Dan Visser, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Langdale Estate, one of the biggest hospitality employers in the Lake District, discusses the Big Break in his career.

"You could say my career in hospitality has been something of a happy accident. At university I got a degree in geography, then my first job was as a bike mechanic, but I applied on a whim for a job in hospitality sales and marketing at Beadlow Manor in Bedfordshire, they took me on and that’s where it all began.

I found I really enjoyed it. Hospitality just clicked with me. I worked there for a while and at that point, visited the Lake District regularly because my parents lived here. It struck me that Cumbria would be a great place to live rather than just visit so I applied for a job at Lake District Hotels. I got it, moved here and that was that. I looked after sales and marketing for all their hotels including their launch of Lodore Falls Hotel, which was a fantastic experience. I learned a lot and loved living in the Lakes.

Next came a job for Brook Hotels where I looked after sales and marketing for six hotels in the North of England. Then I worked for a company that supplied online marketing to hotels and that’s where I really started get into the online side of things.

In 2008, the job at Langdale Estate came up and I was lucky enough to get it. They already had an excellent marketing team in place and thankfully I could bring all the stuff I’d learned about selling online to my new role. The timing was perfect – online booking was really taking off and I was given all the support I needed to make Langdale Estate an early adopter of a 100% online marketing strategy. We were the first in the Lake District to move our marketing completely online and despite us going straight into the financial crisis, it worked.

At Langdale Estate our senior management team members are supportive of each other and the wider visitor economy. While we have competitors, we see the bigger picture and know that we need to work collaboratively with others to maintain a strong, vibrant visitor economy and a world class landscape.

With this in mind, for many years I’ve been on the board of directors supporting Cumbria Tourism and am now Vice Chair. Langdale Estate has long worked with Lake District Foundation which supports a wide range of landscape and environmental projects in Cumbria, so I get involved in this too and I’m also Race Director for Langdale Road Races. I love that Langdale gives me the freedom to do these things as well as my day to day job – I enjoy it, but it’s also important for the estate as an organisation to allow its people the freedom to engage with things outside us – looking outwards rather than looking inwards all the time. We play an important part in the Langdale community and in tourism for the Lake District as a whole.

I’m mad about mountain biking and when I’m not working you’ll find me on my bike on the fells. While the demands of my job are constant, the opportunity and the work life balance it brings are brilliant and the fact that at Langdale Estate we have a genuine commitment to people, profit and planet and see each of these elements as equally important, means I get immense job satisfaction too."