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Alumnus of the month – August 2013

Chris Veitch
BA (Hons) Tourism Management, 2001

Robert Humphreys

At the age of 41 and after 22 years working as a manager in the Civil Service, Chris Veitch decided to return to full-time study in 1997 to enroll on the Tourism Management course at LSBU. Since graduating, he has since worked as Policy Executive for the English Tourism Council managing projects to improve the accessibility of tourism in England and set up his own practice to expand on this work within the wider arena of Europe.

“My studies and my placement at LSBU were invaluable as they have helped to steer my work ever since and assisted me in building an invaluable network of friends and colleagues.”

Chris Veitch had always wanted to pursue a programme of study at Higher Education. LSBU proved to be the perfect option due to its close proximity to his home and the fact that his chosen course related to a wide range of aspects of tourism management: “Studying at LSBU was definitely a life-changing decision which in so many ways has come to define who I am now in my professional life.”

During his studies, Chris secured a work placement in a post that supported the CEO of the English Tourism Council (now VisitEngland), the National body responsible for tourism development in England: “The support I received from them was amazing and I made many good friends.  It also set me on my deep interest in Accessible Tourism, the idea of making tourism inclusive for everyone.”

After graduating with first-class honours from the University, Chris was offered a permanent position as Policy Executive with the English Tourism Council with a remit to focus on accessibility and to help take forward the government agenda at that time of greater social inclusion: “My small contribution to trying to develop and progress the agenda of Accessible Tourism means a great deal to me and I’m now contributing to this on a global scale, not just within the UK. This is a passion and an interest that began from my time at LSBU and has grown since then.”

As Britain’s fifth largest industry and third biggest export earner, Tourism brings together many aspects of UK culture including the public sector, transport, accommodation providers, attractions, hospitality and retail. Many countries look to tourism as a driver to help improve their economic and social conditions and Chris believes that a quality visitor experience is a key part of ensuring success: “In the UK, tourism is made up of many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and they are the backbone of the industry. In my view, public sector support is to help these businesses both understand and reach target markets. Product development and improving quality is of utmost importance, especially now with the emergence of social media, which makes it possible to tell others, globally, of our experience in a second.”

To understand tourism, Chris believes that one needs to grasp the complexity of it. The industry subsumes many factors such as sustainability and team-work: “Tourism is all about working with the many different players that deliver the experience for tourists and you need to see yourself as part of that team.  Studying at LSBU helped me prepare for my career to find projects that are personally satisfying and help pushing the boundaries of my approach to work.”