Clia’s Andy Harmer awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Clia UK & Ireland managing director Andy Harmer has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Harmer receives the honour for services to the maritime sector, having played a pivotal role in the restart of cruising during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other industry figures to receive honours include VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe and Nick de Bois, chair of the VisitEngland advisory board, who both receive CBEs.

Those receiving OBEs include Terence Brannigan, chairman of Tourism Northern Ireland; Bernard Donoghue, chief executive of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions; Kurt Janson, director of the Tourism Alliance; and Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance. Windermere Lake Cruises managing director Nigel Wilkinson received an MBE 

Alongside Harmer, former Maritime UK chair Harry Theochari also receives an OBE for services to the maritime sector.

Harmer said: “I’m thrilled and very grateful to receive this recognition. It has been an incredibly challenging few years for everyone in our sector and the way we have all worked together to overcome such enormous challenges has been inspiring.

“I feel privileged every day to work for an industry that employs people from all over the world, people of all backgrounds who are passionate about what they do, creating unforgettable travel experiences.”

Kelly Craighead, Clia chief executive, said: “We send our warmest congratulations to Andy on receiving an OBE for services to the maritime sector.

“During the pandemic, Andy’s tireless commitment, combined with his collaborative and positive approach, set a fantastic example, and showed our industry at its best.”

The ALVA’s Donoghue said of his award: “This is a great honour and a great surprise. Tourism and culture have had the most turbulent, challenging few years and the public have been reminded of how important they are to our lives, so it’s an enormous privilege to be able to contribute to their recovery, growth and dynamism.

“I’m very grateful – and touched – to have been nominated and believe that this honour also reflects and recognises those with who I work in Alva and across the cultural sector.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “This historic Platinum Jubilee is not only a celebration of the monarch but of the qualities she possesses. The honours she confers this week reflect many of those qualities that have been invaluable from all different walks of life and to communities across the UK.

“I pay tribute to all of this year’s winners. Their stories of courage and compassion are an inspiration to us all.”

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