The other half of the Mr. and Mrs. Smith team, serial entrepreneur James Lohan has evolved the ‘aspirational but still accessible’ hotel and holiday booking brand into one of the top travel websites in the world, earning him an MBE for services to the British travel industry. His crisp, honest keynote speeches and entrepreneurial mindset are enlightening for those looking to develop their businesses.
Throwing out the business rulebooks, James Lohan MBE ruffled some suits when he shook up the travel sector to build the innovative, market-leading hotel and holiday booking brand Mr & Mrs Smith, alongside his business partner Tamara Lohan.
Described by its founders as ‘aspirational but still accessible’, Mrandmrssmith.com has twice been voted ‘Best Travel Website’ at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards.
James’ first entrepreneurial pursuit was an events company called Atomic, from where he organised legendary parties and corporate events in London.
Passionate about the luxury market, James co-founded restaurant and members’ club the White House, which led naturally to boutique hotels, and to Mr & Mrs Smith. The first guide book hit bookshops in 2003, and the business grew into a multi-faced boutique travel provider, under the talented and knowledgeable eyes of James and Tamara. In 2005, they introduced an online booking service, and the following year the company engaged an in-house reservations team.
The business encompasses a three-tiered membership programme, which comprises a full travel and lifestyle concierge service. With over 1 million members globally, Mr. and Mrs. Smith has gone international, with the brand launched in the Asia-Pacific region and North America from offices in Melbourne and New York.
James has introduced a worldwide telephone booking service and a series of online travel videos; he is also busy developing Smith apps on mobile platforms.
In 2014, both James and Tamara were both awarded MBEs for services to the British travel industry, and they continue to serve as inspirational figureheads for entrepreneurship today.
Able to share the Mr. & Mrs. Smith entrepreneurial story, explain the luxury travel market and what makes great customer service, James is an adept keynote speaker for all kinds of business events.