LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT TO PHIL
BAKES OF FAR & WIDE
The recipient of ATME’s most prestigious honor, the ATLAS Lifetime Achievement Award, Phil Bakes, president and CEO of the new travel company, Far & Wide, began his early career as a Watergate Special Prosecutor.
His entry into the travel business began as counsel to the antitrust subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he helped to spearhead hearings on airline deregulation and to write the airline deregulation act.
long list of career highlights continues as general counsel with the Civil Aeronautics Board during deregulation of the U.S. aviation industry.
In 1980, he joined Texas Air Corporation, where he helped start up New York Air, and acquire Continental Airlines.
While president of Continental he is credited with leading the company out of bankruptcy, and ushering in substantial growth—the airline’s most profitable period in its 50-year history.
In 1986, he became president and CEO of Eastern Airlines, where he implemented major restructuring, asset sales, cost reductions, streamline operations, and revamped the entire marketing program.
decade in the airline industry, Bakes
colleagues led many notable initiatives, including a project called Airport of the Future, which was the precursor to electronic ticketing; simplified peak and off-peak pricing, which is credited with turning around Continental; and increasing travel agent market share in System 1 and Amadeus.
In 1990, Bakes founded and was president of Sojourn Enterprises Inc., a Miami-based advisory and merchant banking firm.
In 1997, he
cofounded Travel Industry Acquisition, the predecessor of Far & Wide Travel
“Far & Wide’s goal is to provide a lifetime of enriching travel experiences for individuals, families, and groups to destinations around the world with an emphasis on exceptional customer service and destination expertise,” remarked Madigan Pratt, executive vice president with Trinity Communications
, who presented the award.
“This is being done by a series of acquisitions that allow Far & Wide
to offer a wide range of value-added products and to address growing consumer needs.”
“Phil’s accomplishments have earned him numerous honors, including being named Tour Operator of the Year by Travel Agent magazine
We would like to add to that list of honors by presenting Phil Bakes with the ATME Atlas Award for Lifetime Achievement,” Pratt said.
In accepting the award, Bakes
remarked that this is probably the most challenging time in the travel industry because of the new breed of traveler and the dramatic changes in technology.
“The baby boomer, who is savvy, smart, and demanding, is changing what we have to do to be successful.
It requires a successful travel company to have tremendous product development and product diversity to deliver that product through its own style and consistency.”
Bakes noted that Baby Boomers do not want escorted motorcoach tours, which they say is for their parents, but that they love group travel centered around a common interest, such as wine, food, art or biking.
Just as airlines and cruiselines have consolidated, Bakes’ aim with Far & Wide
is to consolidate the packaged tour segment of the travel industry.
“The U.S. tour business is estimated to do $23 billion a year in revenue.
But there’s 2,000 significant tour operators,” Bakes pointed out.
“Consolidation is only our means to an end, which is to be the leading travel provider of a lifetime of enriching travel experiences,” he
also noted he
was a little nervous in receiving this award, based on his
“Success comes from a lot of hard work, good planning and execution, but also through a lot of good fortune.
I know how fickle good luck can be,” he