Group Travel and Escorted Tours Conference – London

past event

Event details

ABTA’s second annual Group Travel and Escorted Tours Conference focuses on how to market, sell and deliver holidays and tours of all sizes.

This year the conference brings together tour operators, travel agents, GTOs and the wider travel industry. Learn about product trends and the growing demand for experiential and adventure travel, themed and cultural tours, immersive experiences and more.

Discover ways to generate new business through marketing and social media campaigns and engagement with the trade and Group Travel Organisers (GTOs). Embrace speciality markets, attract new traveller types and cater for this diverse market. Attract a more independently-minded customer by designing tailor-made and customisable itineraries.

Ensure you understand the latest legislation to affect the group travel and touring market, including the Package Travel Regulations, GDPR, accessibility, coach access, driving hours, tour guiding regulation and more. Learn about the risks associated with group travel and tours and get advice from ABTA about how to ensure the safety of group travellers.



  • How and why the group travel market is evolving and group travel product trends
  • Marketing group tours and travel including the use of social media
  • Sales initiatives and maximising the use of travel agents and distributors
  • Working in partnership with suppliers to improve the experience for your groups
  • Engaging and working with Group Travel Organisers (GTOs)
  • Expert itinerary planning to meet individual needs within the group
  • The latest legislation that will affect your group travel planning and operations, including regulation of tour guiding, coach access, data protection, accessibility and PTR responsibilities


  • Moderator: Giles Hawke, Chief Executive, Cosmos and Chairman, The Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (ATAS)
  • Wendy Wu, Founder, Wendy Wu Tours
  • Brian Young, Managing Director EMEA, G Adventures
  • Jim Eite, Product & Commercial Director, Exodus
  • Andrew Appleyard, Head of International Sales & Business Development, Exodus
  • Andy Squirrell, Managing Director, Titan Travel
  • Mark Bloxham, Managing Director, Wendy Wu Tours
  • Miles Morgan, Managing Director, Miles Morgan Travel
  • Wendy Hartley-Scarff, CEO, Association of Group Travel Organisers (AGTO)
  • Laurence Hicks, Managing Director, Tour Hound
  • Helmut Kolb, MD, Switzerland Travel Centre
  • Keith Sharkey, Executive Director, The School Travel Forum and Managing Director, The Halsbury Group
  • Sean Webster, Touring and Adventure Account Director, ATAS
  • Angela Hills, Senior Destinations Manager – Health, Safety, Crisis & Operations, ABTA
  • John Corellis, Senior Account Manager, Accord Marketing
  • Luke Golding, Associate Solicitor, Travlaw


Additional speakers will be confirmed shortly.

Benefits of attending

  • Get an update on customer trends and market developments relating to group travel
  • Improve sales by implementing effective sales techniques, engaging travel trade and GTOs
  • Generate more business by identifying potential group travellers and appealing to a wider customer base
  • Gain greater customer satisfaction by personalising itineraries and ensuring you are working with ‘group-friendly’ partners
  • Protect your company against reputational and financial risks by being up to date with the latest legislation relating to group travel
  • Put your questions to our panel of partner organisations including an airline, hotel and tourist board

Who should attend?

The event is ideal for tour operators and travel agents offering group tours and travel, and those considering diversifying into group travel. Travel industry partners such as airlines, train operators, hotels and tourist boards will also find the event useful.

  • Managing directors, executive directors, senior managers
  • Group travel and tailor made teams
  • Tour managers
  • GTOs
  • Marketing and sales teams
  • Product and commercial teams
  • Operations teams, health and safety and legal teams

Event prices

ABTA Member/ABTA Partner* rate – £249 plus VAT 
Non-Member rate – £369 plus VAT 

Group booking discounts
Book three places and get 50% off the third place.
Book five places and get the fifth place free.
(This discount will be automatically applied when you book online).

​*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 ABTA Conferences and Events. For information about becoming a Member click here.

View our booking terms and conditions here.

Event sponsorship

Headline sponsors

Exodus Travels love adventure – there’s something about the feeling of visiting a new country, culture or environment that just can’t be beaten. Since 1974, when we first took a group to the Himalaya we have curated and delivered thousands of exceptional holidays. Walking and cycling tours, breath-taking wildlife encounters, winter activities, cultural journeys and Polar expeditions for group or solo travellers, and families alike. Exodus is the global leader in specialist active and adventure travel with over 600 guided and self-guided products across 7 continents, a strong tailormade offering and exceptional operational delivery (NPS >75%). 

G Adventures is an adventure travel pioneer offering the widest selection of affordable small group tours, safaris and expeditions to more than 100 countries on all continents. It was the first adventure travel company to offer 100% guaranteed departures in 2013. Powered by an international team of passionate travellers, the award-winning trips embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport to put travellers on a first-name basis with the planet’s people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife. The intimate, authentic and sustainable approach to small-group travel introduces travellers to the highlights of a destination while offering the freedom to explore it on their own. Whatever age, interest, ability or budget, G Adventures has a genuine life-changing experience. 



Accord is the UK's leading travel marketing agency. Founded in 1988, we regularly work with over 150 clients operating in every sector of travel, tourism, hospitality and leisure. Everything we do is brilliantly joined-up, achieving real results by using the right channels, targeting the right audiences and developing the right strategy.

Titan is one of the UK’s leading escorted holiday companies, with 40 years of experience and the largest product range with more than 400 itineraries across the globe. From rail journeys and river cruises, to small-group adventures and trips exclusively for solo travellers. Every holiday comes with their award-winning Titan touches including unrivalled door-to-door transfers with no mileage restrictions, airport meet-and-greet service and wide range of regional flight options. Expert Titan Tour Managers keep everything running smoothly and a host of included excursions allow travellers to get the most out of every holiday with a truly unforgettable experience. With a dedicated Agency Sales team of nine, Titan are very trade friendly offering trade brochures, Freephone numbers, incentives, FAM trips and six Area Managers who are on hand to offer support with training, joint events and marketing.


Wendy Wu Tours are an award-winning tour specialist, offering a comprehensive range of fully escorted tours, private tours and tailor-made holidays to China, Southeast Asia, Japan, India and South America. Since Wendy’s first tour departed in 1994, we’ve been perfecting and diversifying our range of tours to capture the very essence of the destination, so you’re not just admiring the top sights but delving even deeper into all the country has to offer. Our guides are recognised as the best in the industry and they use their detailed expert knowledge and natural charm to create truly extraordinary on-tour experiences. Be inspired by their incredible range of Immerse Yourself tours, Exclusive Collection tours, Tailormade holidays, river cruising holidays and most recently tours exclusively for solo travellers.  

Networking drinks sponsor

ANA - All Nippon Airways is the largest airline in Japan and one of only ten airlines to have been awarded the 5-star rating from Skytrax. ANA was named ‘Best Business Airline of the Year’ at Business Travel Awards 2018. Operating daily from London Heathrow to Haneda, Tokyo’s most central airport, ANA flies on 85 international routes and 116 domestic routes. ANA has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999 and has joint-ventures with Lufthansa and Swiss International Airlines on Japan-Europe routes and with United Airlines on trans-Pacific and Asia routes.


Media partner

The relaunched ABTA Magazine is a bi-monthly publication with a new size, format and design, distributed to 20,000 ABTA Members and UK travel industry contacts.

With an unrivalled distribution and a renewed focus on industry news, the magazine represents the interests of the entire travel sector. It is the vital publication for those working in the travel industry.

Forming part of a wider portfolio, which includes ABTA Golf, ABTA Guides and the ABTA Handbooks, the magazine provides contains in-depth destination features, analysis, comment, big-name interviews, competitions, games and much more.

For details on how to promote your company via headline sponsorship, branding and exhibition, contact Matt Turton on 020 3693 0194 or 

To view our commercial opportunities click here.

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Headline sponsors


Networking drinks sponsor

Media partner