12 OCTOBER 2020
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Normally held sometimes in rather exotic places the 2020 ABTA Travel Convention is this year a one day affair today (Monday 12 October) bringing together the biggest players in the tourism business, and for the first time Alex Cruz of British Airways and Shai Weis of Virgin Atlantic.
This morning, the business sessions will be broadcast from a virtual studio in central London. Punchy keynote speakers, panel discussions and interviews will be moderated by Chris Ship a regular with ABTA and the Royal Editor at ITV News.
The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport, is due to speak and other participants include Jennifer Anderson, Director for Consular Affairs, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Gloria Guevara, President and CEO World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Simon Calder, travel journalist and broadcaster, will deliver some no doubt lucid comment.
The afternoon session will consist of some practical business guidance delivered via a choice of specialist workshops and discussion sessions, available to view live, or at a later date, on demand. Networking is available with fellow attendees and the plan is to request meetings and engage in video conversations with exhibitors, just like a live event.
BTN points out that this is hopefully a one-off event and it will be interesting to see how it is received in social media.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Since Senor Cruz was removed from his post this morning, I suspect he will be a non attendee. If his presentation was pre recorded, it may add little to the debate, even if he is wearing his famous yellow hi vis jacket!
Richard Miles, Kilburn
Are we going to see the real Alex Cruz or just a video image?
James Sweet, Manchester
At least Mr Cruz is making an appearance, I donít recall seeing Willie Walsh making the effort. It is great pity we in the Trade cannot get really close.