Tourism chiefs named for CEO forum

Some of the biggest names in the tourism industry have been confirmed as speakers at the World Travel CEO Forum at The Sage Gateshead in North East England on October 8th 2007.Top executives including Lawrence Hunt, CEO of Silverjet, Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman of VisitBritain, Alex Cruz, CEO of Clickair, and Jan Telensky, founder and owner of AquaCity, will lead a debate on the future of the tourism industry.

The discussion over the direction and future shape of the tourism industry will focus on ‘The Evolving Green Agenda’. Industry leaders gathering in North East England will also debate ‘Next Generation Destinations’ and ‘The New Media Challenge’.

The forum will bring together 200 of the most influential executives of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry as well as new media at The Sage Gateshead, designed by Lord Foster, which stands on the banks of Newcastle Gateshead’s impressive Quayside in North East England.
Event Director, Manon Han said: “The travel and tourism sector is in the firing line when it comes to carbon emissions and pollution. The World Travel CEO Forum has been created to provide a platform for leaders and chief executives in the travel industry, an opportunity to voice their concerns and tackle these problems. It is crucial that the travel industry deals head on with climate and conservation issues we face. We are part of the problem, but we can also be part of the solution.”
Commenting on his participation in the green session David Soskin, CEO of Cheapflights, says “Global warming is an issue to be solved by global accords not by unilateral UK legislation. I hope therefore that travel industry delegates attending will leave North East England with a better understanding of some of the scientific facts about global warming and where the sensible solutions and culprits actually lie.”

Other confirmed speakers include: Simon Calder, Travel Editor at The Independent, Margaret Fay, Chairman of One NorthEast, Paul Callaghan, Chairman of Leighton Group, John Hays, Chief Executive of Hays Travel, David Soskin, CEO of Cheapflights, Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future, Dorothee Guthrie Vogel, Analyst European Commerce of Jupiter Research, The Hon. James Ramsbotham DL, Chief Executive of North East Chamber of Commerce, and Roy Graff, Managing Director of China Contact.

International media participation is expected to boost the forum’s profile. BBC World has already signed up as the official media partner and will broadcast the event to over 254 million homes in over 200 countries.
North East England is the main sponsor with Amadeus, Fortune Cookie, VLM Direct and Virtually-the-World also sponsoring the event. North East Chamber of Commerce, The Marketing Blog, Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa, Arabian Hotel Investment Conference and Slaley Hall are amongst the event supporters.
The World Travel CEO Forum will take place the day before the regional World Travel Europe & Green Awards Ceremony, offering high-level international participation and ideal networking opportunities for delegates. Stacy Hall, Director of Communications and Tourism at One NorthEast said: “It is a real honour for North East England to be able to host the World Travel Awards. The CEO forum is also a great opportunity not only to share the experience of some of the biggest names in the industry but also to influence the debate.”


Additional networking events planned include the Forum Dinner at The Alnwick Garden and the Golf Tournament at the PGA course at Slaley Hall. There is also an optional spa day package available at the Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa. Exhibition opportunities will be available exclusively for delegates and sponsors.