World Travel Market London 2015, the leading global event for the travel industry, will be opened by David Gill, former chief executive of one of the world’s most valuable and well known football clubs Manchester United.
Since joining the club as Finance Director in 1997, Gill lead the way to Manchester United becoming one of the world’s most valuable football clubs, now valued at $1.98 billion, overseeing five Premier League titles, three League Cups, one European Cup, one Club World Cup and an FA Cup since 2003.
Gill stepped down as chief executive for Manchester United in 2013 but still remains a Non-Executive Director, and was responsible for the second highest-earning football club in the world, turning over annual revenue of €518 million.
Gill will open World Travel Market London 2015 on Monday 2 November at ExCeL London at the WTM Leaders Lunch, which will host 200 of the industry’s most senior executives. This year’s lunch is organised in association with Mexico Tourism, WTM London’s Premier Partner.
Last year’s event guest speaker was retail royalty Justin King CBE, former CEO of J Sainsbury’s, and in 2013 former Marks & Spencer Chairman and CEO Sir Stuart Rose took to the stage.
Gill began his career after graduating as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in San Francisco; he then left the firm to join The BOC Group in its corporate finance department, and then went on to Avis Rent a Car.
At Avis, Gill was responsible for the disposal of the European leasing business to GE Capital for US$1 billion. Subsequently, he was finance director at Proudfoot PLC, the worldwide management consulting business, and then moving onto First Choice Holidays PLC.
In 2006, Gill was elected onto the board of The Football Association, and then in 2012 appointed to vice-chairman.
Shortly after Gill left Manchester United, where he was replaced by the executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, the football giant was elected to the UEFA Executive Committee and more recently, Gill was elected as Britain’s FIFA Vice-President.
During the lunch BBC presenter Stephen Sackur will interview Gill about his career in the football business as well as his previous careers within Travel, which will offer the senior travel industry audience inspiration and practical advice as to how they can run their own businesses.
In Gill’s spare time he is a keen golfer and is often seen at Manchester United Golf outings with past and present staff.
World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “I am delighted David Gill has agreed to open World Travel Market London 2015.
“Such a successful and well-known businessman, Gill’s knowledge of International business will no doubt offer transferable knowledge to the senior industry leaders of global travel brands sat in the room before him.
“David Gill will kick off the four days of business deal negotiations between 5,000 exhibitors and 9,000 WTM Buyers’ Club members perfectly.”
About World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
World Travel Market Events
World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.
The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.
In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.
WTM is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.