Developing and Retaining Talent in Travel

    06 February 2024
  • Venue:
    ABTA, 30 Park Street, London, SE1 9EQ
  • View agenda
  • View Upcoming Events
past event

Event details

This unique conference will bring together those educating and those employing staff to debate the future of talent in the travel industry.

Attend to gain insight into the latest developments and trends in education, recruitment and retention of staff in the sector. 

About the event

At a time when further education in travel and tourism is bracing itself for radical changes, and employers are struggling to fill recruitment gaps, this conference will gather employers and education providers for a thought-provoking day of discussion and debate.

Labour mobility restrictions, the recently announced review of post-16 qualifications, and generally challenging conditions for recruiting and retaining staff in the UK all present serious threats for securing future talent into the industry. 

Attend this conference to understand and discuss the skills employers are looking for now and in the long term, and debate how travel and tourism businesses, education providers and government need to work together to address these skills gaps.

Explore ways to attract, develop and retain talent to meet employer and thus consumer demands, and ultimately to ensure a competitive travel and tourism industry.


  • Key strategies for recruiting and retaining talent affordably in the new world of work
  • Working in partnership with education on recruitment
  • Case study: graduate training schemes
  • Employment law update 
  • Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace 
  • Industry case study: diversity and inclusion 
  • Investing in mental health and wellbeing to improve productivity


Moderator: Vicki Wolf, Head of Education and Career Development , ABTA

Vicki is ABTA’s Head of Education and Career Development and has worked at ABTA – The Travel Association, in various roles since the end of 2000. Vicki’s main responsibilities include managing ABTA’s education work including our online training portal – The ABTA Knowledge Zone as well as our 15 ABTA Education Partners (12 universities and 3 colleges). This includes our ABTA Student Representatives programme. Vicki also represents ABTA on the Aviation Skills Board (AISB) and Travel Apprenticeship Board. Previous to working at ABTA she worked for the National Department of Transport in South Africa as a policy advisor. 

  • Dr. Sumeetra Ramakrishnan, Associate Professor, Programme Director PG Hospitality Management, University of Surrey
  • Dr. Peter Robinson, Head of the Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Management, Leeds Beckett University
  • Ami Naru, Partner, Travlaw
  • Nicola Degnan, Learning and Development Manager, Hays Travel
  • Peter Gardner, Early Careers & Apprenticeship Manager, easyJet and easyJet holidays
  • Debi Sharkie, Business Development Manager, Damar Training
  • Barbara Kolosinska, Managing Director, C&M Recruitment
  • Alessandra Alonso, Managing Director, Women in Travel
  • Emma Capper, UK Wellbeing Leader, Howden

Benefits of attending

  • Discover key strategies for recruiting and retaining talent in the travel industry
  • Understand what employees are looking for and benefits other than salary that can be offered
  • Hear how working in partnership with education on recruitment and graduate schemes can help your future talent pool
  • Gain insights into the benefits of apprenticeships for both the business and the apprentice
  • Get an update on employment law, the impact of Brexit, flexible working and holiday pay and commission
  • Take away practical tips on how to create a diverse and inclusive workplace and measure the success of your EDI policy
  • Receive expert advice on how investing in mental health and wellbeing can improve productivity across the workforce.

Who should attend?

  • Anyone employing staff in the travel industry
  • CEOs and senior level staff wanting to stay on top of the latest workforce and skills development in the sector
  • Those working in HR in travel or related roles
  • Colleges, universities and anyone providing education for the travel sector.

Event prices

ABTA Member/ABTA Partner* rate – £289 plus VAT 
Non-Member rate – £459 plus VAT 

This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, all delegate materials, presentations and an attendee certificate. 

Make payment by credit or debit card. 

View our booking terms and conditions here.


  • Book three places and get 50% off the third place.
    (This discount will be automatically applied when you book online.)
  • If you are looking to book for a larger group please contact for a bespoke discount.

*To qualify for the ABTA Member/Partner discount you must have a current ABTA Member/Partner number or your application must be in progress when the event takes place.

Non-Members are welcome to attend. For information about becoming a Member click here.


Event partners

C&M Travel Recruitment is the UK's most established specialist travel recruitment company and offers permanent, temporary and contract roles in a wide range of sectors including retail, cruise, tour operators, OTAs, leisure and business travel. We were formed in 1998 with the simple aim of delivering great talent to
the travel industry by a team that truly knows travel. In the following years, C&M have filled more than 15,000 roles across all disciplines in the travel industry -including IT, finance and marketing. Recruiting for a wide range of companies, ranging from small niche operators to some of the biggest names in travel, C&M has gained an award-winning reputation.

Damar is a specialist provider of apprenticeship training, supporting individuals and organisations to achieve their potential since 1980. We focus on business and professional services apprenticeships in areas such as management, law, accountancy, data protection, administration, travel and customer service. We also help employers to recruit apprentices.
We work nationally with organisations of all sizes, from government departments. large companies to SMEs.

Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing is part of Howden Group. Our expert team works with clients of all sizes, across the UK and globally, to provide dedicated employee benefits & wellbeing consultancy. We have won many industry awards for our work and are widely recognised for our innovative and creative approach to benefit design. We understand that today’s diverse workforce is looking for tailored employee benefits that meet ever-changing lifestyle and wellbeing needs. So, we design, implement, and manage your benefits to keep them relevant and fit for purpose - now and for the future.

ABTA Partner+ Travlaw Legal Services Limited are 100% committed to serving the travel and leisure industry – from tour operators and travel agents to airlines, hotel groups, event management companies and their insurers. We pride ourselves on being one of the top travel law firms in the UK. We are a large, experienced team of highly professional yet approachable lawyers who are tried and tested specialists in advising.

For information on sponsorship opportunities please contact Sara Dolan on 07766 517 611 or email

I want more information about this event

Contact us for more information about this event.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.