Comment: Hats off to travel’s young entrepreneurs

I listened in awe this week as citations for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalists were read out at the 2015 British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame. They told the story of six young people with brilliant ideas and the passion and bravery to invest everything into making them fly.

As Travel Weekly’s own chairman – himself a successful entrepreneur – commented, entrepreneurship isn’t an easy choice.

It takes a particular kind of person to have the confidence to risk going it alone. And that step has been made even harder in travel with so many more barriers to entry, from increased regulation or ever-cautious lenders.

Despite these challenges, the industry is still full of exciting and inspirational individuals prepared to innovate, and we feature one of them on our cover this week.

Former Thomson agent Rebbeca Kingston – now a Freedom member – could well be one to watch as she fights for the opportunity to pitch her wedding and honeymoon boutique and agency to none other than Sir Richard Branson.

It’s a phenomenal achievement to have been shortlisted for the much-publicised ‘Pitch 2 Rich’ competition.

She’s certainly got guts, plus more motivation than most to make her business a success.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on Rebbeca – and some other hopefuls from the industry – as they bid to win over the UK’s best-known entrepreneur and secure £150,000 of his cash to take their businesses to the next level.

It may be premature, but maybe one day we’ll see Rebbeca inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Sir Richard himself.

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