Interview with John Dixon, Chairman and Managing Director of Prestige Holidays

John Dixon is the co-founder, Chairman and Managing Director of independent tour operator Prestige Holidays and has worked in luxury travel for over 40 years. Prestige Holidays is celebrating its 22nd year in the luxury travel market and is  known for its quality holidays, excellent personal service and strong attention to detail. The company features four and five star hotels in Southern Spain, Mallorca, five of the Canary Islands, Cyprus, the Algarve, Madeira, Morocco, Malta and Gozo and in the summer Turkey, The Italian Lakes, Sardinia and Crete. It is also the leading tour operator to Bermuda  and offer a comprehensive programme to Canada. Prestige’s “Closer to Home” brochure features the Isles of Scilly, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm.

What is it that you do exactly?

No two days are ever the same. One day I can be up to my eyes in brochure copy, another I could be number crunching or meeting the Director of a tourist office. I guess that is one of the big attractions of the job! I also need to spend time thinking ahead about how I should develop the company and where our next investment should be directed. I cannot allow the company to stand still.
In fact, we have just launched a new 64 page Croatia brochure so that has taken up a lot of my time over the first quarter of this year and it is a relief and a delight to have the brochure now on the shelves of travel agencies and in the hands of clients and potential clients.  The response to it has been fantastic in terms of agents, bookings and in the media exposure it has received.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love the variety of my job, the travel of course and also the people I work with. We have moulded a great group of people in Prestige Holidays and working with them is a real pleasure.

What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?

One of my favourite places is my friend’s beautiful log cabin that is lost in the woods on an obscure lake in the wilds of Nova Scotia. It’s the perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy the peace. It’s also a great place to go walking and see the wildlife.

Bermuda is one of my favourite destinations and I try to get there at least twice a year with my wife.  One of my favourite hotels is luxurious cottage colony, Cambridge Beaches.  Set on a 30 acre peninsula and offering stunning ocean views, five great beaches and three fabulous restaurants it’s the perfect romantic getaway.

Last but certainly not least is the Phinda Game Reserve in northern KwaZuluNatal. The Vlei Lodge has just a handful of very private beautifully presented suites, service of the highest level and the Game Reserve has some of the best game viewing I have ever experienced in all our visits to South Africa. Just heaven on Earth.

What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?

It has to be dining at sunset on the beach in Bermuda at Cambridge Beaches. Soaking up the stunning views on Long Bay over a glass still sea and enjoying freshly caught fish with my ideal dining companion, my wife of 31 years, Cheri. Yes I’m a romantic and long live romance I say!

Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?

A long time ago I managed a travel agency in London near the BBC in Shepherds Bush. My client list was very impressive including many famous Russian conductors and soloists, actors, writers and jazz musicians. One of my most regular clients was an up and coming actress who appeared on television almost every week and, horror of horrors, I could never remember her name!

And then there was the time I stayed in Antigua in an hotel where Michael Caine and David Warner were staying whilst making a film. The hotel was very quiet so it was almost impossible not to bump into them. In fact I felt very sorry for them because they seemed to spend a lot of time waiting for an improvement in the weather!

Prestige Holidays has many famous clients in different walks of life including politicians, sportsmen and business leaders but we are totally discreet and never name drop.

What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited lots of places in the world but there are still many I’d like to discover.  I want to see more of Southern Africa. Canada fascinates me too, it seems to offer every kind of experience imaginable. Other travel goals are to see real flamenco in Southern Spain,  spend more time with friends in Switzerland and enjoy cosy pub dinners for two in Scotland. And then I have not yet been to South America…!

Thank you for being our latest interviewee, John… the anonymity of the up-and-coming actress makes me wonder if you still can’t remember her name!

If you would like to be interviewed on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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