Travel Forward expands reach with series of online mini-conferences

Travel Forward expands reach with series of online  mini-conferences

Payment processes, chargebacks and refunds will be discussed at length in the first Travel Forward Online, a new imprint designed to bring a digitised Travel Forward experience to the desktops of the global travel tech community.

Five different Travel Forward Online events will take place over the next few months, ahead of the real-world conference, event and exhibition taking place at ExCeL London from Monday 2 November to Wednesday 4 November.

Each TF Online session will have a clearly defined topics for consideration and will feature a keynote speaker, industry experts, panels and presentations.

The first takes place on Tuesday 14 July, under the title of “Paying for travel: the customer impact during and post the COVID-19 experience”. The conference begins at 9.30am and ends around 1pm.

One of the biggest pain points across the industry during the height of the outbreak was the B2B and B2C processes for supplier chargebacks and traveller refunds.

The scale of disruption to global travel put pressure on existing ways of doing business, while suppliers also needed to make sure they dealt with the current crisis in a way which prepared the ground for the post-COVID-19 reality.

Paul Charles, CEO and founder at The PC Agency, a PR agency specialising in travel and tourism, is confirmed as the keynote speaker for the first TF Online. During the pandemic, he has been a familiar face on mainstream TV in the UK and abroad, representing the industry in its demands for government support of travel, leisure and hospitality businesses.

Following his presentation, a panel of experts will take a deep dive into how existing processes were adapted to cope with COVID-19 while offering some tips for the future. The session will be moderated by Brian Quarrie, Global Head of Sales for PayTabs, a B2B payments specialist set up in 2014 to help drive online payments in the MENA region.

Panellists include:

  • Mikko Turtiainen, Vice President of Global Sales for Finnair, who will talk about the specific challenges faced by airlines.
  • Peter Brennan, Managing Director of Holiday World, a specialist tour operator based in Richmond, UK. Brennan will talk about the ski programme and how it was affected by COVID-19 during the season and impacted on both clients in resort as well as affecting 20% of bookings due to travel imminently.
  •  Tomeu Fiol, Global Hotel Technologies Director at Meliá Hotels International. Fiol has worked for 14 years in the hospitality industry with widely international experience and is passionate about how the digital age is transforming and evolving the tourism industry.
  • Shiv Bhatt, Head of Merchant Solutions at Visa. Shiv will share his perspective of the acquirer’s unique relationship with both customer and service provider and will look at how the 2020 experience could reshape this relationship post COVID-19.

Richard Gayle, exhibition director for Travel Forward, said:

“Travel Forward at ExCeL is a few months away, but there are conversations that need to take place now which we can facilitate through our global reach and industry reputation.

“Taking stock of what has happened is important for the travel industry, but so too is looking ahead and applying the lessons learnt.”

To register for “Paying for travel: the customer impact during and post the Covid-19 experience”, click here.

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