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Gold Medal appoints former Attraction World boss as new MD

Gold Medal has appointed Simon Applebaum as its new managing director, replacing Lisa McAuley who is departing after taking a majority stake in Silver Travel Advisor.

Applebaum will take on the new role on November 30, having previously worked for a health technology business, and formerly  holding senior roles at Thomas Cook and Attraction World Group, where he was managing director of Attraction World until 2018 and Days out with the Kids until 2020.

Ailsa Pollard, UK & Europe chief executive of Gold Medal parent dnata Travel Group, said: “Simon’s energy, ideas and track record in efficiently leading large and complex businesses is very impressive. He is very effective in managing high performance teams, and innovating across technology, product and operations to deliver against challenging strategic objectives. He is also well-known and well-respected across the trade, and will be a great asset as Gold Medal continues its mission to support its valued trade partners.

“I’m looking forward to watching him apply all his expertise and leadership abilities to Gold Medal as it continues its recovery from the pandemic and reinforces its position as the UK’s leading trade-only long-haul tour operator.”

Applebaum said: “Gold Medal is a powerhouse in the UK trade, with its record of success driven by an outstanding team and the unrivalled relationship it has with agents. My main objective is to ensure I’m supporting them in maintaining the current recovery trajectory through peaks and in to next year, and that recent innovations in product and technology continue to ensure Gold Medal is making the lives of agents better, and facilitate their efforts to market and sell holidays.”

Gold Medal confirmed McAuley will stay on in a part-time capacity until the end of the year to ensure a smooth handover.

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