UKinbound Chairman Angela Shanley today welcomed delegates to the first ever UKinbound Convention, which runs 10-12 February at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Liverpool. Formerly known as the British Incoming Tour Operators Association (BITOA), the organisation announced its new name at World Travel Market in November last year - and this is the first convention to be held under the organisation’s new name.
The theme is “Navigating the Future”, and the content of the convention this year takes the format of a needs based programme, focusing on business skills.
As in 2004, renowned broadcaster Alastair Stewart acts as Convention Moderator and Richard Carrick, Chief Executive Officer, Hoseasons, this morning delivered the Keynote Speech, entitled “Selling UK Holidays in Overseas Markets: a checklist of Prerequisites.”
At the Welcome Address, Angela Shanley, UKinbound Chairman, said: “As an enterprising and entrepreneurial nation we have been very successful in building businesses that delivered the tourism products that our customers demand. The challenge over the next few years is to ensure we develop the skills and expertise to provide the services and products a new generation of customers will expect - and demand. Last month saw the opening for us of what is probably the last major outbound market in the world with the signing of an Approved Destination Status Agreement with China. Our industry has very exciting times ahead indeed.”
In addition to the Welcome Address, presentation of the Annual UKinbound Awards and keynote speech, the first day of the convention also hosts a Panel Debate of senior industry figures. The line up for 2005 is:
” Kenny Boyle, Director of International Marketing, VisitBritain
” Ian Reynolds, Chief Executive, ABTA
” Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, Business in Sport and Leisure
” John Welsh, Editor, Travel Trade Gazette
” Kevin Williamson, Head of Tourism, DCMS
” Brian Wisdom, Chief Executive, People 1st
A series of twelve breakout sessions scheduled for the first day of the convention this year include Emerging Markets, presented by Keith Beecham, VisitBritain; Tourism and the Entrepreneur, by Gary Beckwith, City Cruises and Complaint Handling, presented by Keith Richards, ABTA.
The second day of the convention focuses on Workshops and Advice Surgeries whereby delegates are invited to take the opportunity to attend one to one and smaller sessions with industry experts. A series of familiarisation events runs alongside the convention over the three days. The convention is attended by decision makers, senior managers, buyers and sellers of tourism products plus other service suppliers to the tourism industry.