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NEWS — HOT STORIES 4


Tributes to ‘giant of a man’ Ian Mounser after he loses four-year battle with cancer


to the respect he had from . . . his many friends throughout the travel industry.” Former Co-operative Travel retail director, Trevor


Davis, said Mounser was “a genuine, professional and caring man who will be missed by everyone”. Peter Shanks, former Going Places managing


Lee Hayhurst


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6 • travelweekly.co.uk — 7 May 2015 5


Eulogies poured in this week for Ian Mounser, testifying to the deep affection the trade held for the former SuperBreak sales director. Mounser passed away on April 28 after a long battle with cancer, which started in 2011 as he entered retirement after 23 years with the operator. In that time, Mounser struck up a renowned double act with SuperBreak sales manager Graham Balmforth. The pair became known for their dine-arounds – latterly a highlight at the annual Advantage Travel Partnership conferences. Balmforth described Mounser as “a small guy in stature, but a giant when it came


director, said: “Ian was the best sales professional I have worked with in my time in the travel industry.” Miles Morgan, owner of Miles Morgan Travel, said Mounser was “a warm and genuine man who was always a pleasure to meet”. Rupert Diggins, regional sales manager at Beachcomber Tours, said Mounser was a “defining figure in his career”. Advantage managing director Julia Lo Bue-Said said: “I feel honoured and privileged to have had the opportunity of knowing such a great individual.” Mounser leaves a wife Elizabeth and son Stephen. The funeral will take place at York Crematorium on


“Ian was the best professional I’ve worked with in the travel industry”


May 12 at 1.40pm, followed by a celebration of his life at Sandburn Hall Golf Club, York. The family has asked for no flowers, mourners not to wear black and for donations to be made to Prostate Cancer UK. ❯ Letters, page 28


Operator ‘not to blame’ for Corfu tragedy Lee Hayhurst


The inquest had previously been told the Louis


A repeat of an incident at a Corfu hotel, in which two children died during a Thomas Cook holiday, is possible whether or not a tour operator is involved, an inquest has heard. Andy Cooper, Cook’s former director of


government and external affairs, and director-general of the Federation of Tour Operators, gave evidence on Friday. A day earlier, Cook


representatives refused to answer questions, having taken legal advice. Cooper defended the operator’s


role after the parents of Christianne and Bobby Shepherd, aged six and seven respectively, blamed it for the 2006 tragedy. He told David Hinchliff, the coroner at Wakefield


Coroners’ Court, no tour operator could be expected to carry out health and safety audits on every room.


Corcyra Beach Hotel had assured Cook there were no gas boilers in the property. The boiler that leaked deadly carbon monoxide


was in an outhouse attached to the bungalow in which the Shepherds were staying. Cooper said: “The reality is that it could happen again, but not just because a customer has booked through a tour operator.”


Hinchliff said he felt “depressed that nothing has changed.” But Cooper insisted: “There has been significant change since this incident.” Peter Welsh, Cook’s head of health and safety, described audits it carries out as a


“tick-box exercise”. He said: “Having someone identify a gas heater


and have them check it for safety are two completely different things.” The inquest is expected to end next Tuesday.


MORE HOT STORIES


Ian Mounser and Graham Balmforth


“The reality is


that it could happen again”


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