Catch up – The future of loyalty in tourism: What are we learning from the COVID-19 crisis?

Catch up –  The future of loyalty in tourism: What are we learning from the COVID-19 crisis?


Paul Richer
Senior Partner, Genesys Digital Transformation

Paul is Senior Partner of the world’s leading independent travel technology consultancy, Genesys Digital Transformation. Paul founded the consultancy 25 years ago and during that time, Genesys has helped many travel companies select and implement new technology.

Clients range from some of the smallest travel businesses to the largest, market leading, global players. All benefiting from Genesys’ unrivalled experience, expertise and in-depth knowledge of the travel industry’s strategies, technology and business processes.

Paul’s consultancy work includes assisting clients with the purchase of new travel systems, project management of new systems implementation, board-level advice on profitable strategies for the digital world, due diligence for acquisitions and mergers, website and technology audits.

Petya Milkova
Head of Business Development Travel at Wirecard

Petya Milkova heads the global Business Development Travel department for Wirecard, a leading specialist for financial technology. Since joining Wirecard in December 2019, she has been responsible for leading a growing team of business development managers, with a focus on expanding the Wirecard Travel vertical globally.

Petya brings expertise in hotel distribution and the integration of new technology in the hospitality industry to Wirecard. During her 15 years of experience in the travel industry, she has worked for several OTA and hospitality technology companies and developed their markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Petya holds a master’s degree in Economics.

Maksim Izmaylov
Founder & CEO Winding Tree 

Maksim Izmaylov is a serial entrepreneur with a background in software engineering and law. He thinks that blockchain and other technologies can help us create a better world, e.g. reduce inequality.

He founded two travel startups, Roomstorm and Winding Tree, and Travel Tech Con, a conference for startups and software engineers from the travel industry.

Currently, Maksim is working on Winding Tree, a decentralized marketplace for the $7T travel industry that is dominated by just a handful of large corporations.

Kelly Cookes
Leisure Director, Advantage Travel Partnership

Kelly is an experienced senior travel professional skilled in commercial negotiation, sales, partnerships management and senior management. Kelly has spent most of her career within the Thomas Cook group, joining its graduate scheme and moving into roles within a sales and commercial environment.

Having joined Freedom Travel Group as Relationship Manager in 2013, Kelly quickly progressed to General Manager in 2014. Holding the position for five years, Kelly went on to work as Head of Commercial at Thomas Cook, which included all UK distribution channels. During her time at Freedom, Kelly saw both membership and profitability increase. Kelly joined Advantage as Leisure Director in October 2019 in a newly created board position. In her current role, Kelly is responsible for driving the leisure strategy for the consortia.