Learn more about the people behind Meraki Travel
Meet The Team
Matt Hodgson was appointed programme manager at Meraki Travel, part of DER Touristik UK, in June this year.
He is responsible for leading the team who are creating the destination experiences, selecting the product range, making the technology work, designing the booking journey and making sure Meraki Travel customers have the best possible holiday experience.
He’s spent the past 20 years working in the worldwide tailor-made travel sector, including 10 years at Trailfinders in front line sales and leading sales teams. He went on to spend eight years at Travel Nation as general manager, helping grow the company from seven employees to more than 50.
Before joining Meraki Travel he worked at the charity British Exploring Society, leading on strategic redirection, marketing and partnerships.
Although hard to choose a favourite Meraki Travel destination, when pushed he’d have to say South Africa: “It’s got it all, from wildlife to beaches and some of the best food and wine on the planet.”
His all-time best holiday experience was four weeks in Indonesia with his family – some luxury, some basic – with lots of culture and the amazing hospitality of South East Asia.
Outside work family keeps him busy and, when he’s not riding his bike or watching Netflix, he spends time mostly planning the next big trip.
Roxanne Howard is senior product executive at Meraki Travel, heading up the product department, operations and the new store in High Street Kensington.
Prior to joining Meraki Travel, Roxanne spent five years heading up the Kuoni cruise department and before that she opened Kuoni’s first John Lewis partnership store in Southampton as the store manager. She has also worked for Virgin Holidays and Thomas Cook in front line sales and leading sales teams and lived in Canada’s east coast for three years.
Her favourite Meraki Travel destination has to be Sri Lanka – amazing food, culture and she was lucky enough to spot a leopard in Yala National Park.
Her best all-time favourite destination has to be South East Asia – she has travelled there many times and always experienced something new and amazing. Whilst anchored in the famous Halong Bay for the night, she sat on the top deck watching the most incredible lighting storm across the bay.
She’s always researching and planning her next adventure. Having just moved to London she’s busy checking out all the bites and sites.
As marketing and content senior executive, Charlotte is responsible for implementing the marketing strategy at Meraki Travel, driving customers to the website and content creation.
Prior to joining Meraki Travel, Charlotte worked as marketing executive for Contiki Holidays promoting worldwide tours to the 18-35s market and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Before that she spent two years living in New Zealand which she lovingly refers to as her second home and travelled through Australia, Asia and the Americas. Her career started back in 2011 as the dealer marketing assistant for MINI UK.
She’s widely travelled with her favourite holiday destination being South Africa: “You can’t beat the thrill of a safari, the views over table mountain, the beaches and an evening of delicious local wine and traditional South African braai.”
Her best travel experience was road tripping down the west coast of America, visiting the National Parks, spectacular coastal drives and campfires out under the stars.
She loves adventure and adrenalin, enjoying kayaking, hiking, has two two bungy jumps and three sky-dives under her belt, is a qualified PADI Divemaster and her greatest achievement was a 16 day Everest Base Camp hike in April 2016.
Ann-Marie is the sales and operations assistant at Meraki Travel.
She’s spent a total of seven years working in the travel Industry, overseas and in the UK, starting with four years working on board Disney Cruise Line in merchandise and on-board sales, travelling through the Caribbean islands, through the Panama Canal and up to Alaska. Ann-Marie continued working with The Walt Disney Company for another year, living and working in Walt Disney World, Florida.
Once arriving home, she planned memorable backpacking trips around the globe with STA Travel. Working here for two years enabled Ann-Marie to visit Indonesia and continue her passion for travel.
Her favourite Meraki destination is Canada/Inside Passage: “It’s beautiful - the scenery, the wildlife… it is so peaceful with so many activities from horseback riding to dog sledding and all you can eat crab!”
Her best travel experience was Graceland in Memphis, giving her an understanding of the public’s love for the King of Rock and Roll. She’s currently planning her next adventure in East Africa; excited to see more wildlife.
Alex is a sales and operations assistant at Meraki Travel. Before relocating to London earlier this year, she spent a year and a half working as an operations executive for STA Travel in Romania. She has travelled to Italy, Hungary and the UK.
London has always been her favourite place to visit and she enjoys spending time in the parks. As testament of her love for the capital city, she volunteered at Winter Wonderland over the Christmas period in 2017.
Her favourite Meraki Travel destination is India because of the beautiful architecture, including the iconic Taj Mahal.
Alex is passionate about art and enjoys taking photographs in her spare time.
Philip is the product executive at Meraki Travel.
Before joining Meraki Travel his previous role was as product manager for Traveleyes, an international tour operator for blind and sighted travellers.
Philip was also a tour manager for Traveleyes, leading groups of visually impaired and sighted travellers across the UK and overseas in destinations such as Transylvania, Madagascar and Ghana.
If he had to choose a Meraki destination to travel to it would be British Columbia, Canada - for the iconic wildlife spotting, both whales and bears.
His other favourite destinations are Italy, for the phenomenal food and wine and California for the exciting cities and huge sporting events.
His favourite travel experience of all time was the sunset at the Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar.
He was born in Canada, but raised in sunny Scarborough, so is naturally an ice cream and fish and chip enthusiast. He studied History, and is particularly interested in early Medieval history, the history of flags and the North Yorkshire Coast.
Hannah is the content writer for Meraki Travel. She’s responsible for researching and writing engaging content for Meraki Travel’s portfolio of destinations, including India and South Africa.
Since graduating, she’s worked for two years as a content executive for a digital marketing agency and a further for two years as freelance copywriter for various travel clients, including Expedia, TUI and TravelSupermarket. She was also a freelance reporter for The Liverpool Echo after completing a NCTJ diploma.
Her favourite holiday destination is New Zealand and she most enjoyed skydiving over Lake Taupo and working for a month on a lama trekking farm in Kaikoura.
Her favourite Meraki Travel destination would have to be China for its sheer diversity. It’s one of the few places in the world which offers a unique blend of modern and ancient culture, from the legendary Great Wall to Hong Kong’s spirited street life – not to mention the awe-inspiring landscapes and scenery.
Having frequently moved around while growing up, from the Outer Hebrides to Cyprus, her passion for travel began at a young age. After graduating with an English Literature degree from the University of Reading, she called Liverpool home for four years until eventually making the move to London earlier this year. She spends her free time I upcycling vintage furniture and enjoys weekend city breaks.