With Inghams Executive Director, Hugh Walton, retiring at the end of October 2015 after 20 years’ exemplary service, Inghams announced today the appointment of Paul Carter as Inghams’ new Chief Operating Officer, with effect from 7th September 2015.
“October will therefore be the appropriate time for us to say a proper farewell to Hugh Walton” noted Andy Perrin, CEO of Inghams’ parent company, Hotelplan UK, “but clearly with any key director’s role, we need to plan well ahead to ensure a smooth succession process.”
Carter will take on full management responsibility for Inghams’ established Ski, Lakes & Mountains and specialist Italy programmes, as well as for organic growth plans including a new Inghams Lapland & Northern Norway ‘Winter Inspirations’ programme. The new role also encompasses Aviation & Operations responsibility for the whole, wider Hotelplan UK parent group, including sister companies Esprit Ski, Ski Total and Santa’s Lapland.
On starting in September, he will join the Hotelplan UK board with immediate effect, and also be involved in its current active search for potential further acquisitions to join the UK group.
Carter’s origins in the travel industry date back to life as a Resort Rep for Crystal in Austria in the late 1980’s, followed by senior marketing management roles for them in the UK, and he has retained his passion for skiing and specialist travel ever since. From 1998, his career developed with RCI Group (subsequently Wyndham Exchange & Rentals), which saw his responsibilities grow rapidly from Head of Travel, through Sales & Marketing Director, to MD of camping specialist Canvas Holidays, and finally to COO and Senior Vice President, Operations, for RCI Europe & Middle East.
RCI’s recent organisational changes led to an amicable parting of the ways, allowing Carter to look elsewhere for new opportunities, which coincided with Inghams’ search for a new leader.
Hotelplan UK’s Group CEO, Andy Perrin, commented: “Paul and I worked very successfully together earlier in our careers, and in our first major board-level change since the current Hotelplan UK Group came together in 2010, appointing Paul is a significant step in the development of our leadership team.”
“We will all miss Hugh Walton hugely when he retires, but I am delighted that Inghams will then be led by someone with Paul’s huge experience, drive and ambition, to help take us forward at pace into the many exciting challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
Paul Carter added: “There is very strong expertise in the group here, and I am really excited to return to specialist tour operating for such a great brand with a wonderful heritage.
I very much look forward to us creating further value and clear differentiation in the Inghams customer offerings, and also hope to bring my experience to support the broader growth plans with potential acquisitions across the Hotelplan UK business.”