- Zip World has appointed Andrew Hudson as its new Chief Executive Officer.
- Since joining the company in 2018, Andrew has helped the business more than double in size from three to seven sites, including a hotel acquisition as part of its new accommodation strategy.
- The new CEO plans to build on the company’s success by expanding its footprint across the UK and overseas.
Wales-based adventure company Zip World has appointed its Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Hudson, as its new CEO.
Andrew starts the role with immediate effect and will focus on continuing the company’s rapid growth as it plans to expand its portfolio of sites and experiences across the UK and overseas.
Since joining Zip World in 2018, Andrew has been responsible for all commercial activity and has played an instrumental role in driving transformational change across the business.
This includes building on the company’s differentiated and innovative experiences within the active leisure sector, adding two further locations to its estate including Lake District based TreeTop Trek, and securing allocated funding as part of the North Wales Growth Deal.
Over the last five years, the business has more than doubled in size, increasing its number of sites to seven, and is on track to attract a total of two million visitors by the end of 2025.
The expansion has seen the company launch its first site outside of North Wales, transforming the iconic Tower Colliery coal mine in Rhigos into Zip World Tower, as well as expanding its offering into accommodation with the acquisition of a hotel.
In addition to leading the company’s expansion, Andrew will oversee its “responsible adventure” mission, including implementing more sustainable operations linked to visitor experiences and ensuring key business decisions and investments enact positive change in the communities in which it operates.
Andrew Hudson, Chief Executive Officer at Zip World, said:
“Zip World has become one of the most aspirational brands in the marketplace over the past decade, creating a multitude of world-class experiences that have helped to preserve and enhance the unique qualities of local areas in post-industrial locations.
“Since joining the company, I have been fortunate enough to lead a talented team to establish a clear vision and marketing strategy for the brand that has played a crucial role in driving sustainable growth.
“I am particularly proud of the company’s resilience during the pandemic and exponential growth since then, having launched six new experiences and doubling visitor numbers since pre-pandemic levels.
Last month, Andrew led the project team which secured allocated matched funding as part of the North Wales Growth Deal to help them realise their vision as a leading responsible tourism destination.
The North Wales Growth Deal is a £1billion investment to the region, £240million of which has been funded by both Welsh and UK Governments.
The funding is estimated to boost the North Wales economy by an additional £6.8 million per year and will help to launch a new inclusive cable car, provide sustainable transport links between its sites and rural communities through a new electric bus network, as well as all-year-round employment opportunities to support regional wealth.
Sean Taylor, Founder of Zip World, said:
“This appointment marks a new era for Zip World and I’m incredibly excited for the company’s future. We have experienced huge growth since the opening of our first site in 2013, and Andrew’s contribution, loyalty and dedication to the business have been transformative.
“His leadership skills, extensive experience and laser focus on strategic decision making based on consumer insights have meant that we’ve been able to establish an innovative and unique business that is truly a leader in its category.
“Our goal is to create unforgettable experiences for our customers, and I have no doubt that Andrew will continue to strengthen Zip World’s reputation as the UK’s leading active leisure brand while driving forward responsible and sustainable change.”
Zip World launched its first flagship adventure, Velocity, in 2013 with eight team members and now employs over 800 people at peak trading, with over 90% of its staff coming from local communities close to its sites.
The company has 29 experiences across its seven sites in Wales and England and has recently launched its own branded accommodation offering.