During my main working life, I was the Director of VisitSweden in the UK from the mid-1970s when I was most likely the youngest such director in London at that time. In 2002 I worked in the US market, operating out of London and flying constantly.
In 2003 I moved to Hamburg to take over the German and Dutch markets, both very important for the Swedish tourism industry.
It was great fun, hard work and very satisfying to see the developments of tour operators in all these markets including and extending their programmes in Sweden. Also to see how the Swedish suppliers built up their products and extended their knowledge. Probably the most memorable product was the introduction of the IceHotel to the UK market in the 1990s - and still going strong. This was created through working very hard with our major network of British journalists.
Through my career I have made many friends in the travel industry and its various networks. I joined AWTE in 1973 and served from 2012 – 2015 as AWTE Chair and now am happy to serve as Chair of the Benevolent.
Sue Kavanagh has been in the travel industry for over 30 years. Travel has always been in her blood. Sue’s career started with Lunn Poly, a retail travel agent, as a graduate trainee and she left Lunn Poly as National Training Manager for the UK.
In her next role, at Pickfords Travel, Sue also took responsibility for the Human Resources function. Pickfords was to later to become Carlson Wagonlit Travel where Sue became the first female member of the UK Board of Directors and ten years later was appointed to be responsible for Human Resources across Northern Europe.
Sue then decided to try her hand in the Aviation world and joined Qatar Airways. Here she was responsible for all areas of Human Resources and Training in North, South and West Europe for ten years.
Sue’s latest venture is with InteleTravel, the UKs largest home working agency. At InteleTravel she supports the UK commercial team.
Her varied roles have given her a wealth of experience in many of the diverse areas of the travel industry.
Claire has worked within the Travel Industry for more than 25 years across in a variety of roles including commercial, marketing, business transformation and project delivery. She has been fortunate to work for number of large travel businesses including National Express Group, STA Travel and TUI, in addition to a start-ups and small businesses.
Claire joined Travelport over 10 years ago and has held a number of roles leading teams in our Commercial and Product business units. In 2020, she was appointed as the Director of Customer Success for EMEA.
In 2017, Claire was elected to the Board of AWTE and was delighted to be successfully nominated as Chair at the AGM in 2019, a position she held until April 2022. She remains an ambassador for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Travelport.
My background is PR and Marketing. In the 1970s I started a fine art book company but came to my senses in 1986 by joining the travel industry! I formed At Home in London, a Bed & Breakfast agency offering quality accommodation in private homes, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea. My plan was to change the image of B&B, for years something of a Cinderella in accommodation. Guests briefly felt like a Londoner and hosts provided an insiders’ guide to the city. In 2008 Visit Britain introduced Quality in Tourism for B&B and I was thrilled when all At Home in London homes were awarded Four Stars.
I’ve been a committee member and now Treasurer of AWTE Benevolent for 20 something years. I have retired from my business and I am delighted to continue being a member of The Benny, supporting our members through the ups and downs of life.
Lynn has over 30 years’ marketing experience in the travel and cultural tourism industries. Travel business lessons were first learned at Lunn Poly, British Airways and Hertz Europe plus in a pioneer role as Head of Tourism for Birmingham City Council. A wide range of tourism development projects followed with Lynn acting as Marketing Consultant for such iconic venues as Somerset House, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Chelsea Physic Garden. More recently Lynn enjoyed several years as Head of Marketing for Ramblers Walking Holidays and is currently an Associate of Silver Travel Advisor, supporting travellers with independent advice and inspirational travel ideas.
Thanks largely to business trips and conferences, Lynn has been fortunate to travel extensively across Europe and the USA, French Caribbean, Egypt, Australia, Indonesia and the Middle East. Lots more yet to explore…
Contact AWTE Benevolent Committee