Thursday, February 6th, 2014 - Golden Compass Tours

Educational tour operator Golden Compass has added the services of Sydney and Auckland based travel experts Hugh Morgan and Dianne Harlow to lead its small group programs covering England, Eastern Europe, Spain, Portugal and Morocco in 2014. The UK based travel operator now has a portfolio of 6 Australian and New Zealand based tour leaders as it continues its focus on developing educational and cultural tours aimed at the Australian and New Zealand mature adult.

Hugh Morgan holds a BA in European History, German, Italian and Spanish from the University of Sydney and has also studied German at the Goethe-Institut in Lueneburg and Berlin, Italian in Perugia, Spanish in Salamanca and Russian in St Petersburg.

Hugh joined Qantas in 1966 and his twenty-five year career with the airline was primarily spent in sales and marketing. His skills were recognised formally with the presentation of a bronze medal by the British Tourist Authority for exceptional services in the promotion of Britain - the first time an Australian has received this coveted award.

After leaving Qantas Hugh completed his BA whilst running a travel consultancy and has led over fifty small groups to various parts of the world. Recent tours have included Mongolia, Siberia, Russia and the Baltic States; Iberia and Morocco; the islands of the Western Mediterranean; and various journeys through Italy, the Alps and the Adriatic.

Hugh is a member of the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society, the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Trust.

Hugh will lead the Golden Compass Discover the Baltic States and Eastern European Discovery programs in 2014.

Dianne Harlow holds a BA degree in Anthropology, History and Politics and an MA(Hons) in Anthropology.

After working as a Program Leader for inbound visitors to Australia and New Zealand, Dianne now leads tours further afield.

Dianne has travelled across Asia on the Trans-Siberian Railway and from London to Asia by van, as well as through Canada, the United States and South America. Further, her travels have taken her through the Caucasus, North Africa, the Middle East, China and South East Asia and countries once under the communist umbrella of the USSR and Yugoslavia.

She met her husband, a New Zealander, while travelling in Iran and now lives in Auckland. While not travelling, she works as an archaeological consultant and operates her own heritage consultancy. Among her other interests are interior design, which she taught for several years, textiles, landscape gardening, theatre and music.

Dianne will lead the Golden Compass Britain's Treasures tour in August, and Iberian Discovery and Moroccan Discovery tours in September and October.

 “Hugh and Dianne have a wealth of experience and their passion for Europe coupled with an understanding of the needs of Australian and New Zealand travellers make them ideal leaders and we are proud to have them on the Golden Compass team”, says Golden Compass CEO Mark Goodwin.

 “All tour leaders assigned to our 2014 educational travel programs are based here in Australia or in New Zealand. Customers benefit from a combination of the expertise that the UK and European based team provides on the organisation and planning of small group travel in Europe whilst being led by people who understand the needs and interests of Australians and New Zealanders. Simple things like the time people prefer to eat can differ enormously between cultures and it’s important to the enjoyment of the group that the tour leader understands this. In addition, an Australian or New Zealand based tour leader will understand the significance of, say, the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux that a French tour leader could miss,” Says Head of Australian and New Zealand Marketing for Golden Compass, Sean Burns.

Hugh and Dianne join Melbourne based tour leaders Carolyn Burns and Dr Jone Gaillard, and Auckland based George Dibley and Louise Shave to cover Golden Compass’s 2014 British, Irish, European and North African educational group tours specifically marketed to Australian and New Zealand mature travellers.

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Golden Compass Tours

Golden Compass was founded in the UK in 1995 by Mark and Caroline Goodwin and has been successfully operating for over 18 years.

Golden Compass are now pleased to offer their unique, fully guided UK and European small group educational travel programs directly to the Australian and New Zealand active mature adult, with all tours priced in Australian and New Zealand dollars.  

Golden Compass is fully bonded in the UK by the Civil Aviation Authority and is an Off-Shore Member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).

Sean Burns
P: 1800132385
M: 04314124876


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