,000 employees and serves over 5.5 million customers each year.
Helen joined WTTC as government and industry affairs director in January 2012. She brings a seasoned perspective in government relations from her 17 years of engagement and leadership of the US government’s national tourism office in the US Department of Commerce.
Helen has gained insight of policies that can improve the business environment for the sector thanks to her involvement with the US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and she has gained clear understanding of the impact of the industry in a large economy, and globally, from her oversight of the US statistical system for travel and tourism. Her intergovernmental leadership in APEC, OAS and OECD bring a strong international perspective to collaboration between governments and the private sector.
Charlie is general manager of Four Seasons Hampshire. He joined Four Seasons London in 1994 as an intern and worked in a variety of city, beach and island resort hotels including spells as cruise director of the Four Seasons Explorer and resort manager in the Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheik.
Charlie took over as general manager of Four Seasons Hampshire in 2011. He has BSc Hotel Management from Michigan State University and the University of Surrey.
Robin Rossmann is Managing Director of STR, leading its operations across EMEA, APAC and LATAM. Robin is focused on continuing to improve the way STR provides the hotel industry with robust and insightful performance benchmarking that enables stakeholders to make better decisions.
Robin has over 15 years' focussed hotel sector experience, including 13 at Deloitte where he advised on hotel strategy, business planning, investment appraisal, market reviews, financial and commercial due diligence, IPOs, debt advisory, valuation, financial assurance, controls improvement and risk management.
Jacky Simmonds is an experienced HR Executive having worked in a number of sectors. She started her career at The Wellcome Trust, then moved to Hearst Magazines (UK) where she headed the HR function for six years. After that she moved to First Choice plc and spent several years in a number of senior HR positions before moving to lead the HR aspects of the merger between Thomson and First Choice in 2007.
Jacky became Group HR Director of TUI Group in 2010, an organisation with 72,000 people globally. She was there until 2015, during that time she aligned talent, engagement, development, and organisational development across a highly decentralised business, she also introduced a number of initiatives aimed at developing talent and leadership for an international group. Jacky joined easyJet plc in January 2016 as Group Director, People during which time she has been focused on developing their organisation to position them for scale and growth in Europe, her focus has been on culture, employee engagement, and talent development.
Jacky also joined the Board of Wolseley Plc in July 2014 and is Chair of the Remuneration Committee, and a member of the Nominations and Audit Committee. Experienced across all aspects of HR but with particular expertise in employee engagement, transformational change, engagement and talent management.
Mark Tanzer has been Chief Executive of ABTA since 1 September 2005. Over that period, and following its amalgamation with the Federation of Tour Operators, ABTA has consolidated its position as the leading UK travel association with 1200 corporate members comprising tour operators, cruise companies and travel agents.
In addition to providing a political and media voice for its members, ABTA offers a broad range of services including financial bonding, health and safety support and business guidance. In addition it has very wide consumer recognition through its customer support and alternative dispute resolution activities. Before joining ABTA, Mark held senior strategy and corporate finance positions in a number of industry sectors. Immediately prior to ABTA, Mark was Group Strategy Director of Centrica plc., the parent company of British Gas and the Automobile Association.
Tim Walton is Regional Vice President of International Hotel Development for Marriott International. He is responsible for overseeing the development of all Marriott’s brands across Western Europe. Before rejoining Marriott in 2005, Tim spent four years as Vice President of Hotel Development, Europe, with Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. Prior to that, he was with Marriott’s Development Planning and Feasibility group based in London and responsible for assignments across the UKEMEA region. Tim has also held positions within the fields of consultancy (with industry experts BDO) and sales and marketing. He is a graduate of the University of Surrey.