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Katherine Atkinson

Kathy Atkinson was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the Safer Tourism Foundation in December 2016. She has a fundamental belief in the value of travel and is a backpacker at heart. Kathy’s vision for the Foundation is as a charity that constructively challenges travel industry practice where necessary but which also enables and encourages people to travel well and widely, understanding and managing the risks they face but not being enslaved by them.  Over the last 18 months Kathy has been working to build support for the Foundation’s work right across the travel industry and beyond. She sees a very clear overlap between the  interests of the charity and those of the travel insurance sector. The Safer Tourism Foundation promotes the need for all travellers to take out the right insurance for their own circumstances.

Kathy studied at Cambridge University and has spent the last 20 years working in the charity sector, having begun professional life working for Exxonmobil at Fawley Refinery. She has worked at Voluntary Service Overseas here in the UK and in Nepal, did a stint as a management consultant for a range of clients in the not for profit sector and spent seven years as Chief Executive for the Campaign for National Parks, during which time two new National Parks were designated - the New Forest and the South Downs.

 As well as leading the establishment and development of the Safer Tourism Foundation, Kathy holds a non executive directorship within the NHS, as a lay member of a local clinical commissioning group. She lives in Guildford but visits the mountains whenever possible. In 2016 she and her husband took their kids out of school for a three month round-the-world backpacking adventure so the issues facing the Safer Tourism Foundation are very real for her. This summer Kathy and her family went on a backpacking trip around Central America, with the right insurance.