Travel Forward Unveils New Executives for the Travel Tech Show

Travel Forward Unveils New Executives for the Travel Tech Show

Travel Forward – the travel technology event co-located with WTM London – and part of the WTM Portfolio, which also includes WTM London, Arabian Travel Market, WTM Latin America, WTM Africa and London Travel Week, has announced two new senior appointments.

Richard Gayle is stepping down as Exhibition Manager after more than three years in that role and Simon Press will take over as Exhibition Director from January 2021.

Meanwhile, Fiona Ashton – Marketing Manager for sister brand Arabian Travel Market – will take over from Maria Trochoula, who is leaving her role of Marketing Manager for Travel Forward.

Simon Press has held senior roles with parent company Reed Exhibitions since 2007 and became Exhibition Director at WTM London in 2010.

Furthermore, he is Exhibition Director for sister event London Travel Week – launched in 2019.

Fiona Ashton also has many years of experience in the events sector, having worked for Reed Travel Exhibitions in 1996-1999 and again from 2012.

Simon Press said:

“Richard and Maria have done a great job to establish Travel Forward as the leading travel technology show and they have performed exceptionally well during the incredibly challenging circumstances this year.

“Fiona and I will build on the strong foundations they have laid as we develop the Travel Forward brand next year and beyond not just in London but across the WTM portfolio at the Latin America, Africa and Arabian Travel Market events.

“We have ambitious plans to raise the profile of Travel Forward as the travel industry bounces back in 2021.”

Fiona Ashton added:

“Our experience of working with WTM and Arabian Travel Market – especially during the deep crisis we faced during the pandemic – mean that Simon and I have a great overview of the global travel industry, so we can bring our extensive expertise to the Travel Forward brand.

“Our knowledge, contacts and track records ensure that Travel Forward can evolve and innovate, making it the must-attend event in 2021 as the industry recovers.”

Commenting on his move, Richard Gayle said: “Managing Travel Forward has been a great experience, both professionally and personally, and I’m incredibly proud of what the show team has achieved since it was launched in 2018.

I’ve been lucky to work with some incredibly talented and knowledgeable people and I wish the team, our customers and partners the very best on their path to recovery post pandemic.”

More than 5,000 travel executives and 100-plus solution providers are expected to attend Travel Forward 2021 (1-3 November) for three days of insightful debate and unrivalled networking opportunities.

Being co-located with WTM London means that Travel Forward attendees gain access to both events.

Press concluded:

“Our teams across all our brands have proved to be very adaptable, resilient and creative during 2020, and we gained huge amounts of experience as we held ATM and WTM in virtual formats for the first time.

“We’ve had great feedback from exhibitors who held valuable business meetings and attended conference debates and sessions.

“News that vaccines are beginning to be approved and delivered gives us all hope that we can meet again at our events in 2021 – and we can incorporate the valuable experience we have gleaned this year to offer extra virtual options to those who may not be able to travel.”



– ENDS –


About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises six leading travel events, an online portal and a virtual platform across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts. This year the show will be fully-virtual.

Next event: Monday 1 November to 3 November 2021 – Virtual

WTM Virtual, is the new WTM Portfolio virtual platform, created to offer global delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings, to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more. WTM Virtual will embrace the global leading travel shows in one platform.

London Travel Week, brought to you by WTM London, is the one-stop-shop for event hosts and visitors

to be able to shape the next 12 months of travel together. The festival of events supports the global travel and tourism industry through capturing invaluable news and enhancing industry connections.

Next event: Friday 29 October – Friday 5 November 2021 – Virtual

Travel Forward is the leading travel technology event, co-located with WTM London. Travel Forward is renowned for showcasing the next-generation technologies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Over 19,000 travel officials and 150+ innovative solution providers attend for 3 days of cutting-edge insights, open debate and unrivalled networking opportunities. The combination of a 2-day conference, interactive exhibition and Start-up showcase makes Travel Forward truly unique. This year the show will be fully-virtual.

Next event: Monday 1 November to 3 November 2021 – Virtual

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 27th year, continues to be the focal point for the Middle East’s resilient and ever-changing travel and tourism landscape and prides itself on being the hub of all travel and tourism ideas – providing a platform to discuss insights on the ever-changing industry, share innovations and unlock endless business opportunities.

ATM 2021 will feature, among others, Travel Forward, a high-end travel and hospitality innovation event, dedicated conference summits, ATM buyer forums and speed networking events, as well as Arival Dubai @ ATM – a dedicated in-destination forum. #IdeasArriveHere

Next live event: Sunday 16 to Wednesday 19 May 2021, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai

Next virtual event: Sunday 23 to Wednesday 26 May 2021

 Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2021 and ATM Virtual 2021, including ILTM Arabia and Travel Forward – a new travel tech and hospitality innovation event launching this year – as well as ATM Buyer Forums and ATM Speed Networking Events. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector – under one roof over the course of one week – Arabian Travel Week will be returning to Dubai World Trade Centre from Sunday 16th – Thursday 26th May 2021. For more information, visit:

WTM Latin America attracts around 19,000 participants – 11,586 unique. The trade show, which takes place in São Paulo, has a worldwide audience that meets to establish the direction of the travel industry. The event is recognised for attracting a high level of professionals from the segment, including buyers and travel agents. It also offers programmes with qualified content and plenty of opportunities for networking and generating business that is relevant to the travel industry

Next event: Wednesday 23 to Friday 25 June 2021 – Expo Center Norte, São Paulo

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 6,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.

Next event: Wednesday 7 to Friday 9 April 2021 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

WTM Global Hub, is the new WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub.

Reed Exhibitions is a leading global events business. It combines face-to-face with data and digital tools to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 500 events in almost 30 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than 7 million participants.  Our events, organized by 35 global offices, leverage industry expertise, large data sets and technology to enable our customers to generate billions of dollars of revenues for the economic development of local markets and national economies around the world. Reed Exhibitions is part of RELX, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 20 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, LGBTQ+ travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf and spa travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world-leading events, content and digital tools that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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