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Meet the Boss: Noel Josephides, Sunvil Holidays

Here at 101 Holidays, we like to get to know the people behind the world’s finest travel companies. This week we talk to Noel Josephides, founder and Managing Director of Sunvil Holidays.

Noel, who was born and educated in Cyprus, is a commanding figure in the UK travel industry and has been chairman of the Association of Independent Tour Operators and chairman of The Association of Greek Travel Agents. He sits on the board of ABTA and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Guild of Travel Writers for his work in pioneering responsible tourism.

* Where did you go on holiday this year, and why? Any plans for 2012?

“St Vaast La Hougue in Normandy – rural, not trendy, good food and we don’t operate there so I don’t feel guilty about not looking at hotels and meeting agents.

“I will be going to Sweden in 2012 to see the Northern Lights – hopefully.”

* What is your favourite bolthole in the UK, and why?

“The Cotswolds – beautiful scenery and buildings in that wonderful honey-coloured stone.”

* If you could spend a long weekend in any city abroad, which would you pick, and why?

“Rome – it’s such an ideal size with history and magic all around you.”

*Please tell us three items that are always found in your luggage

“Tissues, slippers, iPad.”

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

“A comfortable flight with more leg room, on time and with decent catering.”

* What has been your worst holiday experience?

“I’ve never had one – I go with the flow. I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end when things go wrong – so I’m very tolerant!”

* Tell us your favourite hotel: in the UK; in mainland Europe; in the rest of the world.

“UK: Although I have visited many parts of the UK I have tended to stay with friends. A very good business hotel I always enjoy staying at is The Lowry in Manchester.

“In Europe, the Convento Do Espinheiro in Evora, Portugal. In the rest of the world, the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua, Guatemala.”

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

“Introducing the unknown, magical Alentejo in Portugal to the UK market with the first direct flight from Heathrow to Beja.”

* Thank you, Noel.

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