Der Touristik UK chief executive Derek Jones was bestowed the Outstanding Contribution to the Industry accolade at last night’s TTG Travel Awards in London.
Jones received rapturous applause when he put his success down to the strong friendships and partnerships forged over the years.
UK and Ireland managing director for Silversea – sponsor of the award – Peter Shanks, said: “The winner of this award has made a sustained contribution to travel working across a range of iconic brands, and is liked and respected across the industry.”
Jones began his working life as a civil servant, working in health and safety, before a holiday to Ibiza led him to a variety of roles at Thomson Holidays.
He then moved into Lunn Poly, before becoming managing director for distribution for the combined Thomson and First Choice
Ten years ago he joined Kuoni, and has now risen to CEO of parent company Der Touristik UK.
“But he’s equally well known for the fantastic working culture he’s built up at the company’s new offices in Dorking – as well as for being chairman of Abta LifeLine,” added Shanks.
Speaking to TTG after winning the award, Jones said: “This is just amazing.
“Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this industry, and to be recognised is really special.
“I am most proud of the people I have worked with.”
He added: “I was supposed to be having a quiet night tonight but I will be celebrating with good friends and colleagues.
“I’ve spoken to my wife, and we’ve decided we’ll have to build a mantelpiece.”