The Influential Ten

Ten Years of Online Travel – The Influential Ten


Who are the innovators of the last ten years? Who has created a company that has shaped the way travel products are distributed online?

Pick ten from our shortlist of 20 names. The definitive list of the most influential people of the last ten years will be published in our special edition in September, when we will be celebrating ten years of online travel.


Here is the shortlist:

Simon Breakwell
Until recently, European president for Expedia and credited with driving the unique European end of the business to its number one position.

Sergy Brin and Larry Page
Founders of the internet giant, Google, who have helped make search one of the most important aspects of marketing any consumer product.

Pierre Chappaz and Dominique Vidal
Positioned price comparison site Kelkoo as the leading European e-commerce platform for travel products within two years of its creation in 2000.

Tony Cheng and Jim Donnelly
Creators of the travel planning website,, winner of the Best Travel Site in the US in 2004 and a benchmark for user-generated content.

Dinesh Dhamija
Founder of Flightbookers (later Ebookers) and recognised as one of the leading entrepreneurs of the 1990s dot-com boom.

Bob Diener and Dave Litman founders, created the first large-scale hotel merchant site on the internet after expanding their existing discount rooms toll-free call centre.

Barry Diller
Steered Expedia through soaring growth phase and oversaw massively important acquisitions of and to create IAC as the archetypal travel conglomerate.

David Filo and Jerry Yang
Developed Yahoo! from a directory model to all-encompassing online media company, covering natural search, a travel vertical and a pay-per-click model.

Bill Gates
Driving force at Microsoft behind the home PC phenomenon and the consumer facing end of the internet – also spearheaded the launch of Expedia in 1996.

Simon Talling-Smith
Internet and e-commerce guru at British Airways, recognised as the motivating force behind and its massive success online.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou
Founder of the Easy empire and co-conspirator behind the internet-based no-frills airline model in Europe.

John Hatt
Former-journalist and founder of Cheapflight who pioneered the travel products advertising model to create the sixth biggest travel site within four years.

Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox
Creators of the online travel agency-cum-lifestyle brand internet model with, set the pace in the online world with innovative marketing and acquisition strategy.

Mark Jones
Founder of the Online Travel Corporation who developed the self-created package holiday market, while busy owning or powering 150 travel websites.

Terry Jones
Driving force behind Sabre-owned Travelocity, the first travel website to allow consumers to search, reserve and book travel tickets.

Steve Kaufer and Langley Steinert
Founders of Tripadvisor and credited with setting the pace in the user-generated review model for travel websites.

Michael O’Leary
Chief executive of Ryanair and unofficial accomplice in no-frills, internet-based airline business model for Europe.

Andy Phillips and Adrian Critchlow
Active Hotels founders and early pioneers of the affiliate distribution business for online hotel bookings.

Jay Walker
Entrepreneur behind Priceline, the first name-your-own-price website for flights, room and car hire, before moving into traditional blind auction style tool.

Alex Zoghlin
Founder of US airline-backed Orbitz, creating the third biggest online travel agent within two years and setting the blistering pace for post dot-com boom travel sites to follow.

We will publish the results of the poll in the September edition of Travolution


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