Friday, March 10, 2006

Something to aim for...

The Forbes annual list of the world’s wealthy was unveiled this morning – produced, perhaps, to give everyone else something to strive towards, although in reality it actually just gives Forbes a heap of publicity once a year!

Unsurprisingly, travel-related entrepreneurs have a modest presence among the 793 billionaires the US magazine has found for its latest list, up from just 140 of 20 years ago.

Also coming into the market in recent years have been those on the technology scene, such as Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, from Dell, Apple and Microsoft respectively.

Indeed, propping up the richest in the technology sector are the search engines and internet portals (“Do they really make most of their money from sponsored links?” a non-web savvy friend asked me recently).

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, have a net value of almost $13bn apiece; their new chief exec Eric Schmidt can also relax with his own $4.8bn.

Meanwhile Cosmos founder Sergio Mantegazza is 317th on the list with $2.4bn, Virgin boss Richard Branson has $2.8bn and hotel moguls Richard Marriott and John Marriott Jr are sitting pretty on $1.5bn each.

So here we go…a trimmed down, Travolution-picked list of the world’s wealthy [courtesy of Forbes, of course]:

[Click on a name to read how they made their billions]

Spiro Latsis and family (PrivatAir/PrivatSea) – $9.1bn

Micky Arison (Carnival Group) – $6.1bn

Jack Taylor (Enterprise Rent-a-Car) – $6bn

Shari Arison (Carnival Group) – $5.2bn

Robert Rowling (Omni Hotels) – $4.8bn

Jim Pattison (Ripley’s Believe It or Not/new Niagara Falls attraction) – $3.5bn

Gianluigi & Rafaela Aponte (MSC Cruises) – $3bn

David Filo (Yahoo!) – $2.9bn

Jerry Yang (Yahoo!) – $2.4bn

Robert Pritzker (Hyatt) – $1.9bn

Gabriel Escarrer (Sol Melia Hotels) - $1.7bn

Arne Wilhelmsen and family (Royal Caribbean Cruises) – $1.6bn

Naresh Goyal (Jet Airways) – $1.5bn

Henrique, Joaquim, Ricardo and Oliveria Jr Constantino (GOL Intelligent Airlines) - $1.1bn each for four members of the Constantino family

Anyway, back to work…

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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