Pictured: Nathan Cable, young entrepreneur of the year
The winners of the young manager and young entrepreneur of the year awards at the British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame have been announced.
Saga Travel’s head of trade sales Iain Powell was named the young manager of the year at the event, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Park Lane, London, on Monday April 29.
Powell spoke of being ‘overwhelmed’ to win, he said: “I think it’s a good point to mention that this isn’t based on my success of 2018, ultimately a lot of that is the success of my team. I’m so proud of the way they’ve embraced change and the way they’ve risen to the challenge which has been pretty steep. We’ve put some pretty big targets in front of them and they’ve hit them so it’s been incredible.”
Nathan Cable, co-founder and co-chief executive of clubbing operator Party Hard Travel won the award for young entrepreneur of the year. He said: “When I saw there were six other candidates and the strength of all of them I thought it’s a roll of the dice, one in six, and I did not expect to win.
“I’ve got to dedicate 50% of this to my business partner Barry. We went to college and university together and that’s when we came up with the idea when we went on our first lads’ holiday to Ayia Napa.
“Ever since we set out four core values and purpose for the business that’s taken us to a new level. Our purpose is to give young people the best week of their lives.”
The awards, which honour the highest achievers in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors, also included Sustainable Business Award, which this year went to small group tour operator Intrepid Group, which last year became the biggest travel company in the world to achieve ‘B Corporation’ status in recognition of its ‘purpose beyond profitability’.
The 2019 Business Achievement of the Year award went to food service and hospitality operator WSH.
Six industry leaders were also inducted into the British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame at the Monday night event. They were: Frank Del Rio, chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; the co-owners of AmaWaterways, Kristin Karst and Rudi Schreiner; Bea Tollman, founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection; and Gary and Rita Beckwith, founders of City Cruises.
Karst said: “We are so lucky to be surrounded by people who share the same value and the same sparkle as us. We want to thank those who have worked with us from the beginning.”
Her husband Rudi went on to thank his wife for her support of his initial vision over the years. He said: “It has been a fantastic 17 years with her, I couldn’t have done it without her by my side!”
Bea Tollman said: “I never expected anything like this tonight. The hotel industry is very competitive all over the world and you can only be a success if you’ve got your staff and the teams that work with enthusiasm and passion.
“There’s so much competition that our hotels have to be as good or better in ways that help others and so it’s the service that counts best. Now our 17 hotels do very well and are regarded as some of the best. So I’m very happy to be here tonight, it means the world to me and I thank Clive for giving me this tonight. Thank you.”
Gary Beckwith, co-founder of City Cruises, said: “On behalf of Rita and more especially the fantastic team we have around us this fantastic journey would not have been possible without them.
“To be recognised by your peers is humbling. You do not start a business thinking one day you are going to get awards from your peers saying you have done well. The best thing I ever did was marry my wife. She is intelligent and articulate. She is my counter balance. She keeps me on the straight and narrow. It’s a real 100% partnership.”
The Hall of Fame is part of Jacobs Media Group, which includes Travel Weekly and hotel and hospitality-focused publication The Caterer.