Ideas Arrive Here as travel leaders look ahead to 2019 at WTM London


Tour top executives from different sectors of the travel industry will take a look back on 2018 and a look ahead to 2019 at WTM London — the leading global event for the travel industry.

The session, called World Travel Leaders – What to expect in 2019, will be in the form of a panel discussion, with the four senior leaders sharing expert insight into what is currently driving the UK markets in outbound and inbound travel.

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The speakers – representing easyJet, Hilton, TUI and Travel Counsellors – will be asked to outline the key factors that have affected their sectors in 2018 and how the year has traded so far. They will then discuss expectations for 2019.

The session, which takes place on day one of WTM London, on Monday November 5, underlines WTM London’s commitment to bringing the best speakers to the event, as highlighted by its new strapline: Ideas Arrive Here.

Key issues the panel will discuss include consumer confidence in the UK and across the world, how particular destinations are performing, as well as challenges posed by Brexit, terrorism threats and currency values.

Tying the themes together will be Caroline Bremner, head of travel at leading research company, Euromonitor, who will give a presentation.

The speakers are:

TUI UK & Ireland managing director Andrew Flintham, who has worked with the operator for over 13 years and who was promoted from commercial director to MD in March 2018. Previous roles at TUI include aviation planning director and mainstream planning director for First Choice. Prior to joining TUI, he worked at British Airways.


Hilton Hotels & Resorts senior vice president and managing director UK & Ireland Steve Cassidy, who is responsible for the company’s multi-brand portfolio across the British Isles. He joined Hilton’s revenue management team in 2009, moving into hotel operations in September 2011. In 2017, Steve oversaw the opening of more than one hotel a month. He’s also chairman of the Hospitality Guild and a board director of the British Hospitality Association.


EasyJet chief operating officer Chris Browne OBE, who, since October 2016, has been responsible for all operational departments of the low-cost carrier. She has over 25 years’ commercial and general management experience in travel, including TUI Travel aviation COO; Thomson Airways MD and First Choice Airways MD.


Steve Byrne, CEO of Travel Counsellors, the multi-million-pound Manchester-based travel agency business he has been heading up since 2004. Travel Counsellors now has over 1,500 home-based advisers working not only in the UK but overseas, including Ireland, South Africa, Australia and the UAE.


The World Travel Leaders – What to expect in 2019 session takes place on Monday November 5 from 14:15-15:30 in the Europe Inspiration Zone.

 WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “Ideas arrive at WTM London and this session will spark great debate and ideas about the future of the travel industry in 2019.

“WTM London is an unrivalled opportunity to meet with and listen to the industry’s most senior leaders and greatest minds. This leads to a plethora of ideas which help to fuel the future of the industry.

This session is no different and will help travel companies take advantage of Brexit and the growth of the UK tourism market.”

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.