By Gemma Greenwood
The travel industry's most influential players are revealed in the Arabian Travel News Power 50.
Whether it is power, influence or success driving their ambitions, ATN’s guide to the region’s 50 most influential travel and tourism professionals in the Middle East not only recognises the individuals who have helped shape the industry, but identifies those who strive to take it forward over the next few decades.
Click here to view the Arabian Travel Power 50 2009 list >>
The Arabian Travel News Power 50 features individuals from all walks of life and from many sectors – from tourism boards and tour operators to airlines, congress organisers and even eco-warriors.
Together, they represent a mix of roles that has significant relevance to the continued and successful growth of the Middle East travel and tourism industry.
While the Power 50 does not include ministers of state or members of ruling families, Arabian Travel News recognises their vital contribution to the development of the region’s tourism industry.
So who’s hot and who’s not? Coming in at number one is Emirates Airline and Group executive vice chairman Maurice Flanagan CBE who not only set up the first UAE travel agency – Dnata - but has played a major role in putting the Middle East on the travel and tourism map through his involvement with one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines.
With carriers such as Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways – not to mention the low-cost carriers – helping to secure the future growth and prosperity of the region’s travel and tourism industry, it’s not surprise that the CEOS of these businesses feature on our Power 50 list too.
Individuals who have helped developed the region’s hotel industry into one of the most dynamic in the world, are also featured, but so too are some more unexpected names – those who helped sow the seeds many years back to create the diverse industry we witness today.
We should stress that the list is not scientific, but entirely subjective and we accept that our readers will agree and disagree on almost every name and position.
We apologise to anyone offended by appearance or non-appearance on the list and would indeed welcome suggestions for our 2010 Power 50.
Click here to see the full list.
Gemma Greenwood is the senior group editor of ITP Business' travel & hospitality tiles.