Stagecoach Group Chief Executive and co-founder Sir Brian Souter has been honoured with membership of the British Travel and Hospitality Industry Hall of Fame.
Sir Brian is the first public transport entrepreneur to receive the honour, with previous members coming from the airline, hospitality and travel management sectors.
The Hall of Fame was launched in 1994 and recognises people who have played a significant role in the creation and development of the travel and tourism industries.
Members include Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson; Jim French CBE, Chairman and CEO of Flybe; Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet; Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chairman of VisitBritain; and Carlson Chairman Marilyn Carlson Nelson.
Sir Brian, who was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2011 for services to transport and the voluntary sector, is one of the UK’s foremost entrepreneurs.
His first job in the transport industry was as a bus conductor. He co-founded Stagecoach with his sister, Ann Gloag, in 1980 with just two buses and has developed the company into a leading international transport group in the UK and North America with 35,000 employees and an annual turnover of nearly £2.5billion.
Sir Brian, a significant supporter of charitable causes and the country’s leading public transport innovator, was honoured at a special dinner at the Savoy in London last night.
He said: “I’m very fortunate to work in a sector I’m passionate about and which affects so many people’s lives. Over more than three decades, Stagecoach has transformed public transport through new ideas such as our expanding megabus.com budget coach brand.
“We would not have achieved so much without the vital contribution of many talented people across our group and they should also be proud of this honour.”
Michael East, the Founder of the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame, said: “Sir Brian is an outstandingly successful entrepreneur who has created a truly remarkable global company starting with those first two small buses. He is a leading creator of the world transportation network.”
Sir Brian was inducted into the Hall of Fame at a dinner in London.