Getting Past the Pandemic – Working Together

Spring Conference webinar - Thu 18 Mar 10:00 - 13:00 (UK)

Working together is central to the travel industry’s ethos as we strive to get past the pandemic

The pandemic has been nothing less than catastrophic for the travel industry. Airline schedules have been decimated, hotels are mostly empty, countries relying on tourism dollars to boost their GDPs have suffered from massive financial shortfalls. In the travel industry there have been only losers.

However, vaccination programmes are now rolling out worldwide. Some countries such as the United Kingdom have been fleeter of foot than others in getting the most vulnerable inoculated, but all countries will catch-up. In the Northern Hemisphere, better weather is around the corner and, as last year, the warmer climate will put a dampener on the virus, contributing to the slowing of its spread.

With travel having been suspended for so long, household savings are at a high. Couple this with a huge pent-up demand for holidays and the seeds are being sewn for a fast resurgence in travel as soon as conditions permit.

Ours is an industry that is used to working together to serve our customers. Each of us specialise in our own particular products but by working together we provide trips – whether for business or leisure, whether simple packages of transport and accommodation or more complex multi-service itineraries.

It is by working together that we will be able to get past the pandemic. We may be working together within our specialist associations or coming together across travel and tourism sectors to present a strong, united face to Governments and consumers.

For TTI’s Spring Conference, we have assembled a group of some of the most influential people within travel and tourism. They will give you their take on working together to get past the pandemic and get back to profitability.




  • Rob Paterson, CEO, Best Western Hotel Group GB

  • Simon McNamara, Country Manager United Kingdom & Ireland, IATA

  • Tom Jenkins, Director, European Tourism Association

  • Angus Urquhart, Sales Director, GeneMe UK

  • Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Director of eTourism Lab, Bournemouth University Business School

  • Richard Baker, Chief Commercial Officer, Inspiretec


TTI wishes to thank the following for sponsoring this event

Detailed Agenda

10:00  Welcome & TTI Update
          Tim Wright, Chairman, TTI



10:10 Addressing the Tourism Industry

Tom Jenkins, Director, European Tourism Association

ETOA is at the heart of the European travel and tourism industry. Its members include many of the world’s tour operators, bringing tourists into European destinations, as well as service providers such as hotel chains and attractions. In this session, you will hear from ETOA’s Director about how European tourism has suffered during the pandemic, what is being done and what can be done to support and revitalise the industry.

10:35 Tourism Post COVID

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Director of eTourism Lab, Bournemouth University Business School

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is one of the tourism industry’s most talented visionaries, setting strategies and future direction for tourism destinations around the world. With his finger on the tourism pulse, there is no one better placed to give an authoritative view on how the tourism industry will shake-out post COVID.


11:00 A Return to Hospitality

Rob Paterson, CEO, Best Western Hotel Group GB

Hotels have been almost completely empty during the UK’s lockdown but with the vaccination programme rolling out there may be a return to hospitality. This may, initially, be domestic if international travel restrictions remain in place. Have the shutdowns of the last 12 months or so reeked terminal damage? What is the way forward to a new normality? Hear from the GB head of one of the world’s best known hotel brands.

11:25 Coffee Break

Time to check your email and get yourself a coffee.

11:45 Will  Airlines Take Off Again?

Simon McNamara, Country Manager United Kingdom & Ireland, IATA

Arguably, no sector of travel has suffered more than the airline industry. It is in crisis with airlines being hit by  substantial and often unsustainable losses. IATA is the organisation that represents airlines worldwide. In this session you will hear from IATA’s UK head about how its members have suffered and what is needed to have airlines once again flying high and servicing the world’s travellers.

12:10 Testing - Crucial to the New Normal

Angus Urquhart, Sales Director, GeneMe UK

Undoubtedly, virus testing will be a crucial part of the travel industry’s new-normal. Testing technology is ever-improving with new methodologies reducing costs and the time required for results. In this session, one of the UK’s leading experts on testing will provide an update on where testing methodologies are heading and how they will contribute to getting the travel industry back on its feet.



12:35 Leveraging Tech and Data Towards a Post-Pandemic World

Richard Baker, Chief Commercial Officer, Inspiretec

Deploying technology and making good use of the data that a travel company holds will be amongst the key success factors to a fast return to profitable business.  In this session, you will learn about how best to leverage your technology and data to get past the pandemic with maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

13:00 Chairman’s Summary and Close

Tim Wright, Chairman, TTI


Moderator: Paul Richer, Genesys Digital Transformation

(TTI reserves the right to change this conference programme due to unforeseen circumstance.)

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