Obituary: Jonathan Bodlender

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Jonathan Bodlender was a gallant world traveller whose laughter and bright visions accompanied many through the roads and hostelries of Europe. He was a guide and adviser on tourism to hotels and restaurants and governments, ranging from Great Britain to Bulgaria, Switzerland, Israel, France and the Fast East. There was no one in the leisure industry whom he did not know.

He was a Yorkshireman, educated at Bootham School in York, and then attended the London School of Economics. He joined the firm of Horwath and Horwath UK (later the Horwath Consulting Co) in 1968 as a chartered accountant, and was put in charge of its leisure industry section. There, his energy and enthusiasm helped him establish a loyal team.

The infrastructure of the hotel trade came to fascinate him, and he soon travelled all over the world presenting feasibility studies on the setting- up of hotels and leisure centres. In recent years, this resulted in successful projects in the Seychelles, Syria and Jordan. He also organised a World Conference on Tourism in Israel, and himself became an inveterate tourist.

He lived life to the full. As a student, he had (in 1957) founded and chaired London University's Wine and Food Society. He loved good food. He collected Chinese snuffboxes and unusual friends from all parts of the world. He was endowed with a never-ending curiosity; he possessed a sense of humour and an enjoyment of gossip which never verged towards the malicious: he cared too much for people to enter that dark area.

Ill-health led to his semi-retirement from Horwath after he had served as chairman of the company from 1989 to 1993. It did not suit his temperament. A year later, he returned as chairman of Horwath UK, where he remained until his death. He was also chairman of Horwath Consulting Europe, and special adviser on investment to the World Tourist Organisation. From 1979 to 1983, he was a member of the English Tourist Board. He also had a home in the South of France.

Bodlender's publications include Profile of Government Financial and Grant Aid to Tourism (with J.J.G. Davies, 1984), Tourism: a portrait (1988) and Guide Lines to Hotel and Leisure Project Financing (with T. Ward and M. Dillon, 1991).

Jonathan Bodlender, accountant and tourism adviser: born 29 November 1938; CBE 1996; married 1979 Catherine Schmitt; died London 30 July 1997.