20 Aug

Scottish Travel Industry legend dies

ABTA was deeply saddened today to hear of the death of Alec Mitchell at the age of 94. Alec had worked in the travel industry for over 60 years starting as a clerk in Mackay Brothers of Aberdeen in 1933 and rising to Managing Director of Patons Travel Service in the same city.

Over the course of his career Alec’s leading role in the industry was recognised both as a member and honorary President of the Scottish Passenger Agents Association and President of the Grand Order of European Tour Organisers. His contribution to the city of Aberdeen was also recognised by his Chairmanship of the Aberdeen and Grampian Tourist Board’s Management Committee.

Alec gave great service to ABTA over the years with lengthy terms on the Tour Operators Council and Board of Directors and numerous committees, in particular the Code of Conduct Committee, which he chaired with distinction for 16 years. Alec was also a founder trustee of the ABTA Benevolent Fund.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “Everyone who came into contact with Alec spoke very highly of him, he was a true gentleman and ABTA and the travel industry will be greatly diminished by his passing. He will be missed.”

Sandy MacPherson past SPAA President paid tribute: “Alec was one of the most respected figures in the Scottish travel trade. He was a real character. Everybody was always delighted to see him in his later years whenever he appeared at a Scottish travel event.”

Jack Burnett Managing Partner of Munro’s Travel Group also paid tribute: “The partners and staff of Munro’s Travel Group are deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Alec Mitchell.  Our thoughts are with his wife Dodie and the family. He was one of nature’s gentlemen and well liked by everyone who met him.  The Scottish Travel Trade has lost a “True Legend”, a travel man for 60 years, who served the SPAA and ABTA and reached the highest office with both associations.  It will be hard to find his like again”.

In 1998 ABTA awarded Alec the Garner Medal of Honour its highest recognition for outstanding contribution to ABTA and the travel industry in general.