Travel Convention 2018
Around 500 leaders from across the travel industry have been enjoying the delights of sunny Seville this week, at ABTA’s Travel Convention.
The theme of this year’s convention was Truth, Trust and the Future of the Expert. We talked a lot about what this means in a changing world, where people’s trust and loyalty is more fragile than it once was.
Delegates have enjoyed a busy programme of inspirational and thoughtful sessions to help them build a trusted business and one which is able to innovate and be creative in order to stand the test of time.
Both in our industry panel on the future of the expert, and in the ‘view from the top’ session, the discussion covered the interconnectivity of channels - online, face to face and phone. It was very encouraging to hear so much positive discussion about the value that travel “intermediaries” can add, even from internet evangelists.
Johan Lundgren, the CEO of easyJet talked candidly about his first year in charge of the airline, and also spoke of the potential for travel agents to sell easyJet Holidays. He reflected on the possibility of future failures in the aviation industry with rising fuel costs.
Dr Paul Redmond from the University of Liverpool returned to convention and talked about occupations which are likely to be replaced by robots within the next 10 years. You’ll be pleased to know that travel agents and tour operators were not on the list, that’s because some of the core qualities of our industry - interacting with people, coming up with solutions and working in an unpredictable environment - are essential for jobs of the future as well as today
We finished the event hearing from Giles Duley, who gave a moving and inspirational account of his life after he lost both legs and an arm from an IED in Afghanistan, and the work he has been doing since to help people living in war zones.
Our hosts – Andalusia –Turismo Andaluz, Spanish Tourist Office, Seville Provincial Tourism Board and Seville Tourism Board – have given us all a very warm welcome and shared the local cuisine, culture and history from this fantastic part of Spain. I wish to thank them for all of their hard work and for being such generous hosts.
For those unable to attend, we have put together videos with highlights from each day which you can view here. Looking ahead to 2019, we’re very excited to be holding the first Travel Convention in East Asia next year – as the event moves to Tokyo, Japan. Registrations will open early next year, however as demand is expected to be high, delegates can reserve a place via the Travel Convention website from today, Thursday 11 October. This will guarantee the 2018 Early Bird Registration fee and a two week priority booking period with ANA when flight reservations open.