//ABTA Travel Convention: Day two

ABTA Travel Convention: Day two

Destination of 2019 Convention revealed to be Tokyo.

The 2019 ABTA Travel Convention will be held in Tokyo, Japan, it has been revealed. The convention will be held on 7-10 October 2019.

During the second day of conference sessions, speakers from Saga, Royal Caribbean and dnata spoke on subjects including the rapid growth of tourism and how industry leaders were preparing for Brexit. There was also an emotional talk by Giles Duley, a documentary film-maker who lost both of his legs and an arm while working in Afghanistan.

Johan Lundgren, the CEO of easyJet, said that the company would work with the trade as it looked to expand easyJet Holidays, a major focus for the company going forward.

“If there are travel agencies out there who want to contribute to easyJet Holidays, I would definitely discuss it with them,” Lundgren said. “They offer a meaningful service in many places where a company like ours doesn’t.”

On Brexit, Lundgren said that he was confident that there would continue to be airline connectivity between the UK and mainland Europe.

During a panel covering the challenges of growth within tourism, Mark Tanzer, the chief executive of ABTA highlighted that the number of tourists around the world grew from 531 million in 1995 to 1.32 billion in 2017.

Stuart Leven, vice president EMEA and managing director of RCL Cruises, who was part of the same panel, said that the cruise sector was an easy target during discussions on overtourism, highlighting that 600 million holidays are taken in Europe every year, with cruise accounting for just six million, or 1%.

83% of delegates voted that the industry was not doing enough to address the growth.

During a panel of industry leaders, Robin Shaw, the CEO of Saga Travel, spoke candidly on the importance of a Brexit deal, saying that the cost of not doing a deal was too high. “Is it in both sides interests to get a deal? The answer is yes,” he said. “It’s a massive state of uncertainty but if you ask me what I think, the answer is that a deal will be done.”

Richard Calvert, the CEO of Specialist Leisure Group, said: “With Brexit, you need to have a plan and be resolute with it. No deal or deal we will all still be here next year.”

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.