Team

TeamMeet the team who bring your tours to life.

Our travel experts are our company!

We are proud of our multinational and multicultural team. They are our strongest asset and have been chosen not only for their destination and product expertise, but also for their passion for travel and willingness and ability to provide friendly, professional, highly personalised and accurate service.

Between them, they have travelled all over Europe and speak all the major European languages. They know Europe inside-out and are eager to show it to your groups.

There is just so much to see!

Our team

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Kourosh Abbassi

Director

Kourosh Abbassi

Director

Having left Iran in 1979, Kourosh and his family swiftly adopted England as their home.

Kourosh started his education at the quintessential English boarding school of St Bede’s in the depths of rural Sussex and it was here where he learned to appreciate English humour, culture and even food!

In the ensuing years, he has lived mainly in London apart from a couple of years in Sydney, after finishing back-packing around the world.

Kourosh’s first experience of working in the travel industry was when he was 18 and worked as a resort rep in Majorca (one of Spain’s Balearic Islands), looking after groups of young, unruly Brits! Despite a whole summer of this rather challenging experience, he chose the travel industry as his profession after studying Travel and Tourism and Business Management.

Over the years, Kourosh has worked in various roles in both outbound and inbound travel (retail and wholesale), including Sales & Marketing, Product and Business Development.

Kourosh joined Sovereign Tourism in 2008 as General Manager, later becoming a Director. He is responsible for the overall direction, management and growth of the business.

Apart from his passion for travel and visiting far-flung corners of the world, Kourosh follows politics and current affairs, enjoys reading and loves going to the theatre.

Country of origin:
Languages spoken:
English,  Persian
Countries visited:
Argentina,  Austria,  Australia,  Belgium,  Bhutan,  Bolivia,  Botswana,  Brazil,  Cambodia,  Canada,  China,  Cyprus,  Czech Republic,  Denmark,  Egypt,  Fiji,  France,  Germany,  Greece,  Hong Kong ,  India,  Iran,  Ireland,  Israel,  Italy,  Kenya,  Morocco,  Nepal,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Norway,  Pakistan,  Peru,  Portugal,  Russia,  Singapore,  South Africa,  Spain,  Sweden,  Switzerland,  Thailand,  Tibet,  Turkey,  United Arab Emirates,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vatican City,  Zambia
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Rosie St. Mart

Finance Manager

Rosie St. Mart

Finance Manager

Born in Mauritius, Rosie joined Sovereign Tourism in 1987 and is an invaluable member of the team, responsible for all aspects of finance within the company.

In addition to this role, Rosie is also responsible for all our computer systems and technology, all of which keep her quite busy!

In her spare time, Rosie enjoys decorating and painting her house and gardening and later relaxing in a Spa.

Country of origin:
Mauritius
Languages spoken:
English,  French
Countries visited:
China,  France,  Germany,  Greece,  Hong Kong,  Mauritius,  Portugal,  Switzerland,  Tunisia,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States
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Jill Hutton

Business Development Manager

Jill Hutton

Business Development Manager

Having studied Spanish and management at Leeds University, Jill started her career by working overseas for a UK tour operator in Spain, France and Greece. Upon her return to London, she spent two years working for a Spanish tour operator before joining Sovereign Tourism in 1988.

Jill’s responsibilities include liaising with our key partners to research,  develop themes and itineraries and price them for both adult and student groups. Her vast product and destination knowledge also means that she is often the first point of contact for any Events or Performing Group tours which need to be organised.

Jill’s enthusiasm and positive nature is truly infectious and never wanes! She loves proposing fresh and exciting experiences for groups and also loves hearing about their experiences afterwards!

Jill enjoys art, current affairs and all film, especially French & Spanish films. She loves 20th century American Literature and is passionate about music, cooking, swimming and cycling.

Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Languages spoken:
English,  Spanish
Countries visited:
Australia,  Austria,  Belgium,  Canada,  Croatia,  Czech Republic,  France,  Germany,  Greece,  Hungary,  Ireland,  Israel,  Italy,  Jamaica,  Luxembourg,  Norway,  Monaco,  Morocco,  Netherlands,  Poland,  Portugal,  Russia,  Singapore,  Spain,  Sweden,  Switzerland,  St. Lucia,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vatican City
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Ilenia Simonelli

Operations Manager

Ilenia Simonelli

Operations Manager

Ilenia was brought up in a village near Rome. She has always had a passion for travel and has a Degree in Tourism Sciences and a Masters Degree in Project and Management of Tourist Systems.

Ilenia started her full-time career with Sovereign as an Operations Executive in 2013 and later became Operations Supervisor and then Operations Manager.

As the Manager, she looks after an ever-growing team of Operators and provides support for them as well as taking care of workload allocation, training, trouble-shooting and sourcing primary products. Ilenia also has a key role in liaising with our clients to ensure we meet our customer-service goals.

When not working, Ilenia likes travelling, dancing, photography, street art, watching documentaries and going to art galleries. Being Italian, she is naturally passionate about food and is always up to date with the food scene in London!

Country of origin:
Italy
Languages spoken:
English ,  Italian,  French,  Spanish,  Portuguese (currently learning!)
Countries visited:
Austria,  Canada,  Cyprus,  Denmark,  France,  Germany,  Ireland,  Italy,  Malta,  Monaco,  Netherlands,  Portugal,  Spain,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vatican City
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Anastasia Clayton

Operations Supervisor

Anastasia Clayton

Operations Supervisor

Anastasia grew up in Nizhny Novgorod (formerly Gorky), in central Russia, where she studied and got a diploma in Accounting and Bookkeeping and BSc in Applied Physics & Microelectronics from Nizhny Novgorod State University.

Her first taste of the travel industry was during her student years when she worked as a train attendant on a railway line running from Nizhny Novgorod to the Black Sea. Years later, she chose to make travel her profession as well as her passion.

In 2001, Anastasia help set up a new office in London for an Inbound Tour Operator from Russia. Many years later, she joined another Russian Inbound Tour Operator as Senior Manager in the Groups Department where she also helped develop products.

In recent years, Anastasia worked for an English Tour Operator in London, looking after Educational, Special Interest and Performing Groups where she was responsible for all aspects of group travel from costing, itinerary planning and negotiating with suppliers, right through to operations.

As well as operations and management, Anastasia’s other skills include financial analysis, accounting, legal procedures, marketing, product development and contract negotiation.

In the past, Anastasia has sung in choirs and she also plays the piano, however, these days her favourite hobbies are mountain skiing and sea swimming.

Country of origin:
Russia
Languages spoken:
English,  Russian,  basic German
Countries visited:
Andorra,  Armenia,  Austria,  Bulgaria,  Czech Republic ,  Denmark,  Egypt,  Estonia,  France,  Germany,  Greece,  Ireland ,  Italy,  Kazakhtsan,  Latvia,  Lithuania,  Montenegro,  Netherlands,  Russia,  Spain,  Tunisia,  Turkey,  Ukraine,  United Kingdom,  Vatican City
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Valda Kampf

Performance & Special Interest Expert

Valda Kampf

Performance & Special Interest Expert

Brought up in the South West of England, Valda has travelled extensively around the World; just check the list below!

Valda’s career started by working in Paris for a French tour operator, and this inspired her to become a Tour Manager where she spent three years travelling across most parts of Continental Europe. During this time Valda built up an immense knowledge of different countries, cultures, attractions and itineraries.

A key member of the Sovereign team since 1991, Valda has a passion for travel and as Performance & Special Interest Expert helps ensure that our groups have enriching and unique experiences too!

When not working or travelling. Valda enjoys languages, running, gardening, cooking, arts & crafts and volunteering with the elderly, children & for environmental issues.

 

Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Languages spoken:
English,  French,  Italian,  German
Countries visited:
Albania,  Andorra,  Argentina,  Australia,  Austria,  Belgium,  Belize,  Bolivia,  Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Brazil,  Canada,  Chile,  China,  Costa Rica,  Croatia,  Cuba,  Cyprus,  Czech Republic,  Denmark,  Ecuador,  El Salvador,  Estonia,  Fiji,  Finland,  France,  Gambia,  Germany,  Greece,  Honduras,  Hungary,  Iceland,  India,  Indonesia,  Ireland,  Italy,  Jamaica,  Kenya,  Kosovo,  Latvia,  Liechtenstein,  Lithuania,  Luxembourg,  Malaysia,  Malta,  Mauritius,  Mexico,  Monaco,  Morocco,  Myanmar,  Namibia,  Nepal,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Nicaragua,  Norway,  Pakistan,  Peru,  Poland,  Portugal,  Romania,  Russia,  Serbia,  Singapore,  Spain,  Sri Lanka,  Sweden,  Switzerland,  Thailand,  Tunisia,  Turkey,  United Arab Emirates,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Uruguay,  Vatican City,  Zambia,  Zimbabwe
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Maire Griffin

Senior Operations Executive

Maire Griffin

Senior Operations Executive

Born in London, Maire studied Economics and Geography at University and later, Law at the University of Westminster.

Maire has been working at Sovereign Tourism since 1987, bringing extensive knowledge and experience to our Operations team.

Her attention to detail and logistical excellence is essential whilst operating large and complex touring groups. Over the years, Maire has successfully operated hundreds of groups including Educational and Performing groups as well as large events. She is also involved in the planning and implementation of various in-house projects and handling different aspects of training for the company.

Maire has a broad knowledge of many areas of Special Interest tours which include Faith-Based tours, Theatre and Drama and World War I groups.

Outside of work, Maire enjoys reading, gardening, cycling and going to the theatre.  She also spends a lot of time watching her son play soccer.

Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Languages spoken:
English
Countries visited:
Albania,  Australia,  Austria,  Belgium,  Cyprus,  France,  Gambia,  Germany,  Greece,  Hong Kong,  Hungary,  Indonesia,  Ireland,  Italy,  Jamaica,  Jordan,  Kenya,  Malta,  New Zealand,  Spain,  Switzerland,  Thailand,  United Arab Emirates,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vatican City
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Lyn Eager

Operations & Business Development Executive

Lyn Eager

Operations & Business Development Executive

Lyn was born in London where she gained a degree in Business Studies, before starting her career in inbound travel in 1992.

She joined Sovereign Tourism in the year 2000. Her excellent knowledge of London and the rest of the UK and Ireland plus her passion for travel across Europe, bring yet more knowledge to the team.

Lyn also has a broad knowledge of many areas of Special Interest tours which include Sports, Methodist / Baptist trails, Literature, Garden tours and World War II.

Outside of travel, her other passion is sports (she is a big fan of Chelsea soccer club), as well as history, art, music, walking and photography.

Lyn likes to keep up-to-date with the latest additions to the London scene; hotels, restaurants, museums and exhibitions.

Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Languages spoken:
English
Countries visited:
Argentina,  Australia,  Austria,  Barbados,  Belgium,  Bolivia,  Botswana,  Brazil,  Canada,  Chile,  China,  Croatia,  Cuba,  Cyprus,  Czech Republic,  Denmark,  Egypt,  Fiji,  France,  Gambia,  Germany,  Greece,  Hong Kong ,  Hungary,  India,  Indonesia,  Ireland,  Italy,  Jordan,  Kenya,  Malaysia,  Morocco,  Namibia,  Nepal,  Netherlands,  Norway,  Poland,  Portugal,  St. Vincent,  Singapore,  South Africa,  Spain,  Switzerland,  Thailand,  Turkey,  United Arab Emirates,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vatican City ,  Zimbabwe
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Marisa Felder

Business Development Executive

Marisa Felder

Business Development Executive

Although born in Zug, Switzerland, Marisa was brought up in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the first ten years of her life.

Having completed a degree in London, she then joined a tour operator running educational tours across Europe.

Marisa joined Sovereign Tourism in 2005 as Operations Executive, later becoming a Business Development Executive. In both roles, Marisa  has loved perfecting travel plans for our groups and building lasting relationships with our partners.

Marisa has a particularly strong knowledge of Britain, Italy, Spain and Germany.

In her free time, she enjoys travelling, cooking, dancing and going to the theatre.

Country of origin:
Switzerland
Languages spoken:
English,  French,  German,  Portuguese
Countries visited:
Argentina,  Austria,  Belgium,  Brazil,  Croatia,  Czech Republic,  Cyprus,  Denmark,  Egypt,  France,  Germany,  Greece,  Hungary,  Ireland,  Italy,  Jordan,  Netherlands,  Morocco,  Norway,  Poland,  Portugal,  Singapore,  Spain,  Sweden,  Switzerland,  Thailand,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vatican City
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Carolin Ayling

Head of German Market & Operations Executive

Carolin Ayling

Head of German Market & Operations Executive

Brought up in the Eastern part of Germany, Carolin had an American accent when she first joined our team, due to spending a year at school in Texas. However, a few years of living in London have turned her accent into a very English one!

Carolin studied Cultural Engineering and Tourism at University.

She joined Sovereign Tourism in 2011 as an Operations Executive, later taking responsibility for our German-speaking markets as well.  Over the years, Carolin has operated some very complex tours as well as itinerary planning and quotations for the German-speaking markets.

Carolin is highly motivated and enthusiastic about her work. One of her passions outside work is baking and over the years, she has delighted her colleagues with a selection of her legendary cakes!

Country of origin:
Germany
Languages spoken:
English,  German
Countries visited:
Austria,  Croatia,  Czech Republic,  Denmark,  France,  Greece,  Indonesia,  Ireland,  Italy,  Netherlands,  Portugal,  Singapore,  Spain,  Sweden,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vatican City
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Leticia Cristóbal

Operations Executive

Leticia Cristóbal

Operations Executive

Leticia was brought up in Valladolid, Spain. She started working in different areas of tourism at the same time as studying for a Tourism Degree and later, her Masters in Tourism Activities Management.

Leticia’s love of languages other than Spanish is the reason she did part of her studies in France and she speaks basic French and is now learning Italian.

Her other passions are travelling, reading historical novels and wine tasting. She is also very fond of the arts, especially painting.

Leticia has a solid background in travel and tourism, having worked for a number of international hotel chains and a tour operator prior to joining us in 2018.

She is very enthusiastic and puts all her energy and skills into her work, thus ensuring that groups in her care have memorable and unique experiences.

Country of origin:
Spain
Languages spoken:
English,  Spanish,  basic French,  basic Italian
Countries visited:
France,  Ireland,  Italy,  Portugal,  Spain,  United Kingdom,  Vatican City
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Stiina Süvaorg

Business Development Executive

Stiina Süvaorg

Business Development Executive

Stiina is Estonian but has lived most of her life in Finland before moving to London. She joined our Business Development team in 2018 and is responsible for designing itineraries and pricing for our European programmes.

Stiina is an all-rounder with excellent project management skills. As well as operating quality tour programmes in her previous roles, she has experience in delivering a wide variety of events including conferences and award ceremonies.

Stiina loves hiking and very long walks; it is not unusual for her to walk about 2 hours to work some mornings!

Country of origin:
Estonia
Languages spoken:
English,  Estonian,  Finnish,  basic Swedish,  basic Spanish
Countries visited:
Austria,  Czech Republic,  Finland,  France,  Germany,  Greece,  Hungary,  Italy,  Latvia,  Lithuania,  Netherlands,  Portugal,  Spain,  Sweden,  United Kingdom,  Vatican City
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Viktoria Stoecker

Operations Executive

Viktoria Stoecker

Operations Executive

Viktoria was born in the southern part of Bavaria. She studied Tourism Management in Munich before travelling through Europe and South-East Asia.

Later, Viktoria moved to London to pursue her interest in travel and tourism. She joined Sovereign Tourism in 2018 and has already operated some very challenging and complex groups, including large choirs and major events.

London is now Viktoria’s home and she loves the multi-cultural and welcoming atmosphere of the city.

Viktoria has a fondness for mountains as she grew up near them. She loves nature, hiking and cycling, as well as cooking and reading.

Country of origin:
Germany
Languages spoken:
English,  German
Countries visited:
Austria,  Belgium,  Cambodia,  Croatia,  Czechia,  Denmark,  France,  Germany,  Greece,  Indonesia,  Italy,  Laos,  Malta,  Malaysia,  Monaco,  Montenegro,  Netherlands,  Norway,  Poland,  Portugal,  Slovakia,  Slovenia,  Spain,  Sweden,  Switzerland,  Thailand,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  Vatican City
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Tita O’Regan

Operations Consultant

Tita O’Regan

Operations Consultant

Tita studied Management & Events in Tourism in Slovenia for 3 years before moving to London, where she worked in Operations and as a Local Host for a couple of major tour operators, handling tailor-made and luxury holidays.

She joined us in 2019 as Operations Consultant. The primary role of the Operation Consultant is to assist in early operation of confirmed groups.

This means that most of you will be working with Tita at some stage which is a great bonus as she is one of the most helpful and charming people you could ever wish to work with!

Tita has a confident and outgoing personality with a good sense of humour. She is highly motivated, has excellent customer service skills and is also well-travelled.

Country of origin:
Slovenia
Languages spoken:
English,  Slovene,  Serbian,  Croatian,  basic Italian,  basic Spanish
Countries visited:
Austria,  Belgium,  Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Canada,  Croatia,  Czech Republic,  France,  Germany,  Hungary,  Ireland,  Italy,  Malta,  Netherlands,  Serbia,  Slovakia,  Slovenia,  Spain,  Switzerland,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vatican City
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Barbara Vilcsek

Operations & Hotel Purchasing Executive

Barbara Vilcsek

Operations & Hotel Purchasing Executive

Born in Hungary, Barbara studied German Language and Literature and later Business and Administration before turning to the travel industry in 2003 and working for 11 years for a Destination Management Company in Budapest.

Barbara moved to London in early 2015 and worked for a number of years as a Hotel Purchasing Executive. She joined Sovereign Tourism in 2019 as Operations Executive and now she combines this role with Hotel Purchasing.

She is a highly motivated member of the team with in-depth knowledge and experience in areas of research, planning and organisation for group tours and events. Her passion for travel, combined with her customer-care ethos, make Barbara a strong new member of the team.

Country of origin:
Hungary
Languages spoken:
English,  Hungarian,  German
Countries visited:
Austria,  Czech Republic,  Estonia,  France,  Germany,  Ireland,  Israel,  Italy,  Netherlands,  Slovakia,  Slovenia,  Spain,  Switzerland,  United Kingdom,  Vatican City
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Nella De Luca-Bertram

Business Development & Hotel Consultant

Nella De Luca-Bertram

Business Development & Hotel Consultant

Nella works as a Consultant within our team and her primary role is overseeing the Hotel Purchasing team who contract hotels for our groups across Europe. As well as this, she does Sales and Business Development in the Central and South American markets for us.

Nella has a solid 20+ year track record of negotiating group rates and building, developing and maintaining strong relationships with hotels. She also has first-hand knowledge of key and upcoming destinations and tourism trends in the UK and across Europe.

Her negotiating skills and network of contacts, as well as her persistence and determination, are guaranteed to secure the best deals for our groups.

It needs to be said that she is also the life and soul of any party!

Country of origin:
Venezuela
Languages spoken:
English,  Italian,  Spanish
Countries visited:
Antigua,  Argentina,  Aruba,  Australia,  Belgium,  Colombia,  Curacao,  Czech Republic,  Finland,  Germany,  Greece,  Hungary,  India,  Ireland,  Italy,  Jamaica,  Netherlands,  Panamá,  Portugal,  Seychelles,  Spain,  St Lucia,  Sweden,  Switzerland,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States,  Vatican City
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Barbara Vincenti

Hotel Purchasing Executive

Barbara Vincenti

Hotel Purchasing Executive

Barbara is responsible for building relationships with hotels and negotiating and booking accommodation for our groups.

Before joining us in 2019, Barbara worked for various hotels in Italy in Guest Services, as well as a major tour operator in the UK as Contract Coordinator.

Barbara has good analytical, organisational and communication skills.

Her interests away from work are swimming, going to the movies and looking after her son. Not necessarily in that order!

 

Country of origin:
Italy
Languages spoken:
English,  Italian
Countries visited:
Belgium ,  Egypt,  France,  Greece,  Ireland,  Italy ,  Luxembourg,  Malta,  Morocco,  United Kingdom,  Vatican City