If you’re travelling and start to ask yourself, I wonder who came up with that clever idea? People who travelled and are now redirecting the global compass with green economies? Those answers are here, among the few game-changers who made the way we see, taste, sail, and circle the world that much more incredible – part three.
Sir Richard Branson
We challenge you to think of an individual who has had as much impact on our industry as Sir Richard. Over his four decades in the travel sphere, the British entrepreneur has revolutionized airline travel. His Virgin Atlantic airlines introduced, in 1991, the single greatest gift to the long-haul traveler – personal screens affixed to seat backs. He breathed new life into old buildings with Virgin Hotels – his first, in Chicago, took over the 26-story, Art Deco Old Dearborn Bank Building – and this year he’ll open properties in San Francisco, New York, Dallas, and Las Vegas, in what was once the Hard Rock Hotel. He’s also been working on launching tourists into space with Virgin Galactic. But itís his latest venture that sets out to achieve the truly impossible: turn high-taste millennials on to cruising. And so far, it seems he is doing everything right. When his first Virgin Voyages ship sets sail in 2020, itíll have suites dreamed up by Roman and Williams, a Tom Dixon’ designed restaurant, a drag cabaret, and a tattoo parlor, because, well, millennials. All that’s really left for Virgin is to jump into the private jet game. But we’ll let him take us into the cosmos first. – Erin Florio
Paris’ Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo is on a mission to rid the city of all but electric vehicles by 2030. And she’s well on her way to doing it sort of. She’s already banned older, more pollution-causing cars, and the city is car-free every first Sunday of every month (even the Champs …Élysées!), a program she intends to expand to every Sunday of the month by next year. Now Hidalgo, who’s also chairwoman of C40, a network of the world’s largest cities committed to tackling climate change, is fighting for the most ambitious part of her plan: creating a two-square mile pedestrian zone on the Right Bank running from the Louvre to the Bastille. Whether you agree with the measures she’s taken or not – and she has plenty of critics who claim these pedestrian zones cause traffic jams in other parts of the city – it’s hard to deny that something has to be done. “Cities produce 70 percent of greenhouse gases,” she said back in 2017. A staggering fact, yes. And for Hidalgo, a call to action. – Lauren DeCarlo