A bit about me
A 40+ year veteran of the Scottish travel business, I joined a growing independent travel agency 'miniple' in 1971, working my way through the front counter, business travel and group travel ranks. In 1988, I had a brief encounter with the world of advertising, after which I formed my own group, conference and incentive travel consultancy. In 1991, I brought this business to a long-established and well-respected full-service independent in Glasgow, where I progressed to the position of Managing Director. Bitten again by the self-employment bug, I established my consultancy practice – The Bates Consultancy - in 1999.
Today, I live and work in Troon, Scotland where my home office is based, and from where I travel for both business and leisure. I have, and continue to maintain, close business and personal contacts with Scotland's travel community – and I guess the nicest thing any of my colleagues has said to me to date is that I'm 'a national treasure'!
In my time I've Chaired one successful commercial consortium of travel agents – Scotway, and created, from name to operational template, another – SPARC (Scottish Passenger Agents' Retail Consortium). I have also served as a Director – and for 2 years as Chair – of the world's largest Visit USA Committee – the Visit USA Association (UK), and I remain deeply involved in the leisure travel market to and within the USA from the UK.