The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) has announced the appointment of Linda Haydon as Manager responsible for Group Tourism. Linda Haydon has worked in the travel business, specialising in coach touring, for more than forty years with a broad span of experience both ‘on the road’ and in senior management roles with major tour operators. After graduating from Cambridge, her career has encompassed European Tour Directing, Blue Badge London Guiding, Incentive Business and Conference Organisation. Most recently, she spent eight years as Director of Operations for Insight Vacations and five years as Director of Product Development for Trafalgar Tours.
Linda said “Over the past twelve years, when working for Insight and Trafalgar, I have benefited from the support and expertise of ETOA in many different situations. So I am delighted now to be taking on a role for ETOA which will enable me to clarify the status of tour guides. I will also be working on many different operational issues which need to be addressed in order to help tour guides better conduct successful tours.”
Tom Jenkins, chief executive of ETOA, said: “Despite the huge expansion in FIT over the last decade, group travel remains a crucial area where tour operators add value. There are few people who can match Linda’s broad range of experience, both in terms of how tours are designed and how they are delivered. She has a cogent grasp of the practicalities of how regulations harm our clients’ interests, and how they might be reformed.”
“There is a lot of work to be done. Group tourism still operates in a grey area in terms of legislation. It is unclear where guides can speak to their clients. It is uncertain how they are impacted by working time legislation. And it is ambiguous as to whether non-Europeans can conduct tours. All this needs to be resolved.”