Andy Whiteside

Founder and Director

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With 30 years experience in journalism, branding, marketing, advertising, public relations, digital communications and production, Andy has worked with the world’s leading brands across hotels, spas, restaurants, destinations, real estate, fashion and finance.

He founded Gifted Communications in 2017 from a desire to hand-pick the sectors he worked in, whilst fostering closer relationships with clients on projects more aligned to his own personal tastes and interests. Hailing from a family of hoteliers and restaurateurs, he’s deeply passionate about the travel and hospitality industry and is an unashamedly proud hotel junkie.

Following 18 years as a magazine and newspaper journalist, and a career that ranged from lifestyle and travel editorial to undercover investigative reporting and tabloid headline writing, a career break in 2008 enabled him to focus solely on a Masters Diploma in PR and Communications. Graduating with Distinction, his dissertation was acclaimed, accredited and published by the Charted Institute of Public Relations.

Senior roles at two leading PR and branding agencies followed. Drawn by a client portfolio mirroring his own ‘bucket list’ of hotels and countries, he joined international luxury PR agency PRCo as their Director of Digital Communications in 2010. For the subsequent four years he consulted for more than 50 brands – devising, directing and implementing a repositioning campaign for Madeira, creating the social media strategy for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as leading senior accounts including Amanresorts, Dolphin Capital Investors, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Raffles Hotels and GHM. His remit also involved training teams across all nine of their global offices plus new business acquisition, helping expand both the company and its client list.

Andy then joined Luxury Branding as an Associate Director in 2014 where in addition to new business acquisition, he also devised a destination campaign for the island of Mauritius and conceptualised a TV ad campaign for SWAN, as well as consulting for Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, LUX* Resorts & Hotels and Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.

Allocating almost all of his disposable income for flights, hotels and restaurants, Andy believes that accruing a lifetime of travel memories is more important than amassing material things. Equally happy in a five star flagship or a boutique bolthole, he can’t resist a private pool and holds firm that ultimately, it’s all about great service. He’s currently ticked 50 countries and more than 500 hotels off his wish list, with fifty percent still awaiting urgent attention.