We’ve chosen 30 young talents from across the travel industry, from entrepreneurial company founders to savvy online marketers. You’ll be hearing a lot more from them...
Co-founder, Lost Earth Adventures
Sarah started the business five years ago with her partner Richard Goodley after having travelled through Asia and seen a gap in the market for unique adventure tours.
She has personally researched every experience on offer and used her background in marketing to write the website, marketing materials and itineraries.
Online manager, Affinion International Travel
Simon cut his teeth in the marketing department for thomascook.com. While managing online for the Thomas Cook youth specialist businesses he helped halve the boost sales while halving the cost per sale, and improved social media use.
He joined Affinion Travel in early 2012 and has since then brought three new websites to market, including a new corporate website for the agency.
Founder, West Africa Discovery
Thomas started West Africa Discovery as a space for responsible tourism businesses in West Africa to promote their activities. He has also got involved in consultancy and resource sharing to help develop more sustainable tourism policies in the region.
Thomas is now studying for his MSc in Responsible Tourism Management.
Associate, Travlaw LLP
Charlotte joined the firm in 2007. She secured Travlaw a role as one of the main providers of the Abta HR helpline and is a regular attendee of the Abta Travel Convention and the ITT Conference.
This year she is focusing on developing a new product for the industry, Travlaw HR Protect.
Business support manager, Baxter Hoare Travel
Jade began working as a business travel trainee aged 16. She has worked for Chambers Travel and Travel By Appointment, where she had to deal with the demands of international pop stars, Rihanna and Madonna.
Now at Baxter Hoare, Jade has been appointed to the management team at the age of 28.
Founding partner, IAVRA
Despite being only 28, John-Christian has already founded two companies: Peritas International, a travel concierge company, and International Association of Villa Rental Agents.
IAVRA was born out the frustration he experienced at Peritas, when trying to source holiday properties from around the world.
Product & commercial manager, Mail Travel
Erica started her career at Thomas Cook Signature and then BA Holidays in 2002. After a post-graduate certificate in hospitality management she joined Direct Holidays in 2008 and was eventually promoted to western Mediterranean late sales manager, managing a £35 million commitment of beds.
She joined Mail Travel in October 2011 with responsibilities for reviewing product, identifying growth opportunities and driving the website re-launch.
Destination PR manager, VisitEngland
Laura joined VisitEngland in 2011 and has played an integral role in expanding the PR department from one person to the current five.
She has been an important part of the team during this important year of the Diamond Jubilee, the Torch Relay, the Cultural Olympiad and the Olympic and the Paralympic Games.
Operations manager, Travel by Appointment
Having cut her teeth at Thomson, Jodie joined Travel by Appointment in 2006. Today she is operations manager, and has assisted the New York office to bed in new clients.
As well as winning a number of internal awards, Jodie worked with another part of the business on last year's MTV Awards.
Founder, Diamonte Travel
Rohan Mark launched Diamonte Travel in 2011, aged 25. It caters for the rich and famous, including entrepreneurs, footballers and US rappers.
Inspiration came when he organised a holiday to Monte Carlo for his girlfriend, complete with Maserati and helicopter hire. It went so well that friends and family began asking him to arrange trips for them.
Director, The Connoisseurs Cruise Club
Despite not knowing what a cruise was, Michael landed his first job in travel at Virgin Cruises in 2008.
He quickly picked things up and aged 20, having seen a gap in the market, he decided to launch his own web-based company, The Connoisseurs Cruise Club.
Sales consultant, Thomas Cook
Kyle started at Thomas Cook in 2009 and has already collected a number of awards. He is also a co-ordinator for Club 18-30 in West Yorkshire and has helped raise sales by 25% in the region.
In 2011 he was named co-ordinator of the year.
Product and commercial executive, Monarch Travel Group
Josh joined Monarch Travel Group in 2011 and is involved in planning, creating, developing and managing products for mainland Spain for all the business brands.
He has played a key role in the re-brand of Cosmos Holidays and came up with the tagline ‘Black and white prices, colourful holidays’.
Manager, Expedia TAAP
Rob started managing Expedia TAAP in November 2011 and has since led year on year sales to double digit growth.
He has also worked on creating two marketing campaigns, and took the initiative to contact two of Ireland’s largest consortia when Expedia TAAP launched there in January 2012.
Head of retail, Virgin Holidays
Lee joined Virgin Holidays in November 2008 after seven years at the Home Retail Group. He was promoted to head of retail in November 2009 and under Lee’s leadership the estate has grown from 22 to 105 stores.
Booked revenue has grown from £29 million in 2009/10, to £130 million in 2010/11 and is estimated to hit £240 million in 2013/14.
Sales and administration manager, Ski Amis
Danielle joined Ski Amis in 2009. She helped to change systems within the business by reworking sales processes.
After a break in 2010 she rejoined the company in 2012 to manage its UK office. She is now responsible for running the sales office and has significantly increased bookings in the first half of 2012.
Co-Founder, Latin Routes
Martin established a tailor-made holiday company specialising in holidays to Argentina and Antarctica with his business partner Jessica Bain, who he met from when they both worked at Trailfinders.
The company launched in March this year, with the website playing a key role in the business’s overall strategy.
Affinity manager, Stewart Travel
Dianne started in travel 10 years ago as a junior consultant in Stewart Travel’s full service agency in Prestwick while completing her NVQ’s in travel services.
She then moved into the newly established marketing department and now heads it up as affinity manager, leading a team of six people.
Sales & customer care manager, Iglu.com
At Iglu.com Linda has restructured the customer care team and doubled its size, as well as creating a new email enquiry system.
She oversees sales and has worked on cross-training the best seasonal ski sales staff to cruise. Her efforts have seen response time to clients and sales costs reduced.
Performance marketing specialist, Teletext Holidays
Paul joined Teletext two years ago from outside the travel industry which has allowed him to consistently challenge ‘industry norms’. He has contributed to increasing traffic by 20% year on year.
Insurance product manager, Holiday Extras
Paul was promoted to his current role in April 2011, where he is responsible for the growth of insurance sales. He has created and launched new niche products which has seen sales grow by 30% year on year.
He is heavily involved in presenting new proposals and provides technical and sales training.
Operations manager, Blue Bay Travel
Gemma started out as an admin clerk and today manages a call centre with 30 staff. She has helped increase conversions from 20% to 28% which has seen the business grow from £12.5 million to £15 million.
She has also helped improve communication within the team and monitors individual and overall sales, profit, conversions, productivity and best sellers.
Newsletter sales manager, Cheapflights Media
Kate joined the team in a new role as newsletter sales executive in February 2011. Although she had limited experience in online sales, Kate was selling within her first week of work and has increased sales revenue for the product by 50% year-on year.
Field sales manager, Complete Cruise Solution
Stacey started her career with Carnival UK as a reservations consultant in 2005. She was quickly promoted, first to the P&O Cruises marketing team and then to the CCS sales team.
Recently she became field sales manager and in recognition of her achievements in the role was awarded manager of the year 2011.
Business development manager, Norwegian Cruise Line
Jill began her career in Norwegian's marketing department. Due to her success managing the NCLU online training project, Jill was encouraged to take a promotion into the sales division.
She now heads up a team of internal sales and support for the regional sales managers for the UK.
Head of bids & marketing, Click Travel
Michelle started her career with at Thomas Cook, and soon moved on to Londsdale Travel as a flight reservations consultant.
After the business was taken over by Capita, Michelle became involved with bid management and was subsequently head-hunted to join Click Travel, where her role has expanded to include responsibility for marketing.
Co-founder and director, Reserve Apartments
Gareth started his first website at age 14. He went on to co-found Reserve Apartments in 2007. He has played an integral role in the company’s website, SEO, marketing and brand building. Today the company has about 1,000 properties on its books at any one time.
Gareth is also a founding member of the Serviced Apartment Bookers Association.
Director, Perfect Weddings Abroad
Danny studied travel and tourism management at university and did a work placement at a tour operator.
From there he started at Perfect Weddings Abroad, learning about the industry and business on the job. He is now a board member of the ITT.
Digital analyst, Manchester Airport Group
Daniel has been with MAG for three years, and is now responsible for five websites.
His key achievements include the successful launch of seven new airline routes and two new airlines from Bournemouth, the growth of a CRM database by 42% and increasing CRM income by 219%.
Foreign exchange coordinator, Ilkeston Co-op Travel
Joanne runs a city centre bureau and has taken on the role of co-ordinator, with responsibility for 48 stores in two regions. In 2011 she surpassed her individual sales target and Ilkeston was named bureau of the year.
This year she has increased the bureau’s profit margin from 2.5% to 4.8% week on week.