Travel Forward, the brand-new event co-located with WTM London, brings together innovative technology providers with senior executives in the travel industry. While Travel Forward is a technology conference, its agenda is primarily focused on the travelling customer: as travel providers look to transform using digital technologies, they increasingly recognise that it is about putting the needs and behaviours of customer first, with leading edge technology enabling new business opportunities in response.
Travel Forward manager, Richard Gayle, said, “Our goal is to turn the telescope around. Too often, technology-related events spend a lot of time evangelising the latest and greatest technologies, leaving customer and business needs as an afterthought. By putting the customer first, we can help travel organisations prioritise their resources and decide strategy from a business perspective, without getting lost in the technological weeds to no clear benefit.”
The conference starts as it means to go on with a keynote from Mike Croucher, head of technical strategy and chief architect of Travelport, showing how technology has the potential to change the world of travel and indeed, in some places it is already doing so. Mike will draw on a wide variety of examples to show how experiences, not bookings are the name of the game, and technology’s enabling role to delight the travelling customer.
"A new generation of travellers are looking for experiences and immediacy, not destinations and long-term bookings; meanwhile systems of intelligence are aggregating the traditional systems of record, connecting demand with supply and provision to need. The result is a profound change to both traveller behaviours and economic models across the travel industry,” said Croucher.
Immediately after the keynote, two panel sessions bring together senior decision makers working at the forefront of digital technology change for their organisations. The first explores the changing expectations of travellers, and the second discusses success stories in addressing new customer needs.
Following the plenary sessions, the conference splits into two tracks. The first focuses on the strategies, technologies and methods around customer experience, while the second looks from enabling technology platforms up, covering such aspects as blockchain and AI, and the impact of new technologies on distribution, integration and interoperability to support customer service delivery.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.