Former colleagues of Marc Bennett have contacted Travel Weekly to pay respects to the ex-Thomas Cook and Tui director, who is understood to have died in Qatar on Christmas Eve.

Bennett was a former managing director of Tui Sport and previously held roles including director of trade relations and managing director of cruise at Thomas Cook.

He moved to the Gulf region in 2012, holding senior vice-president roles for Emirates and Dubai Tourism, and was most recently senior vice-president of Discover Qatar and Qatar Holidays, a post he left in October.

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.”

Former colleagues paid tribute.

A spokesman for Qatar Airways, parent company of Discover Qatar and Qatar Holidays, said: “We are very saddened to learn of the death of Marc who had been a popular employee at Qatar Airways and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

One Dubai Tourism colleague described Bennett as “a legend in travel and tourism globally” on social media.

A number of people in the industry have reacted to the news on social media and paid tribute.