World Travel Leaders Look Ahead to 2019 at WTM London

World Travel Leaders Look Ahead to 2019 at WTM London

Four top executives from different sectors of the travel industry will take a look back on 2018 and a look ahead to 2019 at WTM London. The session, called World Travel Leaders – What to expect in 2019, will be in the form of a panel discussion, with the four panellists sharing their insights into what is currently driving the UK markets in outbound and inbound travel.

The speakers – representing easyJet, Hilton, TUI and Travel Counsellors – will be asked to outline the key factors that have affected their sectors in 2018 and how the year has traded so far. They will then discuss expectations for 2019.

The session, which takes place on day one of WTM London, on Monday 5th November 2018, underlines WTM London’s commitment to bringing the best speakers to the event, as highlighted by its new strapline: ‘Ideas Arrive Here’.

Key issues that the panel will discuss include consumer confidence in the UK and across the world, how particular destinations are performing, as well as challenges posed by Brexit, terrorism threats and currency values.

Tying the themes together will be Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel, Euromonitor, who will give a presentation.

The speakers are:

  • Andrew Flintham, Managing Director, TUI UK & Ireland, who has worked with the operator for over 13 years and who was promoted from Commercial Director to Managing Director in March 2018. Previous roles at TUI include Aviation Planning Director and Mainstream Planning Director for First Choice. Prior to joining TUI, he worked at British Airways.
  • Steve Cassidy, Senior Vice President and Managing Director UK & Ireland, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, who is responsible for the company’s multi-brand portfolio across Britain and Ireland. He joined Hilton’s revenue management team in 2009, moving into hotel operations in September 2011. In 2017, Steve oversaw the opening of more than one hotel a month. He is also chairman of the Hospitality Guild and a board director of the British Hospitality Association.
  • Chris Browne, Chief Operating Officer, easyJet, who, since October 2016, has been responsible for all operational departments of the low-cost carrier. She has over 25 years’ commercial and general management experience in travel, including TUI Travel Aviation Chief Commercial Officer, Thomson Airways Managing Director, and First Choice Airways Managing Director.
  • Steve Byrne, Chief Executive, Travel Counsellors, the multi-million-pound Manchester-based travel agency business that he has been heading up since 2004. Travel Counsellors now has over 1,500 home-based advisers working not only in the UK but also overseas, including Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and the UAE.

The World Travel Leaders – What to expect in 2019 session takes place on Monday 5th November from 14.15-15.30 in the Europe Inspiration Zone.

Simon Press, Senior Director, WTM London, said: “Ideas arrive at WTM London and this session will spark great debate and ideas about the future of the travel industry in 2019. WTM London is an unrivalled opportunity to meet with and listen to the industry’s most senior leaders and greatest minds. This leads to a plethora of ideas that help to fuel the future of the industry. This session is no different and will help travel companies take advantage of Brexit and the growth of the UK tourism market.”

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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

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