Every single person on this list has influenced me and plenty of other people around the world to step outside of our houses and to see the world and embrace other cultures. It was really difficult to cut this list down to just 18, therefore everyone on this list has really gone the extra mile and has achieved something that will make them stay in people’s thoughts for decades to come.
18) Kate Simon
Approaching 30 years working as a journalist, Kate is one of the most respected and trusted writers, with her articles being featured on BBC holiday magazine and the Daily Telegraph, as well as many other publications. She is now considered a key influencer for other’s hoping to enter the travel industry.
17) Steffi Crivellaro
A travel photographer who has produced content for clients ranging from Benefit to Air BnB and Mashable, Steffi is probably best known for her stunning photos on Instagram. With over 75,000 followers, she has built herself a power account and is recognised as a powerful influencer on UK travel.
16) Barnaby Rogerson
Born into the world of travel, Barnaby experienced various different cultures and lifestyles during his upbringing, as his father served in the Royal Navy. From his adventures throughout Tunisia and Morocco in multiple publications, to his guidebooks and his unbelievable ‘book of numbers’.
15) Alex Hunter
2016 has been a huge year for Alex, winning numerous awards thanks to his breathtakingly successful YouTube channel Attache Travel. This is most definitely one to watch in 2017, as he will undoubtedly soon by gracing our televisions.
14) Paul Johnson
Paul brought the world the illustrious blog called A Luxury Travel Blog, which gains over 150,000 unique visitors per month. The blog has gone on to win numerous awards and is often considered to be in the top 10 travel blogs in the world.
13) Louis Cole
Louis is probably most recognisable for his athletic stunts in front of famous landmarks. It is this upbeat and hyperactive attitude that has kept audiences captivated and watching his YouTube videos for five years. He now boasts over 1.8 million subscribers, while he still posts a vlog ever single day, something I have to tip my hat off for.
12) Jack and Finn Harries
Twin brothers Jack and Finn were taking a gap year back in 2012 and wanted to record all of their favourite moments, saving it to their YouTube channel. They certainly didn’t expect such an enthusiastic and addicted audience. The channel now has over 4 million subscribers, while their videos have been watched over 190 million times, not bad for a couple of guys taking a break before University! What I like about them however is that they often have a politically responsible or charitable angle with a lot of their videos.
11) William Gray
World renowned both for his writing and for his photography, William has released a number of books and was also the presenter on the BBC show Holiday. His work has been featured almost everywhere, including the Guardian, National Geographic and The Times.
10) Mark Hodson
Mark has been an influence on my career, as I remember reading articles by him when I was entering the industry. Mark is the co-founder of 101 Holidays and has written for a number of other publications, including the FT and the Telegraph.
9) Jini Reddy
If you’re into nature and responsible travel then Jini Reddy is your go-to guide. She released a book in October, titled Wild Times, which offers her input on how to experience the natural beauty we have here in the UK.
8) Nigel Tisdall
If you’ve found yourself reading an article on the Telegraph travel section, there is a fair chance you have been reading an article by this Eloquent writer. It all started for Nigel with a trip to Hong Kong in 1985 and since then he has been addicted to the travel industry.
7) Brian Jackman
One of the most decorated travel writers Britain has to offer, Brian has been a key travel influencer for over 30 years, having won travel writer of the year back in 1982. Whether it’s the BBC wildlife magazine or Travel Africa, he is an ever-present within travel publications. What draws me to Brian is his constant battle to protect threatened wildlife in Africa.
6) Philip Bloom
Philip has become famous for his filmmaking, often with a travel focus, producing content for the likes of the BBC, CNN, ITV, Canon, Sky, and the list goes on. An influencer both for travellers and for budding videographers, Philip’s blog receives over a million visitors per month. He now has over 130,000 followers on Twitter and has 125,000 subscribers on YouTube.
5) Adrian Anthony Gill
The multi award winning journalist has won over millions of fans with his humorous and witty writing. I’m devastated to say as I am writing this article, I have just found out he passed away, on December the 10th. He will however be remembered as one of the most influential people in the travel industry and a huge influence on me.
4) Carolyn McCall
Carolyn has helped to quadruple EasyJet’s pre-tax profits since she was appointed as the chief executive back in 2010. She has also now been appointed a DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to the aviation industry.
3) Simon Calder
If you work in the travel industry then you’ve undoubtedly heard his name before. Simon has been featured on numerous BBC shows over the past decade, while he is currently the senior travel editor at The Independent, having started with the newspaper back in 1994.
2) Richard Branson
An inventor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, adventure seeker…there aren’t enough words to describe this man. Having setup Virgin Records back in 1972, his empire grows with every passing day, with an estimated net worth of 4.25 billion pounds. We’re now all waiting for the new fast flights from London to New York, which should only take three and a half hours.
1) David Attenborough
An absolute national treasure, David Attenborough’s BBC series of Planet Earth 2 has kept audiences eyes glued to the screen. The Iguana vs snake scene is now recognised as one of the greatest moments in TV history and went viral around the world. His voice is one of the most recognised in the world and he creates travel lust like no other.