TRANSEARCH International Dubai Appoints John Watson as Partner and Global Head of Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality

TRANSEARCH International Dubai is delighted to announce the appointment of John Watson as Partner/Global Head of Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality. John brings with him a distinguished career spanning over four decades, marked by leadership roles across prestigious global organisations. His extensive experience in developing robust operational strategies and his deep-rooted understanding of the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries will significantly enhance our firm's growth and innovation. 

John started his career in retail travel with American Express in Edinburgh in 1980. He graduated to become the youngest main-board director of Hogg Robinson Travel/BTI as first Sales Director and then Operations Director with responsibilities including 130 offices, 1,200 staff and 4,600 corporate clients.

Moving on to run European sales for United Airlines in eight countries, John was one of the first ex-pats to work in the USA for United. Based in Philadelphia, he was in charge of airport operations, sales and key account management.

In 1998, John took on the role as Global Head Marketing for Standard Chartered Bank based in Singapore before, in 2001, becoming Managing Director of Marina Developments 18 marinas (leisure, commercial & residential) in the UK.

From 2003 until 2012, John was CEO of the largest inbound tour operator in Asia, based in Bangkok, running 13 countries with some 600 staff. Under John's watch, his company won multiple World Travel Awards as Asia's best tour operator.

John has carried out various consultancy projects based in Macau and Vietnam for casino and tour businesses. Understanding all countries in Asia, John has a passion for the East and is a frequent traveller.

John has a unique blend of working for a family trust, privately held businesses and PLCs at senior levels. He understands the importance of staff, customers and suppliers working in harmony, nurturing and directing resources. Comfortable in strategy, sales & marketing, finance, distribution, customer service & delivery, key account management, partner & deal negotiations and relationships, John has been security cleared to work in sensitive government, airline and banking positions.

John supports the Scottish Government in his role as a GlobalScot and sits on the board of the Beatson Cancer Charity in Glasgow.

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