Driven by this year’s theme, ‘Rebuilding Confidence in Travel’, the full agenda has also been released, with expert speakers tackling major topics facing the industry including Brexit; how the industry can embrace sustainability as it reopens; and how businesses can improve equality, diversity and inclusion within their organisations.
Highlights of this year’s virtual event include:
- A dedicated business session, ‘Brexit and the road ahead’, led by Raoul Ruparel OBE, a former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Europe now based in Deloitte’s Global Brexit Insights team. In this morning session, he will share the latest developments surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU and end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, looking at what this means for travel businesses and what opportunities it presents. This is followed by a practical workshop in the afternoon, ‘Brexit preparedness’, which will examine how travel businesses can ready their workforces and business operations, while also identifying and providing responses to consumers’ biggest concerns.
- With sustainability continuing to grow in importance for the travel industry, a specialist workshop, ‘Tourism for good’, will examine how the industry can use this recovery period as an opportunity to rebuild responsibly and with sustainable business practices at the forefront. Following a guest presentation from Jo Fairley, Founder of Green & Black’s, Susan Deer, Director of Industry Relations at ABTA, will lead a discussion on the value of tourism for travellers and communities, and how impacts are being managed, spanning the economic, environmental, and social pillars of sustainability.
- With the pandemic lockdown accelerating the need to look at new ways of working, Jamie-Lee Abtar, Executive Director of BAME Women in Travel, will lead a panel discussion, ‘The workforce of the future’. After an introduction on the future workplace and staff expectations from author of The Graduate Jobs Formula, Dr Paul Redmond, this session will consider how the industry can build better and fairer organisations that face up to the issues of diversity and inclusion, hybrid working, the gender pay gap and internal culture in a remote world. Later in the day, this will be complemented by a practical mentor-led workshop ‘Diversity and equality in practice’.
ABTA has unveiled the latest speakers for this year’s virtual Travel Convention on 14 October, which include multi-award-winning comedian, actor, writer and TV presenter, Richard Ayoade, President of Carnival UK, Simon Palethorpe, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, Shai Weiss, and the Director of General Insurance Policy at the Association of British Insurers, James Dalton.
Richard Ayoade will be reprising his role as Channel 4’s Travel Man to spend ‘15 minutes in conversation’ with destinations, while Simon Palethorpe and Shai Weiss will join a panel of industry leaders discussing how travel businesses have adapted to the new climate created by the coronavirus crisis and how they are rebuilding customer confidence going forward. James Dalton will be part of a practical workshop to help the industry plan for future pandemics, looking at consumer and business insurance policies going forward.