Skift Take

Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali's high ranking as an influential travel leader stems from his willingness to tackle major issues — especially news and trends — in the travel industry.

Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali is being recognized as one of travel’s most influential leaders for 2022 by CRANT, a digital marketing company. CRANT, which used a formula that included tracking leaders’ total number of social media posts and their engagement level, ranked Ali second in its list, trailing only Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.

Ali produced eight posts that appeared in CRANT’s list of 100 most engaging by travel leaders, the highest ranked of which — number 18 — praised Visit Iceland’s tourism campaign that poked fun at the metaverse. His December 2021 post on LinkedIn displaying the earliest mock-up of Skift’s homepage, published ten years prior, was listed as CRANT’s top post for the month.

CRANT, which has tracked social media posts by travel leaders since May 2021 for its research, found that travel industry news and trends was the commonly discussed topic by leaders as well as the one that attracted the highest levels of engagement. The vast majority of Ali’s posts touched addressed issues pertaining to the subject.

Ali, who founded Skift in 2012 as a truly unique business-to-business publication covering the business of travel, started his career as a journalist, then as a blogger while creating his first company PaidContent. Ali has a large following across social media for his sharp insights as well as for his unflinching critiques.

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Photo credit: Skift Founder and CEO Rafat Ali speaking at Skift Europe Forum earlier this year.