28 Apr

Full programme unveiled for ABTA’s Travel Matters Conference

Delegates given opportunity to question industry leaders and Government

ABTA is pleased to announce the speaker line-up for its annual Westminster conference, Travel Matters, taking place on 22 June. Among those headlining are Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of International Airlines Group, Tim Stanley, columnist and leader writer for the Telegraph, and political veteran Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

Taking place the day before the EU Referendum, industry heavyweights will come together with key speakers from Government to discuss the latest policy news from Westminster and Brussels, and the current issues affecting travel.

This year’s theme is ‘Confidence in a Changing World’, and the focus will be on the complex challenges and opportunities facing the travel and tourism industry in uncertain times.

The conference will be opened by ABTA’s Chief Executive, Mark Tanzer, who will highlight the key themes for discussion throughout the morning, as well as assessing the risks and opportunities ahead for the industry. The opening keynote will also outline how ABTA and ABTA Members continue to deliver confidence in travel products and services against a changing and sometimes uncertain geopolitical landscape.

Additional speakers include Graham Pickett, Lead Partner – Travel, Hospitality and Leisure at Deloitte, Mark Anderson, Managing Director of Virgin Holidays and Fraser Ellacott, Customer Operations Director at TUI UK & Ireland. Two panel discussions will focus on current industry hot topics, including how to build a more competitive tourism industry, what impact change and uncertainty is having on the travel customer and what the industry needs to do to meet emerging challenges in the year ahead.

The debates will be expertly steered by BBC News presenter and correspondent, Reeta Chakrabarti.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said: “Travel Matters will offer the travel industry a unique opportunity to debate the important policy issues of the day with industry leaders and the Government.  We are entering unchartered territory, with the UK public about to go to the polls on the EU referendum, the continued global challenges of terrorism and the European migration crisis, and significant regulatory change all having a substantial impact. We look forward to a stimulating and thought-provoking day in which we will discuss and debate how the industry responds to these challenges and continues to inspire consumer confidence in travel.”

Travel Matters is an invitation only event for senior representatives from ABTA’s Membership, industry stakeholders, travel and transport media as well as government departments and bodies.