Fiona Jeffrey OBE Appointed as ATTA Chair


Fiona Jeffery OBE has been appointed new Chair of the African Travel & Tourism Association (Atta), succeeding former chair Julian Edmunds.

Fiona has served on the Atta board for four years as Industry Relations Director, and has had a long and accomplished career in the travel and tourism industry. Responsible for World Travel Market (WTM) from 1986-2013, both as Managing Director and ultimately as Chairman, Fiona brings a wide breadth of knowledge to the role across all aspects of the industry, from government, national tourist boards and destinations to private sector and international trade bodies and organisations.

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Founder of international water development charity Just a Drop, Fiona’s work has taken her to destinations across Africa undertaking projects to provide clean water and sanitation to remote communities. She also created and launched World Responsible Tourism Day, a responsible tourism drive across the industry globally, in association with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

In 2012, Fiona was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to travel and tourism, and in 2013 received the TTG Contribution to Industry Award.

Commenting on her appointment, Fiona Jeffery OBE said; “Being selected as the new chair of Atta is an unexpected honour I do not take lightly. My predecessors have all done amazing jobs, and my role is to build on their success. With new opportunities emerging all the time, Atta will seek to embrace these, putting the interests of our membership at its heart.

“My love of Africa began on honeymoon with my husband Nigel, exploring Kenya by four-wheel drive vehicle, and I am keen to tackle the issues and opportunities of the industry across the continent. These include sustainability, the dangers of overtourism, wildlife conservation and wider issues around poaching, gender equality and the opportunities of tourism to support socio-economic empowerment and development. It will be important to play our part supporting and furthering the agenda in many of these areas to ensure joined up thinking and increased impact across our industry.”

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.