with Simon Bradley, Executive Vice-President The Americas for VisitBritain

How long have you been with VisitBritain? Coming up six years – I’ve always worked in tourism, promoting regions of the U.K. to domestic and overseas markets.

Do you travel a lot? My job is to cover all of the Americas from Canada down into Argentina so I have quite a big territory to cover. Luckily I have a great team, about 30 in all, helping me.

How do Canadian visitors rank? Canada is one of our star performers – we’re shortly expecting to reach the one million mark. The spend is fabulous, and they understand the U.K. so well and know the regions.

What’s the first thing you do when you land back in the U.K.? Quite often I’ll buy a British newspaper – the Guardian or the Observer – and a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate.

What’s Britain’s best kept secret, touristically? Our gastropubs.  They’re all over the country, and combine the best of a pub atmosphere with top quality food.  And real beer too!

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months?  Making recovery happen.  All the conditions are there and we need to pull out of the dip.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? I would say embarking on having children. Mine are now 9, 11, and 14.

Any guilty pleasures? Chocolate and red wine.

Any hobbies or interests?  I coach soccer, and am an avid soccer fan. Camping and kayaking, cycling and walking. Travel, music.

What’s your favourite all-time movie?  Where Eagles Dare.

Have you seen Up in the Air? (Laughs) It’s seriously scary! I recognize too many aspects of it – getting through security, packing just right…

What are you looking forward to watching during the London Olympics? Beach volleyball – which will take place in the historic Horse Guards Parade (in central London).

What are you really bad at?  Ice skating. Hopeless.  

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