Published on : Thursday, June 11, 2020
WTM Global Hub’s ongoing series of business-focused webinars will feature two sessions this week, looking at where technology will make the difference in the post-COVID-19 new normal, followed by a deep dive into the future for tour operators.
Technology Opportunities for Travel and Tourism in a Post-Viral World takes place this Wednesday, 10 June at 1400 BST and is scheduled to last for an hour.
When it comes to tech, the new normal will include situations where it has a clearly identified role.
The need for social distancing in airports, on planes or in destination requires beacons, the internet of things and queue management systems.
Revenue and yield management will have to adapt to globally fragmented supply and demand patterns. Hotel PMSs and CRSs need to factor in a greater emphasis on hygiene and cleaning.
Elsewhere, many existing cases for travel tech will be strengthened during the recovery phase.
“Trend acceleration” applies to frictionless travel, partnerships, connectivity between systems and the traveller’s desire for experiential and/or personalised travel.
Paul Richer, founder of UK-based travel tech consultancy Genesys Digital Transformation, will moderate the webinar, bringing his 25 years’ experience of the industry to the table.
As an experienced moderator, he will also ensure that the conversation focuses on practical solutions and actionable advice.
The guest line-up features senior executives with impressive CVs featuring many of the biggest names in travel.
Jean Noel Lau Keng Lun is currently vice president of digital for Paris-based global hospitality giant Accor, having spent time in product marketing and management with Amadeus and Expedia Group. His insights will cover the roadmap for development and roll-out of new features post-COVID-19.
Joel-Brandon Bravo spent a decade or so as boss of travel and leisure deal publisher Travelzoo UK. Before this, he joined event listing start-up WhatsOnWhere in 1999, helping sell the business to publisher Wiley. He moved on to Frommers Unlimited, the guide book business eventually bought by Google.
His current role is vice-president of travel solutions for New York-based TransPerfect, a global provider of B2B translation and language services which also operates in other verticals such as media and entertainment, financial services and gaming.
Robert Gray is chief technology officer of Dublin-based Topflight Travel Group, which sells ski holidays for schools, groups and individuals, city breaks and honeymoon trips under brands including Topflight Holidays and Directski.com. He will be able to talk about how technology – most of which is developed in-house by its Travdev brand – helped the brand survive and prepare for the next phase of recovery.
Richard Gayle, Senior Manager, Travel Forward said:
“Once again we’ve managed to assemble a world-class plane of experts from around the globe to talk seriously about how tech is at the heart of the post-COVID recovery for travel and hospitality”.
“There’s a great mix of industries, experience and insight available, and we’re confident attendees will come away with some fresh ideas on what needs to happen for the recovery to take place.”, he added.
Meanwhile, another webinar the following day will discuss how tour operators around the globe are being forced to rethink their entire operation, from the ground up.
The webinar Tourism’s Ground Zero: How Tour Operators now need to adapt to change quickly takes place on Thursday, 11 June at 1400 BST.
Major and specialist operators alike are preparing to restart their business, despite inventory and supply issues, potential changes to consumer trends and an ever-changing set of government travel advisories.
The speakers have a wealth of specific tour operating experience to draw on.
Rachel O’Reilly has headed up communications for luxury tour operator Kuoni for the past six years. Her 25-years’ plus experience in the industry includes time as head of PR for Thomson and running her own travel PR consultancy. She has picked up numerous industry awards including regular mentions in the PR Week Powerbook.
She has been a familiar face on TV during the crisis, discussing the current state of play while looking forward to a stronger future for the industry and tour operators in particular.
G Adventures is a specialist group adventure travel company and pioneer of community tourism. It is thirty years in business and currently host 200,000 travellers per year, offer more than 750 tours, and travel to 100 countries. Its CEO and founder Bruce Poon Tip will be taking part.
He will outline how he plans to continue to the success of G Adventures in the new normal. while also strengthening its commitment to sustainability and the power of travel as a force for good.
Mark Frary, co-founder of social media and digital consultancy Travel Perspective, is moderating the webinar. His expertise in helping travel companies work with social media, influencers and vloggers will add another layer to the conversation around the immediate future for tour operators.
Simon Press, Exhibition Senior Director, WTM London, said: “Tour operators are the strength of the industry and as such their future is linked to travel’s future. The webinar gives our global audience the chance to hear how tour operating will change, according to two of the most vocal and articulate proponents of the sector.”