Special Report: Overtourism, polarisation and trust take centre stage

Special Report: Overtourism, polarisation and trust take centre stage

Tales of change, growth, trust and resilience will dominate the convention on Wednesday. Ian Taylor reports

Behavioural change at work is the subject of the first session on the second day of Abta’s Travel Convention next week.

Jon Hazel, senior advisor with M&C Saatchi Transform, a division of the global ad agency, will explain ‘employee-driven transformation’, which sounds intriguing in a hall‑of-mirrors kind of way.

He will be followed by easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren who, aside from running a pan‑European airline, is poised to announce details of the relaunch of easyJet Holidays. Will this prove a challenge to Lundgren’s former employer Tui? It may be too early for him to reveal to moderator Chris Ship – but let’s find out.

Overtourism has become a buzzword in the past 18 months. In the next session, ‘The Growth Challenge’, World Travel & Tourism Council president and chief executive Gloria Guevara will address the issue.

She will be joined by Seville tourism councillor Antonio Munoz, Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer, Royal Caribbean vice-president for Europe and UK and Ireland managing directing Stuart Leven, and City Sightseeing president and chief executive Enrique Ybarra.

Matters become more serious still when Maajid Nawaz, writer, broadcaster and former prisoner of conscience, discusses building trust in a world of political unrest, polarisation, Islamophobia and terrorism.

The final panel session, chaired by Ship, should prove a little lighter as dnata B2B chief executive for Europe John Bevan, Saga Travel chief executive Robin Shaw and Specialist Holidays Group chief executive Richard Calvert give a ‘View from the top’.

They will be followed by guest speaker Giles Duley, one of the world’s leading documentary photographers.

Duley lost both legs and an arm when he stepped on an explosive device in Afghanistan. Yet he has continued to photograph in war zones and to document the impacts of disaster on people.

He will be a hard act to follow, but Abta chairman Noel Josephides will draw the convention to a close in his own inimitable style – and no doubt draw a hall full of applause to welcome his return following a serious bout of ill health.

Then it will only remain to reveal the convention destination for 2019, which is…

Travel Weekly is trade media partner of The Travel Convention.
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