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ABTA confirms new speakers for the Travel Convention
Newly appointed WTTC chief executive, Julia Simpson, joins the line-up

ABTA confirms new speakers for the Travel Convention

ABTA has unveiled the latest line-up of expert speakers for the Travel Convention.

The even will take place on Wednesday, October 13th, with guests offering insight into how they have responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic and sharing their vision for the short- and long-term future of the travel industry.

Announced today, Manuel Butler, newly returned as director of the Spanish Tourist Office in the UK, will discuss how destinations can rebuild from the impact of the pandemic and how Spain - a hugely important destination for UK outbound travel - is leading the way in adapting to changing consumer behaviours.

Also announced today is Julia Simpson, who took up her new role as chief executive of the World Travel & Tourism Council last month.

She will address delegates on the importance of strong leadership as the travel and tourism sector emerges from the Coronavirus crisis.


Manging director of Intrepid Travel, Zina Bencheikh, and vice president, EMEA, at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ben Bouldin, will join a panel discussion exploring how the industry can place sustainability at the heart of its recovery.

The newly confirmed speakers join Andrew Swaffield, chief executive of Virgin Red, Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, and Ailsa Pollard, chief executive of dnata Travel Group in the UK and Europe, on an impressive list.

The Travel Convention will offer delegates the option to attend either in-person at East Wintergarden in London’s Canary Wharf or online via a customised digital platform.

Tanzer said: “As the travel industry’s flagship event, the Travel Convention always brings together an esteemed list of speakers to debate the most pressing issues facing the travel sector – and this year’s event is no exception.

“This year, more than ever, it’s important for us to come together to reflect on the events and learnings of the past 12 months and inspire our delegates to envisage and embrace what the future holds for the travel industry.”