Meet the Boss: Chris Wright, Sunvil

Chris Wright, Sunvil  Chris (standing!) in Majorca  Sunvil logo

In our latest Meet the Boss interview, we talk to Chris Wright, the recently-appointed MD of the Sunvil Group. Chris has been involved in travel from a very young age – as a teenager, he used to organise overseas trips for the Scouts. He wrote his first letter to Greek Islands Club aged 13 asking what qualifications were needed to work for the company. His persistence paid off and he was eventually employed by the company as a resort representative on Paxos aged 19. GIC became part of the Sunvil Group in 1998 and Chris went on to become MD and, now, of the entire Sunvil Group.

Recently married to his long term partner, Chris lives in Windsor, a short commute from the Sunvil offices in Richmond. A self-confessed aviation geek, he loves anything to do with planes and thinks the journey is just as important as the destination itself. Through his work and that of his partner (airline crew) he has been lucky enough to travel extensively but still has a long list of destinations to visit. When not working or travelling he spends time in the gym. (*Chris is pictured at the top of the pool pyramid).

Q. Please tell us about a great holiday memory from your childhood.

“I went on my first package holiday at the age of 7. We flew from East Midlands Airport to Palma, Majorca, on Orion Airways and it was then that my passion for aviation and overseas travel started. From that first holiday, I was always more interested in how it all worked than the destination itself.”

Q. What three items are always found in your hand luggage?

“My phone, iPad and moisturiser!”

Q. If you could spend next weekend anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

“The island of Paxos in Greece. No matter where I go in the world, and I have been lucky enough to travel to a lot of amazing places, Paxos is the place I always return to. I love the people, the food and everything that this small island has to offer.  I have been known to visit for 24 hours, quite a feat considering how long it takes to get there.”

Q. Please tell us about a particularly challenging booking your company has handled.

“Back in my early days with GIC – The Villa Collection (Greek Islands Club as it was then), we organised a holiday to the island of Ithaca for a very well known comedian. During his stay several other celebrities came and went – it was a great experience at the time.”

Q. What has been your most enjoyable holiday in recent years?

“My honeymoon to Vietnam and Cambodia. It was my first experience of this part of the world and we had the most amazing time. We crammed a lot into the two weeks but we still didn’t see enough and want to return very soon.”

Q. And what has been your all-time worst holiday experience?

“I tend to always make the best of any situation and a little drama normally adds to the enjoyment. However, if I were pushed I think I would have to say a camping holiday in Cornwall when we were children. It rained constantly for the two weeks and we eventually packed up and returned home after the tent I was sharing with my brother blew away during the night.”

Q. What luxury would you take to your desert island?

“A case of Champagne.”

Q. What one thing would most improve people’s overall holiday experience?

“As far as you can, make the journey itself a comfortable and pleasurable part of the holiday.”

Q. Tell us your favourite hotel – one for business, one for pleasure.

“For business, it’s the Hotel Sofitel Athens Airport. It’s nothing special but it has everything I need and I visit so often that they welcome me back personally which always makes so much of a difference, especially when you are at the end of a tiring trip. For pleasure, it’s the Hotel Metropole Hanoi. I have never enjoyed city hotels but at the Metropole they have everything just right, a perfect mix of old and new, amazing customer service and luxurious accommodation.”

Q. What is the most exciting project your company is working on right now?

“A project to understand how to interact with our long-standing customers, many of whom return year after year. It’s very exciting to see them start to share photographs and experiences with us and with each other through social media and the web.”

Thanks, Chris.

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