Advantage unveils speakers for Madeira conference

TV travel expert Simon Calder will be among the speakers at the Advantage Conference at the Savoy Palace Hotel in Madeira (April 29-May 2).

The Advantage Travel Partnership said the event will be one of the first fully live and in-person overseas travel conferences since the pandemic began.

The opening conference session on April 30 will feature a keynote speech from Calder (pictured), who will be joined by Advantage chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said and Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, to discuss how the pandemic has changed the industry.

Later that day, a panel of industry leaders will discuss ‘their view from the top’, including Simon McNamara of Iata; Joanna Kolatsis of Themis Advisory; Martin Alcock, from the Travel Trade Consultancy; and Kelly Cookes, Advantage’s leisure director.

Chris Lewis, founder and chief executive of business travel data specialist Travelogix, will support the session with statistics.

Lo Bue-Said commented: “This is the first in-person conference Advantage has held in two years and perhaps even more special than usual following the exceptional journey the industry has been on during this time.

“The 2022 conference will be an opportunity to consider where we have been, what we have learned, and what the future holds, all while underscoring the importance of continued government engagement for the sector.”

David Meade will return to the moderate the conference, which will also feature presentations on sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, and mental health.

Speakers supporting these sessions are Mark Corbett (Thrust Carbon); Uwern Jong (Out There magazine); and Bilal Nasim (Tough Cookie).

The plenary sessions will be brought to a close with a keynote delivered by Jason Bevan, who has worked on films ranging from Harry Potter to the DC universe.

He will talk about generating innovative ideas and and how to help inspire a creative environment.

Attendees can meet others in the trade during events such as a speed networking session, dine-arounds, welcome party and farewell dinner.

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