24 Sep

The Travel Convention 2014

As delegates from this year’s Travel Convention 2014 in Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, make their way back to the UK after a whirlwind three days of networking, business sessions and social events we can look back on a fantastic event in a truly vibrant and beautiful destination.

During the business sessions we have heard from a fantastic line up of speakers, talking on a diverse range of subjects relating to our broad conference theme of “The Power of Personal”. We had an entertaining and upbeat view of the UK’s economic recovery from economist Justin Urquhart-Stewart, while Oxford University’s Sarah Harper outlined the challenges and opportunities that an increasingly ageing population presents for our industry. We have heard about personalisation and the transformative effect of “big data”– or as PwC’s Matthew Tod described it – “customer intelligence”. He and other speakers including Marie Stafford from JWT and Jo Causon from the Institute of Customer Service demonstrated through practical examples the opportunities and the risks of using customer data effectively. The message came through strongly from our industry panellists including TUI’s David Burling and Barrhead Travel’s Bill Munro that technology should support and empower the relationship with the customer, rather than replacing it. The theme of “trust” has been a powerful narrative running through many of the sessions this year, and it is clear that as the industry continues to adopt new ways of targeting and selling to customers, we must always remember that relationships with people sit at the heart of this.

You can watch video highlights from the sessions below at abta.com/abta14.

Finally, I would once again like to extend my thanks to our hosts, SPIRIT Slovenia and Ljubljana Tourism, for their incredible warmth and hospitality during our stay over the last three days.  Many of our delegates were visiting Ljubljana for the first time and all of us will be leaving with wonderful impressions not just of the city itself, but its people and its culture.