Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Question Time - Meet your panel #1 - Mr Tanzer

With a month to go until the latest Travolution Question Time on the 23 September, brought to you in association with Fortune Cookie, it's time to introduce the panel in a little bit more detail.

Appearing at a Travolution event for the first time is Mark Tanzer, chief executive of industry body Abta.

So here is the official biography:
Mark took over as chief executive of Abta on 1 September 2005. His background is in the private sector, where he has held senior positions in strategy and corporate finance in a number of industry sectors.

Immediately prior to joining Abta, Mark was group strategy director of Centrica, the parent company of British Gas.

Before that he was strategy director of the Automobile Association, which was acquired by Centrica in 2000.

While with Centrica, Mark spent 18 months on secondment to the Home Office as senior director of the Immigration & Nationality Directorate, where he was responsible for a wide-ranging programme of change and reform.

Mark is 47 years old and lives in Kent. His interests include sport and opera.
The unofficial biography would go something like this:

Abta was always synonymous with the world of travel agents (it's former title was the Association of British Travel Agents), but with the distribution of travel products shifting online, the organisation has been forced to evaluate where it figures in the minds of consumers and the industry alike.

Tanzer arrived with a fantastic pedigree but he has needed all his experience and management skills to instigate a programme of huge change - from the top-down.

[This is how he saw his first year in charge]

The industry has warmed to some of Abta's changes, such as the merger with the Federation of Tour Operators, but there is still a reasonable amount of scepticism as to its role in the future.

You will need to be at our Question Time to get answers to some of these questions. He isn't appearing in this unique and intimate type of event at any other point this year.

Tickets and more information.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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