The inaugural Travel Forward – comprising a conference and exhibition – will take place from Monday 5 – Wednesday 7 November 2018 at ExCeL London, UK in the North Hall (entrances 9 and 10).
Richard Gayle, Event Manager, Travel Forward, said: “This is the first time in more than a decade that the three major travel tech firms have taken part in one of our events in the UK. Their presence confirms that the decision to upgrade our travel tech offering has the backing of the businesses which really matter.
“The market is clearly on board with the many innovations we have introduced for the inaugural Travel Forward.”
Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre have been active players in the travel technology space since 1987, 1971 and 1960 respectively. Each business has evolved from similar roots – namely as a global distribution system for airline tickets – into comprehensive B2B enterprise technology companies operating across all travel verticals. Distribution remains an important part of their role but their reach is getting wider.
They invest tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars and euros in research and development each year, have strong relationship with the start-up community and are central to an ecosystems of partnerships involving other tech suppliers from within the travel sector and outside.
Travelport’ Mike Croucher is presenting the keynote speech which opens Travel Forward on Monday 5 November. Croucher is Travelport’s chief architect and is responsible for devising, developing and delivering the technical infrastructure upon which Travelport’s travel commerce platform operates, now and in the future.
His speech will look at enterprise use cases around not only emerging but also maturing technologies such as mobile, artificial intelligence, big data, hybrid cloud, the Internet of Things and blockchain.
Travelport is also exhibiting and will be demonstrating some of its innovative work with VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) and other exciting technologies. These concepts have been developed with big-name partners – US-based giant IBM and TCS, the IT services, consulting and business solutions organization which is part of India’s largest industrial conglomerate Tata Group.
Meanwhile, Sabre is sponsoring the dedicated Networking Bar for Travel Forward.
It is also contributing to the stellar line-up of speakers who will share their insights with visitors as part of the two-day Travel Forward conference programme. Olaf Slater, Senior Director International Strategy & Innovation, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, takes to the stage on Monday 5 November, discussing how the hotel industry can square the circle between digital transformation and human interaction – pre-trip, on-property, post-trip.
Madhavan Kasthuri, its senior director of online business in the EMEA region, is speaking on Tuesday 6 November, looking into the opportunities and pain points for travel businesses in today’s digitally driven commercial environment.
Elsewhere, Amadeus has focused its commitment to Travel Forward around startups. It is sponsoring the Startup Showcase Zone, a dedicated area on the exhibition floor for startups to share their ideas with visitors. It will also be present here with its own stand.
A Startup Competition is also taking place, with Amadeus offering the winner twelve hours of one-on-one intensive mentoring with Francesca Benati, its executive VP Online for the Western Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Benati is also taking part in a panel discussion on the Tuesday, looking at the evolving relationship between brands and their distribution partners.
Richard Gayle concluded: “Securing the participation of these long-established, market-leading, globally active travel tech companies was a priority for the Travel Forward team. Their presence on the exhibition floor, on stage and around the networking areas will help to establish Travel Forward as the leading global event for travel and hospitality technology.”