Branson leads travel’s elite in Sunday Times’ Rich List

Branson leads travel’s elite in Sunday Times’ Rich List

Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson tops the travel entrants in the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List, with increased wealth of 19% or £488 million in the past year.

He is ranked as Britain’s 19th richest person with a wealth of £3.085 billion, more than trumping Ryanair chief executive Micheal O’Leary, who is rated as Ireland’s 20th wealthy individual with £338 million, down by £38 million on 2010.

The Walker family, who have a £113.5 million stake in Flybe, are ranked as the 128th  richest in Britain with £600 million. Travelex founder Lloyd Dorfman is ranked as the 134th wealthiest person in Britain with £570 million, up from £520 million.

Travel entrepreneur Kuljinder Bahia and his family, who are behind Southall Travel, have seen their wealth rise by £124 million in the past 12 months to £184 million. The business is estimated to be worth £164 million.

Simon Nixon, who has just announced the winding down of travel site, is ranked 194th with improved wealth of £68 million to £412 million.

The families of Peter Harris and John Cook, who are behind privately owned Butlins, Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels parent Bourne Leisure, are estimated to have £400 million and £330 million respectively.

The fortunes of Sir Rocco Forte and his sister Olga Polizzi are said to have slumped by £45 million to £240 million as their hotel group the Rocco Forte Collection is described as having had a difficult time in the recession.

Other travel industry names in the list include Abercrombie & Kent chairman Geoffrey Kent (£213 million), Lord Glendonbrook, the former Bmi chairman Sir Micheal Bishop (£200 million), former Airtours chief David Crossland (£160 million) and ex-Gold Medal Travel owner Ken Townsley (£118 million).


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