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Brexit to Take Centre Stage at WTM London Leaders’ Lunch

Brexit to Take Centre Stage at WTM London Leaders’ Lunch

Businesswoman Susan Hooper, who sits on the board of the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), will be the keynote speaker at the exclusive Leaders’ Lunch on the first day of WTM London 2018, the event where ideas arrive.

Hooper will speak to the audience of 200 senior industry executives about her career and experience. As well as her Brexit role, Hooper sits on the boards of Wizz Air, The Rank Group and Uber UK. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the LUISS Business School in Rome.

Her other travel appointments have included the Acromas Group, where she was Chief Executive of the Travel Division, responsible for Saga Holidays, Hotels, Cruises, the AA Travel division and Titan Travel. She also held senior roles at Royal Caribbean International, First Choice, Whitbread and Avis Europe, while her general commercial experience includes PepsiCo International, McKinsey & Co and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Her address to the Leaders’ Lunch will take place just after a deal for the UK to exit the European Union is due to be signed following a summit in mid-October. An emergency summit may be held in November if withdrawal terms are not finalised.

Susan Hooper will be interviewed by the World Travel & Tourism Council’s new Chief Executive, Gloria Guevara, who will ask Hooper about a range of subjects including the opportunities and threats the sharing economy poses the travel industry, the future of aviation, cruising and tour operating.

WTM London Senior Director Simon Press said: “Having Susan Hooper address our Leaders’ Lunch at such a crucial time is a real coup. She is directly involved in issues such as aviation agreements and the hiring of overseas staff in the post-Brexit environment that will have a critical effect on our industry.

“Every year we try to bring a top name speaker to the event and this year is no exception, but with the added bonus that the audience will get the inside track on talks that are crucial to the travel industry just as they are taking place.

“In 2017, we heard from the European side of the negotiations with European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt MEP, and this year as negotiations draw to a conclusion we will hear the UK’s side from Susan.

“Moreover, as a board member of Uber, Susan can talk about the rise of the sharing economy and its impact on travel. She is a great choice for what has come to be an unmissable event for our industry leaders.”

The WTM Leaders’ Lunch is an invitation-only event, taking place from 11.00-13.30 on Monday 5th November in Platinum Suite 3 & 4.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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