Founder
Ian Allan Group

Ian Allan OBE (b. 1922) is the founder of the family-owned Ian Allan Group which includes Ian Allan Travel amongst its group of companies. Ian started his first job in 1939, working for the Southern Railway Company in the Publicity and PR Department at Waterloo Station, mainly because of his love of all things trains. His first book, the ABC of Southern Locomotives, was published in 1942, and 200,000 copies of the first series of ABCs were sold between then and 1944

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Owners Abroad

Roger Allard (b. 1954) has been involved in the travel industry for over 40 years and has built a number of successful, well-recognised businesses from scratch. Starting aged 14 as a Saturday boy running errands in a travel agents on Tottenham Court Road, on completing his education Roger would remain in the industry and later be instrumental in creating Owners Abroad (now First Choice/TUI Travel PLC) and listing it on the London Stock Exchange in 1982.

Chairman
Carnival Corporation

Micky Arison (b. 1949) is an Israeli-born American businessman...Micky Arison (b. 1949) is an Israeli-born American businessman and the Chairman of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise operator.

Owner and managing director
Southall Travel

Kuljinder Bahia (b. 1973) is the owner and managing director of Southall Travel, which he is credited with turning into a multi-million pound business.

Founder
Bales Tours

George Bales (d. 1998) was the founder of independent family run tour operator Bales Tours, now Bales Worldwide, provider of luxury tailor-made holidays and still going strong in the industry after more than 65 years of diversification.

Founder
Eagle Aviation Ltd

Harold Bamberg CBE (b. 1923) is the Australian-born entrepreneur who founded the Eagle Empire that would play an important part in shaping the early days of the British independent airline industry.

Chairman
Bath Travel empire

Peter Bath, MBE (1927–2006) was the chairman of the Bath Travel empire, including Palmair which he himself precipitated. He was also a founder member of the Association of British Travel Agents.

Founder and co-chairman
Travel Leaders Group

Michael Batt (b. 1954) is the founder and co-chairman of the Minneapolis-based Travel Leaders Group which today has over 40,000 travel agents working directly for the organisation or under one of its brands.

Director
Classic Collection Holidays

Martin is a Director of Classic Collection Holidays and Managing Director of Brackenbury & Partners. Formerly a Director of Thomson, Panorama, Airtours and Exodus Holidays he was also a Professor at Nottingham University.

Founder
Virgin Group

Sir Richard Branson (b. 1950) is the billionaire English entrepreneur and investor best known as founder of the Virgin Group of more than 400 companies which include Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains amongst their numbers.

Managing Director
Thomson Airways

Chris Browne OBE (b.1961) is Managing Director of Thomson Airways and has achieved a number of significant ‘firsts’ throughout her career, including being the youngest and first female general manager for Iberia Airways.

Founder
Butlins

Sir William Heygate Edmund Colborne "Billy" Butlin (29 September 1899 – 12 June 1980) was an early pioneer of the British holiday camp scene and is credited with turning it into a multi-million pound industry, the holiday camps synonymous with his name becoming a huge part of British culture and still remaining popular today.

Founder
Carlson Companies Inc

Curtis Leroy “Curt” Carlson (9 July 1914 – 19 February 1999) was the founder of what would become Carlson Companies Inc., which today is one of the largest family-held corporations in the US, and counts the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Carlson Wagonlit Travel amongst its subsidiaries.

Chairman
Palletways Group Ltd

William Alun Cathcart (b. 1943) spent 14 years in executive positions in the transportation industry before joining Avis Europe in 1980, an association that would long continue for the next thirty plus years.

Established
The Travel Club of Upminster

Harry Chandler (1913–1992) & Rene Chandler MBE (1913–2008) established The Travel Club of Upminster in 1936, and with its advent saw in the origins of the package holiday that has since become the industry giant we know today.

Founder
Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook (22 November 1808 – 18 July 1892) was a true pioneer of the travel industry, and the founder of the travel agency that still bears his name more than 150 years later.

Co-Founder
Corbin & King

Chris Corbin and Jeremy King first met whilst working at Langan's Brasserie and Joe Allen's respectively, both influential restaurants on the London scene in the late 1970s.

Founder
SABRE

Robert Crandall (b. 1935) earned the reputation of toughest executive in the airline industry when working for American Airlines, and held a passion for new technology that led to him revolutionising travel in many ways.

Founder
Airtours International Airways

David Crossland (b. 1947) is the Lancashire-born businessman who took two small travel agencies and from them built the Airtours package tour empire that was in its day one of the world’s largest holiday companies.

Chairman
Thomson Travel Group

Roger Davies was a former Chairman of Thomson Travel Group. He was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Industry Hall of Fame in 1996.

Founder
Saga

Sidney Isaac De Haan, OBE (6 February 1919 – 16 February 2002) was the founder of Saga, the package holidays firm for people aged 50 and over that changed the way the industry looked at retirees and older people.

Co-founder
Resort Condominiums International (RCI)

Christel DeHaan (b. 1942) co-founded Resort Condominiums International (RCI), which became one of the largest brokers of timeshare trades, and subsequently evolved into a successful travel club with a huge worldwide membership base.

Founder
Ebookers

Dinesh Dhamija (b. 1950) is a British-Indian business entrepreneur who is best known as founder of the successful Ebookers online travel agency.

Director
Kuoni Travel UK

Peter Diethelm (b. 1941) is the Swiss businessman under whose direction Kuoni Travel UK would grow to become an undisputed leader in long haul holidays.

Chairman
Carnival UK

David Dingle CBE (b. 1957) joined P&O as a graduate fresh out of university and is today the Chairman of cruise giant Carnival UK.

Chairman
Travelex Group

Lloyd Dorfman CBE (b. 1952) is a British entrepreneur and philanthropist, and the founder and chairman of the Travelex Group, the world’s largest non-bank foreign exchange business.

Co-founder
Accor Group

Gérard Pélisson (b. 1932) & Paul Dubrule (b. 1934) are the French co-founders of the Accor Group that includes the Novotel hotel chain, the ibis and Sofitel hotel brands and today has the largest number of hotels in the low, medium and high-range price brackets across France.

Director
Gisby East

Michael East (b. 1942) is a leading strategic consultant in the travel and service industries. He advises and represents banks and investment houses on investment strategy in those sectors as well as many of the major UK travel companies on strategic development.

Director
Cathay Pacific

Sir Roderick Eddington (b. 1950) is an Australian businessman who was a director of Cathay Pacific, and steered British Airways through some difficult years during his tenure as Chief Executive.

Founder
Meliá Hotels International

Gabriel Escarrer (b. 1935) is the founder and majority stakeholder of Meliá Hotels International, one of the world’s largest holiday chains, and the largest in Spain.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd

Richard D. Fain (b. 1948) is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the global cruise company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, and has been involved in the shipping industry for over 35 years.

Founding CEO
Emirates and was the Executive Vice-Chairman of The Emirates Group

Maurice Flanagan KBE (b. 1928) is the founding CEO of Emirates and was the Executive Vice-Chairman of The Emirates Group until his retirement in 2013, with a career spanning more than 60 years in aviation.

President
ABTA

Justin Fleming (b. 1950) has spent more than 35 years in the travel industry and was founder of a successful tour operation, also serving as a President of ABTA.

Founder
Iberojet Cruceros

Miguel Fluxá (b. 1938) took over the travel agency arm of a family business that had its origins in 1877 in footwear production. Under Miguel’s direction the Iberostar Group became one of the Spanish leaders in the travel business.

CEO
Thomas Cook

Manny Fontenla-Novoa (b. 1954) is the Spanish businessman who built a long career association with Thomas Cook that would see him rising through the ranks to become CEO of the industry giant.

Chairman
The Rocco Forte Collection

Sir Rocco Forte (b. 1945) is a British hotelier, philanthropist and founder and Chairman of The Rocco Forte Collection of luxury hotels.

Founder
Forte Group

Charles Forte, Baron Forte of Ripley (26 November 1908 – 28 February 2007) was a British-Italian hotelier and caterer who founded the conglomerate that would become the multi-billion pound Forte Group.

CEO
Flybe

Jim French CBE (b. 1953) is the Scots-born former chairman and CEO of the airline Flybe, and is credited with turning it into Europe’s largest regional airline.

Chairman
WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) Executive Committee

Dr Michael Frenzel (b. 1947) is a German manager and former politician who started his career in banking and under whose leadership TUI Travel Plc would later come into existence.

President
The Bland Group of Companies

Joseph James “Joe” Gaggero CBE, GMH, KHS, KFO (20 November 1927 – 10 February 2012) was a Gibraltarian businessman, and president of The Bland Group of Companies, which concentrates its business in shipping, aviation and travel.

Founder
International Leisure Group

Harry Goodman (b. 1938) is the gregarious leisure entrepreneur who built the International Leisure Group which became one of the UK’s most successful travel businesses during the 1970s and 1980s.

Founder
Trailfinders

Mike Gooley, CBE (b. 1936) is the former SAS-officer who after leaving the army founded the tailor-made travel business Trailfinders, the largest independently owned travel company in the UK, and continues to serve as its Chairman.

Managing Director
The Co-operative Travel Group

Mike Greenacre (b. 1948) was the Managing Director of The Co-operative Travel Group and played a pivotal role in its expansion to become the UK’s largest travel retailer.

Non-Executive Chair
Channel 4

Charles Gurassa is the non-Executive Chair of Channel 4 and Genesis Housing Association.

Founder
easyJet

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (b. 1967) is the businessman best known as founder of the low-cost airline easyJet, and the subsequent series of ventures marketed under the “easy” brand.

Non-executive Director
Hills Balfour

Trevor Harding has had a career spanning more than 50 years, much of it on the publishing side of the travel industry, while also being a prominent figure and fundraiser at major industry awards and events.

Co-founder and Chairman
Bourne Leisure

Peter Harris (b. 1934) is the co-founder and Chairman of Hemel Hempstead-based Bourne Leisure. In 1964, while serving as an accountant, Peter was sent to audit a caravan park and decided to enter the industry himself, co-founding Bourne Leisure with David Allen later the same year.

Executive
Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Darryl Hartley-Leonard (b. 1946) is the British-born executive who had a 32 year career at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, rising through the ranks to become a leading figure in the business and a widely recognised spokesman for travel and tourism.

Founder and Managing Director
Hays Travel

John Hays is the founder and Managing Director of Hays Travel, the UK’s largest independently owned travel agency recognised as one of the Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work For in the UK.

Chief Executive Officer and Group President
Etihad Airways

James Hogan (b. 1956) is the Chief Executive Officer and Group President of Etihad Airways, the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates. Under his leadership, the airline has undergone rapid growth in recent years.

Founder
Hoseason

James William Nicholson “Jimmy” Hoseason OBE (6 November 1927 – 7 November 2009) started out with a small Suffolk-based business and turned it into an international holiday firm, becoming an icon of the British tourist industry in the process.

CEO & Chairman
Lime Wood Group Ltd and Home Grown Hotels Ltd

Awarded The Hotelier of the Year in 2003, Outstanding Contribution Catey in 2014 (hotel industry Oscar’s) and Lifetime Achievement by the AA in 2015. Robin is known as an innovative and entrepreneurial hotelier with 40 years’ experience in some of the world’s most famous hotels. Trained with The Savoy group London and Hotel de Crillon in Paris. This was followed by spells at Elbow Beach Hotel in Bermuda, then Chewton Glen in the New Forest.

Founder
holiday autos group limited

Clive Jacobs (b. 1961) is the Founder and former Chairman and CEO of holiday autos group limited, the world’s largest leisure car rental broker.

Co-founder
TripAdvisor

Stephen Kaufer co-founded TripAdvisor in 2000 with the mission “to help travellers around the world plan and have the perfect trip.” Under his leadership, TripAdvisor has grown into the world’s largest travel site, with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors, 20 million members and over 60 million reviews and opinions.

Founder
Abercrombie & Kent

Geoffrey Kent (b. 1942), together with his parents Valerie and Colonel John Kent, founded the luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent.

CEO
Cox & Kings

Peter Kerkar first joined Cox & Kings as General Manager of its London head office in October 1996 at the age of just 23. He had been brought up in Mumbai, India, the son of hotelier Ajit Kerkar, who was the driving force behind the growth of the Taj group of luxury hotels. Peter graduated from Stanford University, USA, with a BA in Anthropology.

Head
British Airways

John Leonard King, Baron King of Wartnaby (29 August 1917 – 12 July 2005) was the businessman who made his name as head of British Airways in the 1980s, turning it from a loss-maker into a celebrated success.

Co-Founder
Corbin & King

Jeremy King is the Co-Founder of Corbin & King. Chris Corbin and Jeremy King first met whilst working at Langan's Brasserie and Joe Allen's respectively, both influential restaurants on the London scene in the late 1970s.

Founder
Laker Airways

Sir Frederick Alfred “Freddie” Laker (6 August 1922 – 9 February 2006) was a British airline entrepreneur and founder of Laker Airways, one of the earliest airlines to adopt the “no-frills” business model.

President and Group CEO
Jumeirah Grou

As President and Group CEO of the Jumeirah Group, Gerald Lawless has helped establish Jumeirah as one of the premier luxury hotel brands in the world.

Entrepreneur and lawmaker
Antonio Lefebvre de Clunieres di Balsorano

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio was born in Rome in 1953 from the renowned entrepreneur and lawmaker Antonio Lefebvre de Clunieres di Balsorano.

Director General
British Travel Association

Leonard John “Len” Lickorish, CBE (10 August 1921 – 19 May 2002) worked for the British Travel Association for 40 years, during which time he became Director General and oversaw the enormous growth in tourist visits to the UK.

President
Avis Spain

Antonio Llatas (b. 1943) is President of Avis Spain, the leading company in the sector of car rental in Spain, in terms of market share, profitability, customer satisfaction and network size and fleet.

Chief Executive
First Group

Sir Moir Lockhead OBE (b. 1945) is the former Chief Executive of Britain’s largest bus operator, First Group, and was instrumental in managing the company’s growth throughout the UK and in North America.

Chief Executive
TUI Travel PLC

Peter Long (b. 1952) is an English businessman and the Chief Executive of TUI Travel PLC. He played a key role in the merger that made TUI Travel one of the largest leisure travel groups in the world.

Chairman
Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Richard Lovell held the position of CEO EMEA & Latin America before becoming Chairman of Carlson Wagonlit Travel. He then took on the role of non-executive chairman of U.K. hotel booking agency Expotel.

Founder
Erna Low Travel Services Ltd

Erna Low (28 July 1909 – 12 February 2002) was an Austrian-born businesswoman and founder of Erna Low Travel Services Ltd., who was best known for her pioneering work developing package holidays in the ski travel industry.

Managing Director
Ayscough & Co

He started his career in travel when he joined Sabena Belgian Airlines in 1953 where he stayed until 1959 and, during this time, served for two years with the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders in Germany and Korea.

Chairman
Globus

Sergio Mantegazza (b. 1927) is the Swiss businessman who is the owner and Chairman of Globus, the multinational travel company which consists of more than 30 tourism and aviation businesses, serviced by more than 5,000 professionals.

Chief Executive
British Airways

Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge (16 November 1933 – 5 July 2012) is credited alongside Lord King of Wartnaby for the rescue and rebirth of troubled British Airways in the 1980s.

Owner and President
Matutes Group

Abel Matutes (b. 1941) is the Spanish businessman and politician who is owner and President of the Matutes Group, and served as Spain's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Chief Executive
Advantage

John McEwan (b. 1947) has over 50 years’ experience in the travel industry including UK and global roles. John has worked for major travel brands in Thomas Cook and Lunn Poly and most recently, Advantage Travel Centres.

Chairman
Michels & Taylor

Sir David Michels (b. 1946) has spent more than 40 years in the hotel and gaming industry, becoming one of the UK’s most high profile senior managers of businesses including Ladbrokes and Hilton.

Entrepreneur
Air Miles and Nectar Card loyalty card

Sir Keith Mills, GBE DL (b. 1950) is the English entrepreneur who is chiefly known for inventing the Air Miles and Nectar Card loyalty card schemes, and key roles in the London 2012 Olympic campaign and Organising Committee.

Founder
AT Mays

James Moffat OBE (24 August 1919 – 18 September 1998) was the unassuming Scottish bank clerk who founded AT Mays which became during its time the third largest travel agency in the UK.

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Barrhead Travel

Bill Munro has made a huge impact on the travel trade, not just in Scotland but in the UK as a whole, having built Barrhead Travel to be the premier Scottish distribution partner for major UK tour operators. Now employing more than 800 staff in 55 locations, it is one of the largest travel independent travel agencies in the UK and a major contributor to the Scottish economy.

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Carlson Inc

Marilyn Carlson Nelson (b. 1939) successfully led the family empire of Carlson Inc. for more than a decade, driving forward positive change in many areas of the travel and tourism industry.

Life President
P&O Cruises

Jeffrey Maurice Sterling, Baron Sterling of Plaistow (b. 1934) is a British businessman and Conservative peer, and the Life President of P&O Cruises which he built into a huge empire over a 22 year period.

Co-founder and honorary president
Barceló Group

Gabriel Barceló Oliver (b. 1928) is the entrepreneur co-founder and honorary president of the Barceló Group, vice-president of the Barceló Foundation, and honorary president of the Tourist and Cultural Foundation of the Balearic Islands.

CEO
Hertz Corporation

Frank A. Olson (b. 1932) was CEO then Chairman of the Hertz Corporation over a 22 year period during which Hertz was noted for holding onto its number one rank in the car rental industry.

Managing Director
Savoy Group

Mr Ramon Pajares, OBE (b. 1935) rose to prominence as a leading luxury hotelier, occupying the role of Regional Vice President for Four Seasons Europe, and serving a celebrated tenure as Managing Director of the Savoy Group.

Chief Executive
Whitbread Plc

Alan Charles Parker CBE (b. 1946) has had a career in the hospitality sector spanning more than 30 years, from working at his family’s restaurant to running hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Director
International Leisure Group and Global.

Sidney Perez was a Director of the International Leisure Group and Global. He was honoured by the British Travel & Leisure Hall of Fame in 2000.

Chairman
Hogg Robinson

Brian Perry was a well known figure in the business travel community who was the Chairman of Hogg Robinson.He was honoured by the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame in 1997.

Principal
WHA

Chris is the longest-standing principal at WHA and is Head of our Travel and Leisure Team. Chris has been in public practice since 1979 and has advised many travel companies of all sizes over the years, in relation to the travel regulation licensing and bonding framework together with travel specific auditing accounting and taxation issues. He has also acted as Corporate Finance Advisor in relation to a number of high profile travel mergers and acquisitions ranging in transaction values of up to £100m.

Founder
Pontoons

Sir Frederick William “Fred” Pontin (24 October 1906 – 30 September 2000) was the less flamboyant business rival of Sir Billy Butlin, but made up for it by spotting holiday industry trends that saw his business thrive on a wide scale.

Chief Executive
Hogg Robinson Group Plc (HRG

David Radcliffe (b. 1953) began his career as a coach driver before ascending through the ranks to become Chief Executive of Hogg Robinson Group Plc (HRG). He is a respected and popular figure in the industry.

Founder
Horizon Holidays

Vladimir Raitz (23 May 1922 – 31 August 2010), was the Moscow-born founder of Horizon Holidays, one of the earliest businesses to offer chartered, all-inclusive holidays, and subsequently emulated by many others.

Chief Executive Officer
Virgin Atlantic Airways

Steve Ridgway CBE (b. 1951) is the former Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Atlantic Airways, and oversaw a period of significant expansion during his 23 year service with the airline.

Chief Executive Officer
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Kurt Ritter (b. 1947) is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, and during his tenure was one of the longest-serving CEOs in the worldwide hotel industry.

Chairman
VisitBritain

Christopher Rodrigues CBE (b. 1950) is the Chairman of VisitBritain, having previously held senior positions with a number of well-known industry operators including Thomas Cook and Ladbrokes plc.

Global Ambassador
The Waterside Inn

World renowned French-born chef, Michel Roux, O.B.E., is now Global Ambassador for The Waterside Inn www.thewaterside-inn.co.uk , the iconic restaurant beside the banks of the Thames in Bray, Berkshire that he opened with his brother, Albert in 1972, having first opened Le Gavroche in Mayfair, London in 1967.

Chef
Le Gavroche

Albert Roux, OBE, KFO, Legion d’Honneur and Knight of the Order of the Crown of Romania, is one of the world’s best-known and best-loved chefs. In 1967, he and his younger brother Michel Snr opened Le Gavroche, Britain’s first three Michelin Star restaurant in London.

Chairman
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Isadore “Issy” Sharp (b. 1931) is a Canadian hotelier and writer, and founder and Chairman of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the luxury five-star hotel management company.

Director
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd

James B. Sherwood (b. 1933) is the American-born businessman who built a shipping empire before becoming founder and Director of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.

Owner
BMI

Michael David Bishop, Baron Glendonbrook CBE (b. 1942) is the businessman who rose to prominence as the driving force behind and subsequent owner of the airline BMI.

Co-founder and Chairman
Stagecoach Group plc

Sir Brian Souter (b. 1954) is a Scottish businessman and philanthropist, and co-founder and Chairman of Stagecoach Group plc, one of Britain’s largest transport operators.

Founder
Travel Counsellors

David Speakman was the original pioneer of the travel agents working from home concept, and is the founder of Travel Counsellors, which was the first - and is also the largest - travel home-working company in the world.

Founder
Britannic Travel

Alan Spence (b. 1947) is the British businessman who founded Britannic Travel, a successful business travel operator which later became FCm Travel Solutions.

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After being expelled from school Peter spent the summer of ‘67 in Newquay working as a waiter and learning to surf.

Businessman
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Gordon Stewart (b. 1941) is a Jamaican businessman and owner or chairman of more than two dozen companies throughout the Caribbean, North America and the UK, which includes the popular Sandals chain in its numbers.

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Alastair Storey (b. 1953) was born and grew up in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He was educated at Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen and at Strathclyde University’s Scottish Hotel School.

Director
Expedia

José Antonio Tazón García (b. 1943) has held a number of prominent positions in the travel industry and was instrumental in developing a world-leading global distribution system. He has been a Director of Expedia since 2009.

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Stanley Tollman was born in 1930.His father Solomon Tollman, was the owner of the Paternoster Hotel, in the small fishing village of Paternoster, South Africa and also the Palace Hotel in Johannesburg. Stanley chose to leave university early to look after The Palace, where he learnt his original craft and a passion for hotels and hospitality was born.

Chief Executive Officer
International Airlines Group

William M. “Willie” Walsh (b. 1961) is the Chief Executive Officer of International Airlines Group, and also served as CEO of Aer Lingus.

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Sir Hugh Walter Kingwell Wontner GBE, CVO (22 October 1908 – 25 November 1992) was an English hotelier and politician, closely involved in the Savoy Hotel Group and Theatre for more than fifty years of his life.