Special Report: Hall of Fame to induct two pioneers

Special Report: Hall of Fame to induct two pioneers

Two influential figures in travel will be welcomed into the industry’s Hall of Fame at next month’s awards dinner

The founders of G Adventures and Momondo Group will be inducted into the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in April.

The awards honour the highest achievers in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors, with recipients having inspired those around them.

This year’s inductees are Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, and Hugo Burge, former chief executive of Momondo Group.

They will be honoured alongside an inductee from the hospitality sector, Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin, at the Dorchester hotel in London on April 30.

This year’s business achievement award will go to John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby, the co-founders of healthy fast food chain Leon.

Awards for young entrepreneur and young manager of the year will be announced on the night.

The sustainable business award will be revealed closer to the event.

The Hall of Fame is part of Jacobs Media Group, which also includes Travel Weekly. Chairman Clive Jacobs said: “We are honouring outstanding figures who have achieved huge success, shown exceptional leadership and inspired those around them.”

Hugo Burge

hugo-burgeFormer chief executive, Momondo Group

Burge helped lead the buyout of Cheapflights, one of the UK’s pioneering travel online brands, from founder John Hatt in 2000 when it was just a two-person operation based in a Wandsworth attic.

In 2011 he became chief executive and oversaw the purchase of Denmark-based metasearch site Momondo, whose name the group adopted when it rebranded as it expanded internationally.

A strategic switch to metasearch from its original media model and expansion in North America put Momondo on the radar of big global competitors and in 2017 the Priceline Group acquired it for $550 million.

That saw Burge exit the business and since then he has been pursuing his passion for the Arts and Crafts movement.

As director of Marchmont Farms, he is leading a six-year restoration of Marchmont House in the Scottish borders, as well as being a patron of the Borders Art Fair.

Burge co-founded Howzat Partners, which has invested in more than 60 digital start-ups.

He is also on the advisory panel of the TravelTech Lab and a founding investor in Travel Massive.

He has previously been honoured by the Travel Industry Hall of Fame as Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008, while in 2016 he won the Travolution Achievement Award.

Bruce Poon Tip

bruce-poon-tipFounder, G Adventures

With a passion for travel’s power to change the world for the better, Poon Tip has become a global leader on social entrepreneurship, leadership, immersive travel and innovation.

At the age of 22, following a backpacking trip to Asia and with two maxed-out credit cards, he started G Adventures, a small-group adventure operator that gave travellers the opportunity to foster meaningful connections with local communities in the countries they visited.

Fast forward 28 years and G Adventures is the world’s largest small-group adventure travel company, with 28 offices worldwide offering more than 700 tours on all seven continents.

In 2003 Poon Tip founded non-profit The Planeterra Foundation to support vulnerable and under-served communities around the world.

His first book, Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business, became a New York Times bestseller and the first business book to be endorsed by the Dalai Lama, who penned its foreword. In 2015 Poon Tip released his second book, Do Big Small Things.

G Adventures has been named one of the 50 Best Managed Companies for more than 10 years and has been recognised as a “best place to work” in Canada, the UK, the US and Australia.

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