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
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.
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.
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.
Puneet Chhatwal is a Global Hospitality Leader with close to four decades of leadership experience at highly acclaimed international hotel groups. He has left an indelible mark on the sector, worldwide consistently delivering exceptional results and pioneering innovation in various leadership roles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jerry Inzerillo is the CEO of the Diriyah Company, a globally recognised flagship lifestyle and hospitality destination. Recognised by President Joe Biden and organisations such as the Nelson Mandela Foundation, he is celebrated as a global hospitality titan and a transformative, visionary, and inclusive leader.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ibrahim Osta, a recognized global tourism leader committed to developing tourism economies in developing countries and emerging destinations. He employs global perspective tailored to local contexts. Over the past 25 years, he benefitted thousands of entrepreneurs, industry workers, communities in various countries. He is Chemonics, USAID’s largest global implementer, Senior Advisor and its tourism lead.
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.
Born in Havana before emigrating to the US aged six in 1961, Frank is President & Chief Executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
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.
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.
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.
Pierfrancesco Vago is the Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises since 2013. Prior to that, as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, he led MSC Cruises to over 800% growth since its inception.Pierfrancesco Vago is the Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises since 2013. Prior to that, as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, he led MSC Cruises to over 800% growth since its inception.
Darrell Wade is a globally recognised entrepreneur and responsible tourism pioneer. He is the co-founder and chairman of Intrepid Travel. He co-founded the company in 1989 as a new way to explore the world in a sustainable, and authentic way that gave back to the communities they were visiting.