As delegates make their way home from ABTA’s 2017 Travel Convention in The Azores, we can look back on an event that brought us insightful and inspiring presentations and workshops as well as the wonderful hospitality of our hosts.
This year’s theme was “The Next Chapter” and we heard from speakers from within and outside the industry on a range of topics: from the immediate challenges that we’re facing as an industry – not least in the weeks following the failure of Monarch Travel Group – to looking further ahead at new developments, trends and opportunities.
Tourism depends on a very close relationship between government, regulators, industry and the consumer and in my address to delegates I highlighted the importance of us improving those linkages for the benefit of everyone.
We learnt a great deal from speakers on a range of topics, including the importance of creating ‘authentic’ and meaningful travel experiences for customers, not only for “Generation Z” but for every generation. And, despite the economic and political challenges ahead, there was a strong sense that our industry is resilient and adaptable.
Finally, I would like to thank our hosts, the Azores Regional Government and APAVT, as well as all of the staff at the hotels and restaurants in Ponta Delgada, for their warmth and hospitality. Most delegates had never before visited The Azores but all of the feedback that I have received is that they will certainly be returning soon.
For those of who were not able to attend we have put together video highlights which are available [here] and I look forward to seeing many of you at next year’s Travel Convention in the vibrant city of Seville.