Management Board

Responsible for the management and governance of the association on behalf of the Advisory Board. The Management Board are Directors of ATTA® Limited

Who is on the ATTA® Management Board?

Nigel Vere Nicoll FRGS President, Group Managing Director, Company Secretary

President from 2018,CEO 2000 - 2017, Board Member Since 1996

Phone: +44 (0)20 7937 4408

A founder member of The African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA®) , Chief Executive for over 20  years, and President since 2018.  An elected Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society since 1992.

As a former MD of Abercrombie & Kent's Hotel & Lodge Division in Kenya, CEO of Tour Operator, Wild Africa Safaris, Head of Marketing Mount Charlotte-Thistle Hotels UK, MD of Travel Agency Universal Travel and Proprietor of two hotels in Scotland, he has extensive experience in hotel management, tour operating & marketing in UK and Africa.

Nigel has been an advisor on tourism and crisis management to Foreign & Commonwealth Office Consular Stakeholder Panel, the FCO Travel Advice Review Group (TARG), and the United Nations WTO Tourism Emergency Response network (TERN).  As African tourism advisor to the Brenthurst Foundation, established by the Oppenheimer family to fund development in Africa.  He was appointed International Tourism advisor to the President of Malawi from 2011-2014.

John Corse
John Corse Chairman

ATTA Director 2015/16, ATTA Global Advisory Board Member Since 2019

Phone: +255 (0)27 254 8967

John Corse has been elected Chair of ATTA® bringing a wealth of experience in African tourism and commerce. He is currently Managing Director of Serengeti Balloon Safaris, a Director of both Tanzania Association of Tours Operators (TATO) and Responsible Tourism Tanzania, as well as Chairman of Arusha Bicycle Centre, a social enterprise.

Born and brought up in Kenya, he found a natural love of the outdoors, spending most school holidays out and about in the many wilderness areas of the country, often on horseback or by camel. He was educated in the UK and gained a degree in Economics and Agricultural Economics at the University of Exeter. He served 6 years as a British Army office in the UK and further afield, earning a Commendation for Valuable Service whilst on active duty in Bosnia.

Returning to Tanzania in 1998 firstly as Manager of Sand Rivers in the Selous Game Reserve, then as General Manager of Tanzania Tea Packers. He is a founder member of the Aids Business Coalition of Tanzania. He served for 8 years as Managing Director of Nomad Tanzania. In 2015, he joined Fastjet Tanzania, an African low-cost air carrier, becoming General Manager. John has served four years on ATTA® boards as a director in 2015/16 and from 2019 representing Tanzania on the newly formed Global Advisory Board.

He is passionate about African travel, the environment that sustains it and the communities that are its stakeholders. He believes strongly in the principle that tourism transfers wealth to these fragile places and their people, protecting their future and helping to develop their countries. He is a bridge-builder, who likes to encourage a collaborative approach to complex problems.

Claire Cooper.jpeg
Claire Cooper HR Director

Claire Cooper HR

Phone: +44 (0)7811 111 200

Claire Cooper graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a 2:1 in Management and Education.  Whilst at University, Claire successfully project managed a restaurant set up and a professional sailing team on tour.  Upon leaving University, Claire joined the `Business Action on Homelessness’ project for the Business in the Community charity, facilitating CEO’s from the top 250 FTSE at St James Palace to address and support the Homeless issues within London. From this Claire became a Project Manager for a Management Consultancy in London, where projects included preparing companies for Investors In People (IIP) accreditation, developing communication strategies and running facilitated workshops, initiating senior management coaching and management development programmes for companies such as Budgens, Blockbuster, National Air Traffic Services, Clerical Medical and Mercury Asset Management. Claire then managed high street branches of two recruitment companies, Reed Accountancy and Arden Shields, successfully through the IIP process. 

In 2000 Claire set up Blue Apple HR Solutions Ltd, taking responsibility for all aspects of the business cycle from sales & marketing and business development to operational recruitment, delivery of training and provision of HR consultancy.  Clients included  Winkworth Estate Agents developing their Management teams, implementing Health & Safety programmes and developing their Sales Academy; Yes Loans & Mortgages developing a strategic platform for growth; and the Welsh Development Agency providing a total outsourced HR service to 21 Regeneration groups, looking at HR strategy, recruitment, induction and training for all staff. 

Claire was appointed Chair of the Young Institute of Directors and the Institurte of Directors, a prestigious role she was honoured to fulfil.  Her main tasks were to define the need of the Institute to the emerging leaders and to establish a structure for the delivery of director education and learning. 

The Company was sold in 2008 and Claire relocated to Devon. 

Claire Cooper HR was launched as an independent HR and H&S consultancy in 2013.  Her Company continues to support companies in a variety of industry sectors from estate agencies, hotels, charity, luxury goods and vehicles, food processing and distribution, renewable energy, travel, marketing and PR agencies.

Chris Mears Executive Director | ATTA & Managing Director | Experience Africa Events


Phone: +44 (0)20 7937 4408 / +44 (0) 7710 306 286

Chris joined ATTA® as COO in January 2017 after previously spending 10 years living in Cape Town running the Cape Town office for long time ATTA® member Acacia Adventure Holidays. 

Chris took over as CEO on 01 January 2018

Chris has spent all his career involved with African Tourism and has a deep seated passion for the continent having traveled extensively including overland from London to South Africa with extended periods of time in Tanzania.

Chris' experience covers all aspects from reservations, sales and marketing to operations and product development.

After running ATTA as CEO from January 2018 to September 2020 Chris took over as Managing Director of Experience Africa Events and takes over the responsibility for all of ATTA's events including trade shows, networking event and the flagship Experience Africa held in London in June