Tributes have been paid to Julian Burrell, OBE, a leading tourism figure in Wales who championed the industry for more than 40 years, who died at the weekend.
Julian, who was 76 and lived with his wife Anita near Tregaron, was a founder member and former chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA), which represents the nation’s tourism industry. In 2006, he was awarded an OBE for his services to tourism and received a National Tourism Award in 2010 for his outstanding contribution to the tourism industry.
Julian was senior partner in Wales Holidays, a letting agency for more than 500 self-catering cottages, from 1978 to 2013, recognising tourism’s wider value and benefit to Wales. He was volunteer chair of the WTA for eight years from 2002-‘10, a role he relished and was able to represent the industry in the Senedd and Westminster. He was tireless in championing the value and wider economic benefits of tourism.
One of Julian’s most memorable experiences as WTA chair was having afternoon tea and a discussion about tourism with the Prince of Wales on board the Royal train between Carmarthen and Cardiff.
Amongst his many roles, he was a member of the Wales Advisory Tourism Panel from 2007-’11, advising ministers for tourism within the Welsh Government and was also a founder member of the Wales Association of Self Catering Operators (WASCO).
Julian remained active in his retirement, using his vast knowledge to provide content and itineraries for MWT Cymru and the Visit Mid Wales website.
WTA’s current volunteer chair, Andrew Campbell said: “Julian’s passing is a very sad loss to tourism in Wales. He was a most influential figure who strove to make a difference and succeeded.
“When I became WTA chair, he reached out to wish me well, a gesture fully in keeping with his gentlemanly approach to life... courteous and thoughtful at all times, qualities that define our industry.”
Val Hawkins, MWT Cymru’s chief executive, who worked closely with Julian for decades, said: “The tourism sector in Wales has benefited greatly from Julian’s wisdom and passion for more than 40 years.
“He was a Life Member of Mid Wales Tourism and we were all delighted when he was awarded an OBE in 2006 in recognition of his contribution to tourism and. We shall all miss Julian.”
Jonathan Jones, CBE, former Visit Wales tourism and marketing director and chief executive of the former Wales Tourist Board, said: “Julian was so influential in the world of self-catering and also the wider tourism field.
“Although very softly spoken, he had an iron will and a great business brain. Wales tourism is a poorer place without him.”
The late Julian Burrell.