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MPA’s principal consultants, Alastair Stevenson and Frank Coan, lead all MPA projects. Occasionally, projects need additional skills, for instance finance, HR and IT, for these we engage other highly experienced consultants.


Alastair Stevenson

Consultancy Background and Skills:

Alastair Stevenson’s first job after completing his full time studies was with the then Cornwell, Greene, Bertram Smith (subsequently becoming a part of Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group).   This served as a two year apprenticeship in consultancy and hotel and tourism marketing.

Following a fifteen year career in the industry Stevenson returned to consultancy, founding Marketing Planning Associates in 1987.  The primary focus of his work has remained marketing and associated fields spanning many aspects of the hotel and leisure sector.

Alastair Stevenson has carried out consultancy projects in many countries throughout the world from the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific to the Outer Hebrides, though most assignments have been within Europe.   His clients have included many of the world’s major hotel companies, Government agencies and independent operators.

Employment Experience:

After his first two years working in consultancy, Alastair Stevenson went into the industry with three organisations, the Highlands and Islands Development Board’s regional tourism structure, Forte Hotels and Holiday Inn Worldwide.

Key appointments included:

  • Tourist Officer for Aviemore and the Spey Valley, Scotland’s major year round holiday area.
  • Sales and Marketing Manager, Cumberland Hotel,London.  One of Forte’s major profit earners, an 800 bedroom four star international hotel.
  • Marketing Manager, Overseas Hotels, Forte Hotels.  22 hotels inEurope,Africa, theMiddle EastandWest Indies.
  • Marketing Manager, Special Markets, Forte Hotels.  Promotion of 250 Forte properties in conjunction with airlines, credit card companies, and incentive travel operators.  Launch of leisure clubs throughout the Group and the investigation and development of new markets.
  • Marketing Development Manager, Scotts Hospitality.  Future planning of products, review of marketing plans and new development site appraisal for Holiday Inn hotels in theUK.
  • Marketing Planning Manager, Holiday Inn,Europe,Middle East, AfricaDivision. Marketing strategist overseeing advertising and promotional activity, research and the introduction of theHoliday Inn Garden Courtbrand toEurope.


  • Higher National Diploma, Hotel and Catering Management, Ealing Technical College, 1973.
  • Diploma in Marketing, Chartered  Institute of Marketing, 1975.
  • Tourism Society Fellow
  • Institute of Hospitality Fellow

Frank Coan

Consultancy Background and Skills:

Following a long and successful career in Marketing and Sales in the hotel and leisure industry, including Board level appointments with Forte and Whitbread PLCs, Frank started his consultancy career in 1993.  He has been a senior member of the MPA team since 1995.

Frank’s particular strengths are in research, statistical analysis, SWOTs and in developing business and marketing plans.  Coming from a corporate background, he is strongly focused on analysis leading to strategy and action plans designed to deliver results.  His Board and senior management experience makes him ideal to lead ‘client team’ discussions, as well as working one-to-one, and he is a motivational presenter.

Frank has undertaken consulting projects with Tourist Boards, Hotels, Hotel Companies, Attractions, Consortia, Local Authorities and other public sector organisations.

Employment Experience:

Leaving university with a Mathematics Degree, Frank joined British Oxygen and then BICC as a statistician/analyst.  He began his career in the hospitality industry joining J Lyons and, subsequently, Trusthouse Forte and Whitbread.

Key appointments included:

  • Managing Director, Country Trust.  A franchise business targeted to substantially improve catering quality and profits in country pubs.
  • Marketing & Sales Director, Whitbread Group of Hotels.  Responsible for Lansbury Hotels (43), Country Club Hotels (10), Travel Inns (34).  Managing a team of 26 and a budget of £2.8m.  Covered all marketing programmes, a sales team of 8 and the reservation office.
  • Marketing & Sales Director, Lansbury Hotels (part of Whitbread).  Created new brand name, brand identity and launched Lansbury Hotels.  Also directed activities of Commercial & Systems departments.
  • Marketing & Sales Director, Whitbread Hotel & Leisure.  This division included Whitbread Coaching Inns, Country Club Hotels, Aureon Entertainments
    (a discotheque operation) and Roast Inns (a pub-restaurant operation).
  • Marketing Director, Trusthouse Forte Hotels.  Covered all THF Hotels UK
    marketing and support for overseas offices.  Managed a team of 18 and a budget
    of £3m.

These senior appointments and those preceding, have given Frank hands-on and management experience of:

Research;  Business Planning;  Financial Control;  Brand Development;  Marketing Reviews;  Competitive studies; Product Development;  Pricing;  Market Planning for single and multi-units;  Sales Systems;  Selling;  Reservations;  Marketing;  Marketing Management;  Sales Management;  Recruitment;  Leisure Markets;  Business Markets;  TV and Press Advertising;  Direct Marketing;  Print;  Public Relations.


  • Bsc (Honours) Mathematics, majoring in statistics -BrunelUniversity


Working with Other Specialists

Over 24 years of consulting MPA have been very pleased to work with a large number of other professional firms, including international accountancy/consultancy practices (Deloitte, KPMG),  specialist property companies (Lambert Smith Hampton, Colliers) and many sector specialists.

Consultancy Network

MPA are active associates of the Hotel Solutions Partnership  www.hotelsolutionspartnership.com through which clients have access to an international team of hotel specialists covering all aspects of hotel consulting.