World Travel Market chairman, Fiona Jeffery, has collected her Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace.
Fiona was awarded the OBE for her services to the travel and tourism industry during her 26 years at World Travel Market, including her commitment to responsible tourism and for launching charity Just a Drop – which looks to reduce child mortality through the providing of clean water to third world communities.
She joined the marketing department of WTM organiser Reed Exhibitions in 1986 and became group marketing manager in 1988, before being promoted to marketing director in 1991.
In 1992, Jeffery helped launch Arabian Travel Market before becoming WTM exhibition director and then assumed the same role for British Travel Trade Fair in 1996.
In 2000, she was appointed WTM managing director before assuming her current role of WTM chairman in 2008.
Throughout her time in the industry, Jeffery has championed responsible travel, creating an international environmental initiative in 1996 before launching World Responsible Tourism Day in 2007.
In 1998, Jeffery launched travel industry water aid charity Just a Drop which aims to reduce child mortality caused by unsafe water.
The charity has undertaken more than 92 water aid projects and helped more than 1.5 million children and their families in 29 countries.
“I was genuinely stunned, but it is a great honour and I’ve received lots of wonderful emails and texts over the last week,” Jeffery said.
“The best thing is being able to share it with so many colleagues both at Reed Exhibitions and within the travel Industry who have all played their part over the last 26 years in making World Travel Market what it is today and also the many people who have also latterly helped support and grow Just a Drop.
“The joy others have taken for the award has been particularly nice to see and given me the greatest of pleasure.
“My sincere thanks go to colleagues and those in the industry who have worked with and supported me over the years.”