Hall of fame to honour industry leaders

workplace - hall of fame 270406 - logoIT’S an elite club, but the numbers are growing every year as more industry stalwarts are voted into the prestigious British Travel Industry Hall of Fame.

This year, four well-known faces who have made a contribution to the travel industry will join the 55 existing members who have joined the club since it was launched in 1995.

Organisers Kingley Event Management launched the Hall of Fame 12 years ago to honour excellence and outstanding achievement in those who have played a significant part in creating and developing the travel, hospitality and tourism industry.

Those who have already made the grade include Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, Holiday Autos founder Clive Jacobs and Butlins founder Sir Billy Butlin.

This year’s fabulous four will be welcomed into the Hall of Fame at a gala dinner, which takes place next week at the Savoy Hotel.

But they are not the only winners. Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla Novoa will receive the award for business achievement of the year, sponsored by Preferential Insurance, while six young people in the travel industry will be awarded the Alpha Forum Prize.

This award, sponsored by Comtec, is given to those aged 35 years or younger who have created a major impact on the performance of his or her business, through the application of strong management techniques, business understanding, strategic appreciation and people management skills.

Sir Rocco Forte, chairman and chief executive, Rocco Forte Hotels

workplace - hall of fame 270406 - rocco forteSir Rocco founded luxury hotel group Rocco Forte Hotels in 1996. Each of the properties has its own personality, reflecting its location and nationality.

They share a high priority for stylish design and attention to detail, exemplary levels of service delivery and the latest technology.

The collection includes the Hotel de Russie in Rome, the Balmoral in Edinburgh, Hotel Astoria in St Petersburg, the St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff Bay, Hotel Amigo in Brussels, and the Hotel Savoy in Florence.

New hotels in Frankfurt and Berlin are under development and will open this year. A golf resort and spa will open in Sicily next year.

Sir Rocco was formerly chairman and chief executive of Forte Plc, founded by his father Lord Charles Forte in 1934. During his time at Forte, Sir Rocco had responsibility for more than 800 hotels, 1,000 restaurants and almost 100,000 staff in 50 countries worldwide.

He was knighted in December 1994 for services to the UK tourism industry.

Lord Sterling, life president, P&O Cruises

workplace - hall of fame 270406 - lord sterlingLord Sterling of Plaistow joined the board of P&O as a non-executive director in 1980. He became chairman in 1983 and stepped down last year.

However, he is still associated with the company, and is now life president. During his farewell speech, Lord Sterling described his years at P&O as: “Good fun and damned hard work.”

Born Jeffrey Maurice Sterling in 1934 and educated at Reigate Grammar School, he studied violin at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music in London. He did National Service in the Royal Air Force, before embarking on a career on the London Stock Exchange.Between 1982 and 1990, he was special adviser to successive secretaries of state for trade and industry, and was involved in the privatisation programme during Margaret Thatcher’s Government.

Lord Sterling was appointed Commander of the British Empire in 1977 and was knighted in the 1985 New Year’s Honours List, for public services and services to industry. He was created a life peer in Thatcher’s resignation honours list in December 1990.

Sergio Mantegazza, president, Globus Travel Services

workplace - hall of fame 270406 - sergio mantegazzGlobus was founded in 1928 by Mantegazza’s father Antonio to offer scenic motorcoach rides around Lake Lugano, in the southern part of Switzerland.

Mantegazza senior expanded the business by buying a fleet of coaches and offering firstclass escorted tours around Europe. Seventyfive years later, Globus is now a major player in the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

In the US, Globus trades under its own name, as well as that of Cosmos, and is market leader in the field of escorted tours – a sector of the industry that it pioneered in the 1950s.

Globus’ UK business consists of Monarch Airlines, sister company Monarch Aircraft Engineering, Cosmos Holidays, Cosmos Coach Tours and seat-only operator Avro.

The combined worldwide turnover of these business exceeded $2 billion in 2005 and the group employs over 5,000 people.

Each year, the business carries more than six million passengers on either package holidays, flights or escorted tours.

Alan Spence, managing director, FCm Travel Solutions UK

workplace - hall of fame 270406 - alan spenceAlan Spence started working life as a junior shipping clerk with a freight company in the City.

After just four years, at the age of 20, Alan Spence decided he knew enough about freight, and had enough industry contacts, to set up on his own. In 1968, he founded Britannic Shipping Services.

Britannic Travel was established in 1971, when Spence saw the booming package holiday industry as a route to diversification – and as a way of making a return on the shop frontage below his freight forwarding offices.

By 1989 85% of Britannic Travel’s turnover was generated from business travel. Alan Spence was also elected chairman of the Guild of Business Travel Agents (now Guild of Travel Management Companies) in 1989 and 1990.

In 1994, Britannic Travel sold off the last of its leisure travel agencies to concentrate on the corporate sector. It acquired the licence to trade as TQ3 Travel Solutions in 2001, and in July 2004 was bought by Flight Centre.

The 2006 Hall of Fame Dinner takes place on Wednesday, May 3 at the Savoy Hotel, London.

The sponsors are Amadeus, Avis and Travel Weekly and the event is organised by Kingley Event Management. Tickets cost £150 each and are available from:

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