A Pembrokeshire man who spent more than a decade working abroad has decided to return to his Welsh roots and the very company that kickstarted his career in tourism over twenty-five years ago.
Paul Stone, 48, from Begelly, has been appointed as Business Relationship Manager for Wales’ largest theme park, Oakwood, 26 years after first working at the park in his early twenties.
The father of one spent two summer seasons working at the Pembrokeshire-based attraction as a ride supervisor back in the early 1990s, and after an eleven-year stint working abroad, could not pass up the opportunity to return back to where it all started.
Paul is now taking on the role of Business Relationship Manager to help grow Oakwood’s relationship with local partners and promote the investments made to the attraction in recent years. Having spent more than 30 years in sales and customer service positions, including a regional sales manager role at an education insurance firm, as well as seven years at an independent publisher, where he was instrumental in leading the company to a £1.4m turnover, Paul is well placed to combine his business skills with his local knowledge and contacts for the role.
[/aoa]The sales specialist also spent over a decade oversees in the tourism industry, working as director of national sales for a Dominican Republic tour operator and as a business manager for First Choice holidays across a number of countries including Mexico, Dominican Republic and the Balearic Islands. Both roles saw him responsible for a team of 12-100, overseeing budgets and health and safety protocols, organising excursions and increasing sales.
While his international stint enabled him to indulge in a number of bucket list activities, including swimming with dolphins and scuba-diving in the Caribbean, the green grass of home in Pembrokeshire was calling.
Paul said: “Having lived abroad for over 10 years, I was really beginning to miss Wales and decided to make the move back. After seeing the role at Oakwood advertised, I knew it was the job for me.
“Oakwood holds so many fond memories for me. I loved working at the park when I was younger and combined with my passion for sales, I couldn’t wait to return and help the park to grow. Coming back after so many years was completely surreal but it’s good to be home and fantastic to see that stalwarts of the Pembrokeshire tourism industry, like Oakwood, remain.”
Now living in Carmarthen, Paul is looking forward to using his expertise in his new job to help boost Oakwood’s visibility and uphold excellent custom satisfaction. His new role will see him support the park’s growth and development, liaising with companies and customers across Wales and further afield to maintain and build new and existing relationships.
Sue Elaiho, Director at Oakwood Theme Park:
“We are thrilled to bring Paul on board at Oakwood and believe that he will be a great asset to the park and its customers across the UK. Paul has vast experience within the sales and client relations sector, with a proven track record of delivering excellent results. Paul also has an inside knowledge of the park and an extensive list of contacts and friends across Pembrokeshire.
“It’s great to welcome him back after all of these years and we have no doubt that his appointment will help to support our ambitious growth plans for the years to come.”