Who is on the Atta Board?

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Fiona Jeffery OBE Chair

Director from: 2014

Phone: +44 (0)7818 450 086 / +44 (0)20 8944 9490

Born in Scotland and a graduate of Edinburgh University Fiona Jeffery has had a long and accomplished career working in the travel industry. After joining Reed Exhibitions in 1986, Fiona quickly climbed through the ranks to become Exhibition Director for World Travel Market in 1994 & also British Travel Trade Fair in 1996, Managing Director and ultimately Chairman of WTM until 2013. In 1997 she launched a responsible tourism drive across the industry globally and 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.

“Being selected as the new chair of Atta is an unexpected honour I do not take lightly. My predecessors have all done amazing jobs, and my role is to build on their success. With new opportunities emerging all the time, Atta will seek to embrace these, putting the interests of our membership at its heart.

“My love of Africa began on honeymoon with my husband Nigel, exploring Kenya by four-wheel drive vehicle, and I am keen to tackle the issues and opportunities of the industry across the continent. These include sustainability, the dangers of overtourism, wildlife conservation and wider issues around poaching, gender equality and the opportunities of tourism to support socio-economic empowerment and development. It will be important to play our part supporting and furthering the agenda in many of these areas to ensure joined up thinking and increased impact across our industry.”

In 1998 Fiona also founded the international water development 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.

Fiona now has a portfolio career including Non Exec on a number of Boards, as well as the UN World Committee for Tourism Ethics and Chairs Tourism for Tomorrow Programme for WTTC. 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 and in 2013 she was awarded TTG Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award.

Fiona says her best job is being Mum to Cameron and Lauren.

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Chris Mears CEO

Company: Atta

Joined Atta January 2017

Phone: +44 (0)20 7937 4408 / +44 (0) 7710 306 286

Chris joined Atta as COO in January 2017 after previously spending 10 years living in Cape Town running the Cape Town office for long time Atta member Acacia Adventure Holidays. 

Chris took over as CEO on 01 January 2018

Chris has spent all his career involved with African Tourism and has a deep seated passion for the continent having traveled extensively including overland from London to South Africa with extended periods of time in Tanzania.

Chris' experience covers all aspects from reservations, sales and marketing to operations and product development.

While being based at Atta HQ, Chris is responsible for the day to day operational functions of the association. Chris is also at the vast majority of Atta's exhibitions and functions.

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Nigel Vere Nicoll FRGS President

Company: Atta

President from 2018,CEO 2000 - 2017, Board Member Since 1996

Phone: +44 (0)20 7937 4408

Nigel Vere Nicoll appointed to the Board 1994. Atta Director and Company Secretary 1997.

Chief Executive from 2000, Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society (1972)

President from 2018

As a former MD of Abercrombie & Kent's Hotel & Lodge Division in Kenya, CEO of Wild Africa Safaris UK, Head of Marketing Mount Charlotte Thistle Hotels UK, MD of Universal Travel and On Safari, and proprietor of two hotels in Scotland he has extensive experience in hotel management, tour operating & marketing in UK and Africa.

Nigel sits on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Consular Stakeholder Panel and the Travel Advice Review Group (TARG) and is a member of the United Nations WTO Tourism Emergency Response network (TERN) working on crisis management in the tourism sector and is tourism advisor to the Brenthurst Foundation, and formerly International Tourism advisor to the President of Malawi from 2011-2014.