Meet the up-and-coming talent we’ve picked for our annual list of future travel industry leaders
Operations manager, Z Hotels
Ahmed has enjoyed a rapid rise within the budget hotel operator after graduating from Middlesex University last year. He joined Z Hotels as duty manager of Z Victoria in London. He is now hotel operations manager for the opening of Z Piccadilly.
What his nominator said: Ahmed’s ability to make guests feel looked after make him an asset.
Alasdair co-founded the picture-led hotel review website and app with Charlie Osmond in 2012. He deals mostly with the product side of the company, “bringing ideas to life”. He previously helped to develop GHS Adventure Limited, a web-based business selling treks to the Himalayas and Mount Everest Base Camp.
What he said: I drove forward the design, build and launch of an award-winning iPad application in a matter of weeks. It quickly become featured as an editor’s pick on the iTunes Store, triggering a deluge of downloads and getting the company off to a flying start.
Marketing manager, AmaZing Venues
Alex has enjoyed a rapid rise at AmaZing Venues and was promoted to marketing manager seven months after joining in June 2013. One of her main achievements has been to streamline the number of marketing agencies from 11 to three. Alex manages a team of four.
What her nominator said: From increasing web hits, representing our brand at awards and playing a part in new business development – she is a force to be reckoned with.
Travel consultant, Southern Cross Travel
Anneka joined her family’s travel agency four years ago as the youngest member of the team. She has been leading Southern Cross’s efforts to use social media to increase its profile. She also organises the agency’s consumer and marketing campaigns, as well as being a qualified Canada Specialist.
What she said: I joined during the recession and I have seen our efforts as a family to keep the business afloat and now have the chance to witness it thriving, which is incredibly rewarding.
Web mobile development manager, Tui UK & Ireland
Bart looks after the Thomson and First Choice mobile sites and helps define the company’s strategy in this area. He joined four years ago as a graduate, worked as an analyst on the operating side and spent six months on secondment in Paris.
What he said: Mobile represents 20% of our traffic but this is growing rapidly, so my leadership and building a successful team is a key pillar for our UK business.
International graduate, Tui UK & Ireland
Ben joined Tui as an international graduate, working across different areas of the business over 18 months. His work has led to the start of a project to replace manual processes and eliminate risk. Ben has also carried out projects elsewhere and worked in the European business in Majorca and France.
What his nominator said: He will, without doubt, be a future leader.
Partnerships marketing manager, Holiday Extras
Crista’s role involves running a team of two marketing executives developing communications between Holiday Extras and key industry partners. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Tourism Management and is currently studying for an MSc in responsible tourism.
What she said: I love travel and tourism and I am proud to be part of a new generation working at making a difference in the tourism industry.
Technical director, Mediaworks Online Marketing
Daniel played a leading role in a campaign for foreign exchange firm Travelex which used both pay-per-click and SEO marketing to increase traffic 53% and raise organic search conversions 87%. The Newcastle University graduate was one of Mediaworks’ first recruits upon launch in 2007.
What his nominator said: Daniel’s innovation was pivotal to a well-thought out plan that yielded outstanding results.
UK sales manager, Star Clippers
Danielle has risen up the ranks of Star Clippers UK after starting her career there as a reservation supervisor. She made a name for herself by building relationships on key accounts and was recently promoted to UK sales manager with responsibility for overseeing the sales team.
What her nominator said: From her early days as a reservation supervisor, it was clear that Danielle would grow and develop into a very successful member of the team.
Latin America product manager, Abercrombie & Kent
Graeme has quickly worked his way through the ranks since he joined as a travel coordinator in February 2011. Before his recent move into the product side, he helped to create Abercrombie’s Islands and Retreats team and worked as a consultant for the Private Travel membership club.
What he said: As a senior consultant at Abercrombie & Kent, I looked after 74 high-level patrons building a loyal relationship, exceeding their expectations in respect of service and attention to detail.
Marketing manager, Chambers Travel Management
Hannah joined the TMC 18 months ago and was responsible for increasing sales within her team by 75% during her first six months.
She was promoted to marketing manager in April 2014 and has developed a new online strategy for digital growth.
One of her initiatives is the creation of the Chambers Chatter forum, promoting education for those working in business travel. The first event was held in London in May, with the second planned for Munich in October.
Senior marketing manager, TrekAmerica Travel
Hayley is currently covering as head of the TrekAmerica and Grand American Adventures marketing team.
Prior to joining the firm she enjoyed stints at the likes of Lloyds Banking Group, John Lewis and Virgin Holidays.
Sales manager, Zolv
Jardine started out in the industry at the age of 15, working for Thomas Cook at weekends. She now works with travel businesses to help them increase rates of conversion and the value of sale. She led Mark Warner through a major change in the way it sold over the phone.
What her nominator said: From one-to-one training sessions to running agent incentives with money from her own pocket, Jardine’s commitment to the success of the agents and management team at Mark Warner has been exceptional.
Business development director, Quintessentially Travel Group
Jenny has been promoted three times since joining the firm as a PR manager four years ago. She now reports directly to the chief executive as business development director.
In her time at the company she has helped in a company rebrand and move from being a travel agent to a tour operator.
Account director, Brighter Group
Jenny joined the Brighter Group in 2012 after stints at the Saltmarsh Partnership and Freshwater UK. She started working on four accounts but this has doubled after two years at the agency.
In that time she has also single-handedly brought in more new business than anyone else in Brighter’s 20-year history.
Co-founder, Latin Routes
Jessica co-founded the tour operator Latin Routes in 2012 with Martin Johnson, one of last year’s Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders. Jessica has been leading its trade drive. Her recent promotions include a training workshop for agents and Latin Routes’ first fam trip is being planned.
What her nominator said: Jessica’s commitment led to a successful launch.
After working in the travel industry for six years, John decided to go it alone and launched his own agency, focusing on business and first-class travel with the aim of offering a “concierge-style” service to clients. He previously worked for Business Class International and DialAFlight.
What he said: I believe that this is the way forward in the business travel industry and hopefully it will set a trend that will make business travel a much better place.
Head of marketing, World Travel Holdings
Kate has responsibility for marketing across the company’s portfolio of online cruise agencies including cruise118.com, sixstarcruise.co.uk and cheapcruises.com. Since taking up the role, Kate has boosted lead generation by up to 85%, as well as building a social media strategy from scratch.
Other achievements include increasing open rates on marketing emails and forging partnerships with consumer brands such as Antler and Specsavers.
Assistant vice-president, Barclays Corporate Banking Origination
Lee works across a portfolio of travel clients. He has also been one of the key organisers of the Barclays Travel Forum for the past two years.
Partnership Manager UK & Ireland, Carnival Cruise Lines
Luke joined Carnival Cruise Lines in November 2012. He was promoted from account manager to sales planning manager within six months and to partnership manager shortly after. He has responsibility for relationships with trade partners and commercial contracts as well as the trade marketing budget.
What his nominator said: Luke has recently created and implemented a new business development strategy which is already widening distribution.
HR director, City Cruises
Matthew qualified as a captain to operate passenger ships at the age of 21 and has quickly progressed up the ladder of the London-based river cruise operator. He became its youngest director and is in charge of the recruitment, training and development of its 180 employees.
What his nominator said: Matthew’s most recent achievement has been leading the project that resulted in the launch of Thamesjet.
Business development manager, Attraction World
Nicola has only been at Attraction World for six months but has already impressed her senior colleagues. She previously ran three Tui superstores and has demonstrated her leadership skills, innovative nature and will to win.
What her nominator said: Destined for the top, the world really is her oyster, a deserved candidate for TTG’s 30 Under 30.
Senior retail manager, Thomson
Starting out as a 16-year-old trainee, Oliver quickly made his way up the ranks. Now 25, he is running one of the firm’s biggest superstores in Stoke as well as being deputy regional sales manager.
What his nominator said: He leads a team with many years of experience and this never phases him. He is driven to keep delivering and being promoted.
Sales manager (major accounts), Princess Cruises
After spells at tour operator Trafalgar and agency AviaCircle, Rachel joined Princess in a period of significant change as it moved from Complete Cruise Solution to its own dedicated sales team. Over the past 12 months, Rachel has helped to grow a number of the cruise line’s accounts.
What her nominator said: I am continually impressed by Rachel’s commitment and passion for her job and her willingness to support and help in the development of her fellow colleagues.
Group business development manager, Manchester Airports Group
Rachel joined from marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi in December 2013 as digital partnerships manager and soon secured new online agreements for the group’s airports.
What her nominator said: She has already established herself as a leader.
UK managing director, Lagrange Holidays
In the space of just six years Rebecca has worked her way from reservations consultant to UK managing director of French specialist Lagrange Holidays. She is working on projects to improve digital marketing, the website and customer relations, as well as the management of the business.
What she said: I am determined to question the status quo and to make incremental changes to ensure that the business continues to evolve and remain competitive.
PR manager, Best Western
Robyn has been at the forefront of driving several PR campaigns including the trial of a social media dashboard across the company. She has also visited hotels to help improve their crisis management, and was involved in promoting a Father’s Day campaign which generated £100,000 worth of media coverage.
What her nominator said: With an impeccable background in crisis communications and crisis management, Robyn has been a campaigner for the introduction of robust and resilient crisis communications to Best Western.
Sales executive, Classic Collection Holidays
Sarah joined Classic Collection Holidays after completing a degree in International Tourism and spending six months repping overseas. She started working in reservations before securing her dream job as a sales executive. She now spends her time on the road meeting travel agents.
What her nominator said: Sarah applies thought and consideration to every situation and has a fantastic sense of humour. This makes her a model employee and a delightful colleague.
Business development manager, BP Travel Marketing Services
Tom joined the brochure distribution firm at 19 and within five years had worked his way up to business development manager. He has helped to secure an "outstanding amount" of new business over the past three years, and helped to grow advertising through a range of distribution channels.
What he said: I have successfully won numerous contracts for the company and developed lots of new business from our existing clients too.
Data analyst, Click Travel
Tom has secured two quick promotions since joining the TMC. He concentrates on analysing buying behaviour, and has developed a tool to give real-time productivity reporting in Click's reservations centre. He has also led a project to improve the use of Click’s customer relationship management tool.
What his nominator said: Tom’s commercial acumen and flair for data analysis rapidly earned him two promotions and his work has become essential to our business.