28 MAR 2011: Chris Astbury is head of marketing at Bath Tourism Plus which is Bath’s destination marketing organization. I had an opportunity to talk to him when he was in Toronto.

Where was your last trip? Business or pleasure?
France, it was pleasure. I had a great time. I went to Paris spent three nights. I went with Eurostar. It was a great journey. I love the city. From there we carried on with friends and drove to Dijon, Hennessy in the Cognac region and went to Avignon.

What’s your favourite airport? What’s the best thing about it?

I would say Terminal 5 at Heathrow is a good experience. It was very personal and it was a very easy experience. I like the amount of glass. You can actually see the aircraft. To have a terminal building with aircraft on three sides was nice.

What’s your "necessity item" for a long flight?
For gentlemen wear a shirt with a breast pocket. You can pop your passport, your landing card, boarding pass I guess that it applies to women as well.

Where’s home?

Bath. I live close to the Royal Crescent which many of your readers will have seen.

What's your favourite city getaway spot?

I like the River Thames. I have done two holidays. You hire a houseboat and you’re traveling four miles an hour. There’s an amazing amount of countryside, and greenery along the Thames strip with charming towns along the way.

What three websites do you visit on a daily basis?

http://visitbath.co.uk/ it’s my website with up to date information. I look at BBC News and check out some of the gossip stuff on ITV Showbiz just to keep up with your friends. I also look at the VisitBritain website quite often.

What are you currently reading?
A Lynwood Barclay thriller “Too close to home.”

If you could invite one internationally famous couple to join you for dinner who would they be?
It would have been nice to meet Neil Armstrong who went to the moon. What an extraordinary thing to have done. At the same table let’s have somebody wild from Broadway like Liza Minnelli.

What are you listening to on your I-Pod?
Will Young who is a British artist. He needs promoting. He won XFactor which is Pop Idol. He’s the artist who sings “Leave Right Now” which was on a dubbing track on last season’s American Idol.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
A vet. I like animals. I like stroking dogs and cuddling cats but apparently vet surgery is not like that.

Do you have a mentor?

Simon Bradley from Visit Britain.

What trait do you admire in people?
Genuineness, authenticity, gumption. It’s the initiative, get up and go ambition. Consideration in this world is another, manners and courtesy.

What is your definition of happiness?

Walking my dog but sadly she died 15 years ago. Her name was Tina.

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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