Alan Charles Parker CBE (b. 1946) has had a career in the hospitality sector spanning more than 30 years, from working at his family’s restaurant to running hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Alan was born and grew up in North London where his family ran a restaurant for 40 years. Alan was educated at the University of Surrey and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme. Before joining Whitbread in 1992, he spent 10 years with Bass Plc as Senior Vice President of Holiday Inn Europe, Middle East and Africa based in Brussels, and prior to that, was Managing Director Europe of Crest Hotels based in Frankfurt. Upon joining Whitbread to run its hotel division, Alan implemented a strategy to focus on four-star and budget hotels. Over a 13 year period, he is credited with growing Whitbread Hotel Company to become the largest hotel company in the UK, contributing approximately half of Whitbread’s overall profits.
Alan was promoted to Chief Executive of Whitbread Plc in 2004, having been a member of the board since 2000. He retired in 2010 after 18 successful years with the company, and in the same year was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry Award at the Hotel Cateys. He has also served as a Director and ex-Chairman of the British Hospitality Association, a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, an Executive Committee member of the World Travel and Tourism Council and Non-Executive Director of Jumeirah Group LLC and Saga, amongst others. Up until 2010, Alan was on the Board of VisitBritain for six years.
In 2008, Alan was awarded a CBE for his lifetime of service to the Hospitality Industry. In 2011 the International Hotel Investment Forum announced Alan as the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award 2011. He was honoured by the Hall of Fame in 2007.