Educational travel specialist Next Generation Travel has appointed Ian Finlay as non-executive director with immediate effect.

Finlay created Tui Travel’s education division and has worked at senior levels with brands including Kingswood and Travel Class.

He joins as NGT is poised to respond to a market upturn with seven strong brands across the UK ready to capitalise on the post-Covid market.

His appointment follows recent moves to strengthen the board, including  former Saga Holidays boss Maria Whiteman joining as managng director in October.

Whiteman said: “Ian has a strong cultural fit with our brand values and behaviours and perfectly meets our requirements as we move forward in this post-Covid period.

“He will provide valuable insight into other sectors within educational travel and help us to deliver our ambitious growth plans through his strategic input and entrepreneurial mind set.

“We are very excited about the opportunities we have as a group in the changed market and are confident Ian can help us on our journey to quickly becoming the UK’s top educational travel group.”

Finlay added: “These have been difficult times for the educational travel industry, but this market is more resilient than other sectors.

“I have long admired the leadership of David Craven and Deborah Beckett in steering the rapid growth of NGT and am impressed by the calibre of the entire board so am looking forward to helping the business to take advantage of gaps in the market and deliver its strategic goals.”