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State of Travel - 2020 and Beyond

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We invite companies in the travel & hospitality sectors to hear from experts and join the discussion on the state of travel in 2020 & beyond

About this Event

The impact on the travel industry of the restrictions enforced due to Covid-19 has been unprecedented. Businesses have been, and continue to be, faced by uncertainty, opening (and closing) travel corridors, and changing consumer behaviours.

Following our highly interactive and much appreciated TravelTech roundtable in May, we now invite you for a discussion about the state of travel as we are nearing the end of 2020 and looking ahead to 2021. Please join us for an informal roundtable with our partners to meet fellow cohort members in the travel and hospitality sector, discuss and reflect on developments with industry experts and share experiences, challenges and tips with your peers.

We will also hear from Merilee Karr at UnderTheDoormat, who will cover the short-term rental industry response to Covid-19, how companies in the travel sector are preparing for the challenges ahead and a successful recovery, as well as her own experiences of pivoting a business and introducing a new business model amidst the pandemic.

Discussion topics include:

  • Reflections on policy making
  • International co-operation
  • Consumer trends & behaviours
  • Peer-to-peer learning & tips
  • Case study: UnderTheDoormat - Pivoting the business in a pandemic and introducing a new business model.

We will be joined by:

  • Peter Gerstle: Peter is Group Head of Travel Products at Collinson. Over his 25-year career in eCommerce, product and innovation roles, Peter has worked across a wide range of travel companies, including the InterContinental Hotel Group and easyJet. He is also a frequent speaker on loyalty, strategy and product innovation, and is an alumni of Lausanne Hotel Management School, the London School of Economics and Henley Management College.
  • Michael McCartan: Michael is a travel technology advisor. In his 20-year career he has held roles in software product management, business development, solution engineering and project management. He has also held executive positions at eRevMax, RateGain and Duetto, where he spearheaded the SaaS start-up's launch and expansion in EMEA. He has extensive experience in developing customer engagement models bringing internal operational rigour and clarity to cross functional teams to deliver customer value and grow revenues. He is a frequent speaker and panellist at travel industry events on revenue optimisation and distribution.
  • Merilee Karr: Merilee Karr is the CEO and Founder of UnderTheDoormat – an award-winning luxury short-term rental company. Merilee founded the company in July 2014 after a 13-year successful career at oil and gas giant Shell. Her vision for UnderTheDoormat is to enable modern travellers to enjoy the comfort of a home with the professional service of a hotel across the UK and globally. As the elected Chair for industry body, UK Short Term Accommodation Association, she is passionate about helping professionalize and grow the industry in the most responsible way. Merilee has been profiled in London’s Evening Standard and regularly speaks at events.

This session is aimed at Mayor's International Business Programme companies in the travel and hospitality sectors.

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