WTM London will again host a series of high-profile industry conferences and seminars showing that ‘Ideas Arrive Here’. The event, from 4-6 November 2019, has lined-up speakers including the President of Hilton Hotels in the EMEA region, the UK Country Director of easyJet, and the Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic.
Following on from last year’s introduction of Regional Inspiration Zones, WTM London 2019 will continue to host a varied selection of informative sessions in each of the areas – fitting with the region in which the stage is located.
On the opening day (Monday 4 November) the Global Stage will host a panel discussion moderated by the Daily Telegraph’s Deputy Head of Travel, Ben Ross, focusing on the current state of UK travel markets and what to expect in 2020. Speakers include Jo Rzymowska, Vice President and Managing Director, Celebrity Cruises; Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel at Euromonitor; and Neil Slaven, UK Country Director, easyJet. They will address issues from consumer confidence to changing holiday preferences and the effect of Brexit.
On Monday afternoon, visitors will have the chance to listen to Simon Vincent, Executive Vice President and President of Europe, Middle East & Africa for Hilton Hotels. The company celebrates its centenary this year as one of the leading players in the global travel industry. As a crucial part of the travel and tourism industry, Simon will be expressing his views on the future of both Hilton and the hotel industry in general.
Tuesday’s schedule will include a ministers’ summit hosted by the UNWTO’s Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili and WTM London’s Senior Director, Simon Press on the Global Stage. This summit will provide a practical platform for tourism leaders in the public and private sectors to share best practices and create new innovative perspectives for the travel sector. The session will run for two hours and include a networking opportunity.
Later in the day, Shai Weiss, Chief Executive, Virgin Atlantic, will be talking to John Strickland of JLS Consulting on the European Inspiration Zone stage. Virgin Atlantic is taking off in a new direction this year with a new chief executive and ownership structure so this interview will provide an opportunity for the audience to understand how they plan to compete in the airline industry over the coming decades. What will they plan to do with newly acquired Flybe? What are the airline’s plans regarding the delivery of its brand new Airbus A350s? What does the airline plan to do should London Heathrow build a third runway?
Wednesday’s schedule is filled with specific talks designed to benefit all sectors of the industry. Travel Perspective will be taking over the Global Stage in the afternoon to host a talk focusing on the past 40 years of travel and what we have learned from this, which will assist in plans for the future of the industry.
For those interested in travel technology, Genesys will be hosting their own panel session in the UK and Ireland Inspiration Zone on the Future of Digital Travel. Paul Richer, Founder and Senior Partner, Genesys, will moderate this talk. He will be asking Daniel Wishnia, Aroundtown SA, and Joel Brandon-Bravo, TransPerfect, what it takes to succeed in the online travel world through their efforts to inspire fresh thinking.
Simon Press, Senior Director, WTM London, said: “To celebrate the 40th anniversary of WTM London, we couldn’t be more pleased with the stellar line up of speakers and panellists speaking at this year’s event. We have speakers coming from every corner of the world to spread their wisdom on every element of the travel industry and there will be something of interest to everyone who works in the travel industry over the three days of talks at WTM London 2019.”