Two influential business leaders have been unveiled as the final inductees into the industry’s Hall of Fame. Robin Searle reports.

The final inductees for the 2018 British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame have been announced as former UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai and Deloitte global leader for travel and aviation Graham Pickett.

They will be honoured alongside G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip, former Momondo Group chief executive Hugo Burge and Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin, who were unveiled as the first three inductees in March.

The British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame will take place at the Dorchester hotel in London on April 30. In addition to the induction of the new members, the event will feature awards for young manager and young entrepreneur of the year, and the annual business excellence award, which is being presented to John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby, co-founders of healthy fast food chain Leon.

The Hall of Fame is part of Jacobs Media Group, Europe’s largest B2B media company for the travel and hospitality industry, and the owner of Travel Weekly. Inductees represent the highest achievers in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors locally and globally, with recipients having inspired those around them.

Jacobs Media Group chairman Clive Jacobs said: “We are delighted to announce our final two inductees for 2018, and look forward to honouring five individuals who have each made a marked and lasting contribution to the travel and hospitality industry.”

Taleb Rifai

Former secretary general, UNWTO

Taleb Rifai was the secretary general of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), until the end of 2017. He originally took up the position in 2010, and was elected for a second four-year term in 2013.

He has a background in international and national public service, the private sector and academia.

Holding a PhD in urban design and regional planning, an MA in engineering and architecture and a BSc in engineering and architecture, Rifai was initially involved in research, teaching and practising architecture and urban design in Jordan and the US.

He then went on to hold positions including assistant director general of the International Labour Organisation, several ministerial portfolios in the Jordanian government, director of the economic mission to Washington DC and director general of the Investment Promotion Corporation of Jordan.

Graham Pickett

Global leader for travel and aviation, Deloitte

Graham Pickett is a vice-chairman of Deloitte’s UK firm and is the company’s UK and global leader for the travel and aviation sector.

He leads Deloitte’s national industry sector group for travel, hospitality and leisure in the UK, and has served a number of key industry clients as a partner over the past 25 years.

He is also extensively involved with regulation of the industry, working regularly with the CAA and other organisations such as Abta.

Over the past decade, major clients have included IAG/ British Airways, easyjet, Flybe, Tui, Ryanair, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic in addition to airports including Gatwick and Manchester Airports Group.

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