Gareth Williams, founder and chief executive of Skyscanner, wins prestigious WTM World Travel Leaders Award

Gareth Williams, founder and chief executive of Skyscanner, wins prestigious WTM World Travel Leaders Award

Gareth Williams, founder and chief executive of Skyscanner, has won a prestigious World Travel Market 2015 World Travel Leaders Award in recognition of creating one of the leading travel search companies.

Williams received the coveted award today (Tuesday 3 November) at the WTM World Travel Leaders Award ceremony. The award was presented by Travolution editor, Lee Hayhurst and was collected by Skyscanner’s Europe social media manager, Sam Poullain.

The Awards give WTM London’s Official Media Partners – which represent key travel industry media around the world – an excellent platform to congratulate and recognise those companies and individuals which have made the greatest contributions to travel and tourism in their region or sector.

Three nominations from each of WTM’s media partners were judged in September by a panel of three, made up of an independent body, a representative of WTM and the relevant media partner.

Williams created Skyscanner in 2001 after finding it difficult to book the cheapest flights to visit his brother in the Swiss Alps. He teamed up with co-founders Barry Smith and Bonamy Grimes in the hope to create a website that makes it easy to track down the best travel deals.

Now, Skyscanner is arguably the UK’s most successful online travel business and last year US venture capital firm Sequoia Capital valued the firm at US$800 million. Skyscanner now has a global reach with offices in the UK, Barcelona, Beijing, Miami and Singapore employing over 300 staff from more than 40 different nationalities. It’s also extending its reach in terms of product after it recently established a business to business unit which will offer sector insight and data to industry partners like airlines, tourist boards and tour operators.

It’s described as “the most attractive tech company in Europe” and receives more than 25 million unique visitors per month worldwide and their multi-award winning mobile app has been downloaded over 25 million times. An incredible achievement from the Norfolk-born entrepreneur, who studied math and computer science at the University of Manchester.

The judges acknowledged Williams’ incredible rise and said: “A great example of an entrepreneur who launched, and remained as Chief Executive, of a true British success story. Taking the business into multi-regions has seen Skyscanner described as the most attractive tech company in Europe.”

Every year, World Travel Leaders Awards are presented at WTM London. The full list of 2015 winners is:

Canada: WestJet

Spain: Loro Parque Fundacion

Italy: Trenitalia

Brazil: Mr. Eloi D’Avila De Oliveira – Founder of Flytour group

Portugal: Vila Gale Hotels


India: roomsXML Solutions Limited

China: World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF)

Travolution: Gareth Williams

USA: Arthur Frommer

TTG: G Adventures

Middle East: Air Arabia


About World Travel Market London

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.

WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa.

World Travel Market Events

World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.

The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.

In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.

WTM is part of Reed travel Exhibitions, the leading events organiser in the travel industry, and is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.

Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.

RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM World and International Luxury Travel Market.

RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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