Economist Event debates the future of travel

Madrid  – More than 150 senior business leaders, policy makers, and travel industry experts, are gathering in Madrid on March 24 to discuss the future of the travel industry and the contribution technology, innovation and regulatory change can make to delivering a holistic travel experience.

The Conference entitled ‘The Future of Travel’ will debate the future of the industry, which now accounts for at least 9.5% of global GDP. Examining issues such as whether Europe can become a single travel area, the potential for a ‘multimodal’ travel future and inspiring the new explorer generation of travelers.

Simon Vincent, EMEA President, Hilton Worldwide commented: “Now more than ever it is important for us to consider the future of travel and the way industries such as hospitality will evolve over the coming years. The growing prosperity of emerging markets is set to change the face of the demographics of international travel. Coupled with exciting advances in technology, we stand at a point in time where the travel industry can take the lead in driving economic growth and create an estimated 73 million new jobs by 2022.”

“Everyone talks about the magic of travel but few enjoy the shop and book process, which includes up to 48 flight searches on average. Investing in technology and travel intelligence helps to remove the pain of travel, to bring travelers the confidence they need to click and go,” said Greg Schulze, Senior Vice President, Global Tour & Transport at the Expedia group.

Discussing his views on the next decade of travel Luis Maroto, CEO, Amadeus commented: “The travel industry is poised for a golden decade with average growth rates of 5.4% over the next ten years. Rapidly emerging economies such as China, Brazil and Indonesia will reshape our industry as non-OECD economies represent 50% of global air traffic for the first time by 2023. The fundamentals of the business travel sector will evolve as we expect links between those rapidly developing economies and Western markets to be a source of significant opportunity for years to come.” He continued: “Set against these developments our industry stands at a crossroads – with the potential over the next decade to foster a truly ‘multimodal’ experience for the traveler afforded by advances in both infrastructure and technology. At Amadeus we are committed to working with the industry to shape a more personalized, connected and sustainable future.”

Key speakers include:

• JOSE MANUEL SORIA LOPEZ, Minister of Energy, Industry and Tourism, Government of Spain

• TALEB RIFAI, Secretary General, UNWTO

• MICHAEL O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer, Ryanair

• LUIS MAROTO, Chief Executive Officer, Amadeus

• TONY TYLER, Chief Executive Officer & Director General, IATA

• JOSE VIEGAS, Secretary General, International Transport Forum, OECD

• SIMON VINCENT, President, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide

• ALISTAIR HANN, Chief Technology Officer, Skyscanner

• LEE MCCABE, Global Head of Travel, Education & Consumer Services, Facebook

• GREG SCHULZE, Senior Vice President, Tour & Transport, Expedia

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