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Published on Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Industry pays tribute to former Thomas Cook and TUI director Marc Bennett

Travel industry colleagues have been paying tribute to the former Thomas Cook and TUI director Marc Bennett.

Bennett is understood to have passed away in Qatar on Christmas Eve.

He had moved to the Gulf in 2012 where he worked in senior roles for both Emirates and Dubai Tourism before taking up the position of senior vice-president of Discover Qatar and Qatar Holidays.

He was previously MD of TUI Sport, having held other roles including MD of cruise at Thomas Cook and sales director UK and Paris of Disneyland Paris.

Posting on Twitter, Der Touristik CEO Derek Jones described Bennett as 'always full of energy and great fun to work with', adding: "Thoughts are with his family, especially his kids who he talked about with such pride.

Among those paying tribute on social media were Manchester Central CEO Shaun Hinds, who described his death as 'a real tragedy',  adding: "Such a nice chap always on hand to take the mick, but a genuine top man in equal measure."

Seabourn and Holland America Line UK and Ireland MD Lynn Narraway said he was 'always so kind…respectful and such fun'.

Advantage Leisure Partnership leisure director Kelly Cookes said she had 'many happy memories' of working with Bennett, while Mark Hopper described him as a 'great guy and always lots of fun'.

Matt Harding, head of independent travel agent Strategy and trustee for the Thomas Cook Children's Charity, said he was 'a great and very talented colleague'.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: "We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Doha. Our sympathies are with them at this difficult time."

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