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GBTA announces closing keynote for European Conference

GBTA announces closing keynote for European Conference

GBTA today announced the closing keynote speaker for the GBTA Europe Conference 2012 being held in Budapest on September 19th – 21st 2012. The conference will focus on aspects of globalisation and customised service delivery as well as an insight into industry affairs and their impact on professional travel management.

Michael Gates, Vice Chairman of Richard Lewis Communications, and associate fellow of Said Business School, the University of Oxford, will talk to the conference audience about cultural variance and how to work when cultures collide. Mr. Gates was a Scholar of St. Catherine’s College Oxford, where he gained an MA in English Language and Literature. He worked for five years in radio before moving to Finland where he helped establish the Finnish office of Richard Lewis Communications, which provides cross-cultural, communication skills and business language training world-wide.

His clients have included Nokia, Microsoft, the World Bank, Duke Fuqua Business School, Rolls-Royce, the University of Oxford, and the Central Eurasian Leadership Academy. He is a board member of the Finnish-British Trade Association, and Director of Operations of The English-Speaking Union of Finland.
He has published numerous articles and chapters in books on cross-cultural topics, including in The Telegraph, La Tribune, People Management, and Management Next, the leading Indian magazine for senior executives.

Talking about the decision to appoint a cultural speaker as the keynote, Paul Tilstone, Managing Director of GBTA Europe said ”When looking at the conference theme of customisation and personalisation it is clear that the impact of cultural variance is key in an increasingly global world.  Michael and his organisation will take us through an insightful and entertaining perspective on how to navigate the difficult world of cultural variance and we felt this was a memorable and valuable way for us to end our conference.”

Other confirmed speakers at the conference include Jan Sturesson - Partner and Global Industry Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Aleksander Popovich - SVP Industry Distribution and Financial Services at IATA, Joe Bates - Senior Director of Research at GBTA Foundation, Gillian Gibson - Chief Marketing Officer at Travelport, Caroline Strachan - Global Commercial Leader for AstraZeneca Travel Service, Priska Schmidli - Executive Director of Global Travel Sourcing for UBS and Didier Scaillet - Chief Development Officer at Meetings Professional International (MPI).


Full details of the conference programme with the theme of “Customisation and Personalisation” can be found at