Advisory Board

The Advisory Board consists of elected and co-opted members of the association and is responsible for the conduct, future growth and strategic vision of the association. The advisory board represent the members in the following geographical areas.

  • UK
  • Europe
  • East Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • South Africa
  • International Source Markets

Who is on the ATTA® Advisory Board?

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Nigel Vere Nicoll FRGS President & Company Secretary

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

Phone: +44 (0)20 7937 4408

A founder member of The African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA®) , Chief Executive for over 20  years, and President since 2018.  An elected Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society since 1992.

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

Nigel has been an advisor on tourism and crisis management to Foreign & Commonwealth Office Consular Stakeholder Panel, the FCO Travel Advice Review Group (TARG), and the United Nations WTO Tourism Emergency Response network (TERN).  As African tourism advisor to the Brenthurst Foundation, established by the Oppenheimer family to fund development in Africa, he was appointed International Tourism advisor to the President of Malawi from 2011-2014.

John Corse
John Corse Chairman

ATTA Director 2015/16, ATTA Global Advisory Board Member Since 2019

Phone: +255 (0)27 254 8967

John Corse has been elected Chair of ATTA® bringing a wealth of experience in African tourism and commerce. He is currently Managing Director of Serengeti Balloon Safaris, a Director of both Tanzania Association of Tours Operators (TATO) and Responsible Tourism Tanzania, as well as Chairman of Arusha Bicycle Centre, a social enterprise.

Born and brought up in Kenya, he found a natural love of the outdoors, spending most school holidays out and about in the many wilderness areas of the country, often on horseback or by camel. He was educated in the UK and gained a degree in Economics and Agricultural Economics at the University of Exeter. He served 6 years as a British Army office in the UK and further afield, earning a Commendation for Valuable Service whilst on active duty in Bosnia.

Returning to Tanzania in 1998 firstly as Manager of Sand Rivers in the Selous Game Reserve, then as General Manager of Tanzania Tea Packers. He is a founder member of the Aids Business Coalition of Tanzania. He served for 8 years as Managing Director of Nomad Tanzania. In 2015, he joined Fastjet Tanzania, an African low-cost air carrier, becoming General Manager. John has served four years on ATTA® boards as a director in 2015/16 and from 2019 representing Tanzania on the newly formed Global Advisory Board.

He is passionate about African travel, the environment that sustains it and the communities that are its stakeholders. He believes strongly in the principle that tourism transfers wealth to these fragile places and their people, protecting their future and helping to develop their countries. He is a bridge-builder, who likes to encourage a collaborative approach to complex problems.

Nick Aslin
Nick Aslin Vice Chair & Southern Africa

Owner - Zambian Ground Handlers

Phone: +260 (0)211 262061

Nick Aslin arrived in Zambia from the UK in 1992, he fell under the guidance of the late and legendary Norman Carr.

After a few years he found himself in love with the African Bush and excited to be running a company of some repute. In 2009, itching for a change of course and recognizing a niche that needed filling, he established Zambian Ground Handlers and quickly started making the destination more available to new markets all around the world.

He enjoys his role as a link between the travel trade and the safari operators and hopes that this will bring benefits to the ATTA® Advisory Board as well as the membership as a whole

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Chris Mears CEO

COO January 2017 - January 2018, CEO since January 2018

Phone: +44 20 7937 4408 / +44 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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Ben Morison UK Tour Operator

Director - Far & Wild Travel

Phone: +44 (0)1768 603 715

Ben has worked in the UK and African travel sectors for the best part of the last 20 years.  He learned the art of being a tour operator in his first job – working at Rainbow Tours for the wonderful man that was Roger Diski.  After this Ben started Imagine Africa (in 2005) – which he ran for a decade before selling the business to a rival tour operator. 

Ben is a director of Far & Wild Travel – a UK tour operator with offices in London and the Lake District, which specialises in tailor made travel throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean as well as India and Sri Lanka.

Ben has recently spent a year living in Kenya with his family – during which he founded the Flipflopi Project – an ambitious environmental project that has built an ocean-going sailing boat in Kenya out of recycled ocean plastic (including about 20,000 brightly coloured flipflops) to highlight marine pollution. 

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Simon Beck UK Representation

Founder - Orbital Communications

Phone: +44 (0)1603 291 806

Simon has worked internationally with the African travel industry for over 15 years and is very passionate about promoting the unique experiences available across Africa.

With a variety of high-profile travel roles including working on World Travel Market he found a strong connection to the African continent many years ago.

Simon has travelled extensively in Africa and the Indian Ocean and has worked with numerous tourism boards, tour operators and agents, and high-profile properties over the years. He has a sound understanding and extensive experience of how sell and market this diverse and exciting continent.

In January 2012 he launched Orbital Communications which was quickly regarded as one of the leading African representation companies in the UK.

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Alex Walters Europe

Sales & Marketing Manager - Great Plains Conservation

Phone: +27 (0)13 750 2629

47 going on 27, half-Swedish, half-Welsh = 100% Organic (swedes and leeks). Lives in rural Wales, married with 2 daughters, 2 cats, 2 dogs, GSOH.

To sum up Alex’s career in travel and Africa in reverse chronological order: Since 2010 he has been Sales and Marketing Manager for Europe and Middle East markets of one of the world's leading social and environmental enterprises, Great Plains Conservation.

This was preceded by 15 years working at various tour operators as product and sales manager in the Africa, Indian Ocean and Indian-subcontinent departments.

Post-university saw two years of managing grant schemes and interviewing expedition teams alongside Sir David Attenborough at the Royal Geographical Society, where I remain a Fellow to this day.

World-expert on 'termite mound distributions in and around dambos', after his three months RGS Supported undergraduate dissertation based in Zimbabwe's communal lands in 1993. King’s College London awarded him a First for that project. I think (he says), as no one had ever done it before, they were not sure whether what I written was utter rubbish or not, which was the start of my sales career and love of Africa.

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Jozef Verbruggen Europe

Founder - Untamed Travelling

Phone: +31 (0)487 540 367

Jozef Verbruggen studied topography in Antwerp and Gent. The fascination for travelling and the unknown has brought him to the African continent where in the meantime he visited over 50 destinations and lived and worked in Cameroun for over two years.

In 2001 Jozef founded Untamed Travelling, a private travel designer specialized in high-end bespoke travel experiences. Starting off with two employees focussing on Africa, nowadays over thirty passionate travel experts daily customize journeys providing high quality, extensive knowledge, personal service, small-scale accommodations, professional guidance and unique travel experiences in awe-inspiring surroundings to optimally realize the individual needs of each traveler.

“My time in Africa has been defining for my vision on the strategy and branding of Untamed Travelling. Having lived and worked in Africa still helps me keeping track on our mission statement.”

In 2015 Untamed Travelling was rewarded as ‘Best Supplier of Longhaul Destination’, a prestigeous award granted by the Dutch travel trade.

In 2017 Untamed invested in their own destination management office and launched WOLF-DMC in Kigali, Rwanda.

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James Haigh International Source Markets

Director of Sales & Marketing - Lemala Camps & Lodges

Phone: +255 (0)27 250 0630

Born and raised in London, and a graduate from University College and King's Colleges, London James arrived in East Africa to teach literature and sports in Nairobi.  James took charge of the Outdoor Education scheme and thanks to contacts in the KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) created a programme that brought his Kenyan students into proximity with the remote parts of Africa.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, James has spent much of his free time engaged in the struggle for the preservation of environment and wildlife of East Africa. His experiences whilst involved in the complicated translocation of the critically endangered Hirola Antelope and a survey of Grevy’s Zebra in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya allowed James to develop a bond with the proud peoples of this immensely rewarding corner of the continent.  

Having worked as Director of Sales and Marketing for several prestigious international brands James counts himself lucky to have worked with and consider as friends some of the most passionate travel professionals in the world.

James sits on the Travel Advisory Leadership Counsel for JG Blackbook and has been a proud mentor to the Young Travel Professionals in the USA. Participating actively in Atta as a member of the Advisory Board will be an honour and a privilege.

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Shelley Cox Conservation & Sustainability

Co-Owner

Phone: +263 (0)774 641 622

Shelley Cox is a proudly born Zimbabwean with a deep passion for wildlife and conservation.

Having studied for a Bachelor of Journalism at Rhodes University in South Africa, Shelley has worked in the tourism industry for the past nine years and is a co-owner of Africa Conservation Travel, an organization with a focus on creating a greater connection between tourism, conservation and local communities.

In addition to Africa Conservation Travel, Shelley was also recently appointed to the Forestry Board of Zimbabwe, does voluntary consultancy work to Zambezi Elephant Fund, an organization focused on the protection of the middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve, and is also on the board of trustees for Victoria Falls Enviro Watch.

Shelley believes that collaboration is key to the conservation and preservation of Africa’s wildlife and habitats, and that it has become a global responsibility to ensure the African landscapes are conserved for future generations.