This year's Travolution European Summit will return on September 30 at Kia Oval to tackle the biggest issues in digital travel.

As the travel industry looks to technology to rebuild following the devastation of Covid-19 there has never been a more important year for the Travolution European Summit.

With the pandemic devastating the traditional programme of events in the sector, the 2021 Summit is a unique opportunity to be inspired by our speakers and sessions and network with industry peers.

We aim to deliver up to 400 senior professionals from the travel and hospitality world from brands and the technology and digital services providers that support them.

After last year’s Reset, Reboot, Restart virtual summit, this year will be dominated by discussion about how technology will be the foundation on which the post-pandemic travel sector will be built.

Our programme will feature senior speakers from leading brands within the sector, as well experts from outside travel to inspire our audience’s innovative passion.

Travel is powered by ideas and imagination and ideas and imagination happen among likeminded individuals bound by their shared vision for an exciting future for the sector.

We look forward to bringing those people together again during Jacob Media Group’s first Global Travel Week to help set the post-pandemic agenda for travel.

To be the first to hear about the 2021 Travolution Summit, please register your interest:


Our speakers are experts drawn from leading travel and disruptive digital brands

Jay Abbott
Vice President Travel
Nuvei (formerly attending as SafeCharge)
Hugh Aitken
Vice President Commercial
Pedro Anderson
Winding Tree
Farina Azam
Partner and Travel Lead
Kemp Little
Stuart Barwood
Director Global Airline Strategy
Joel Brandon-Bravo
Vice President Travel & Digital Solutions
Carlos Cendra
Sales & Marketing Director
James Clarke
General Manager UK
Simon Cooper
Founder and Chief Executive
On The Beach
Marco Corradino
Chief Executive
George Dumitru
Manuel Hilty
Chief Executive and Founder
Shaz Iqbal
Senior Payments Manager
British Airways
Bas Lemmens
Schubert Lou
Chief Operating Officer
Katie McAlister
Chief Marketing Officer
Tui Group
Gary Morrison
Chief Executive
Andy Owen-Jones
Co-Founder and Chief Executive
Karen Panetta
IEEE Fellow and Dean of Graduate Engineering
Tufts University
Jordan Pellant
Senior Sales Director, Travel
Nick Shay
Head of Travel and Hospitality
Publicis Sapient
Tony Smyth
Vice President
iFree Group
Paul Stephen
Chief Executive
Ben Stirling
Managing Director
Web Loyalty
Peter Van Manen
Executive Vice President Living PlanIT, and former Managing Director of McLaren
Ait Voncke
Global Senior Vice President for Lodging, Vacation Rentals and Activities


Thursday, October 1

09:00 Welcome

Lee Hayhurst, Editor, Travolution

Tony Smyth, Vice President , iFree Group

09.10 RESTART Restarting - post Covid-19

Katie McAlister, Chief Marketing Officer, Tui Group

Restarting economies and the travel industry was a mammoth challenge because of covid. Katie will be giving an overview on Tui's marketing strategies for post-lockdown and the constant tweaking given the government's advice to travel.

09:35 RESET We're all start-ups now

Marco Corradino, Chief Executive,

As the head of one of Europe’s largest OTA groups, Marco Corradino found himself thrust back into the front line as the COVID-19 pandemic hit and he had to firstly deal with the crisis to secure the future of the company and then to prepare it for a post-pandemic future. He told a Travolution webcast that the challenges posed by the coronavirus lockdown had felt like a return to 2004 when he first started-up Volagratis, which became the Bravofly Group before rebranding to Group. In this session he will talk how the travel reset has turned the sector into one huge start-up. 

10:00 RESET 'Glocal' content, Artificial Intelligence and tech to future proof your business

Joel Brandon-Bravo, Vice President Travel and Digital Solutions, TransPerfect 

In this session our expert speaker will provide insight into how travel firms can reach a global audience while also being locally and personally relevant and how is technology and AI going to help. Joel Brandon-Bravo is a well-known face in the travel sector having worked at deals publisher Travelzoo as UK managing director for nine years, and prior to that at Frommer Unlimited. In his current role at TransPerfect, his expertise in technology and content is now being directed at firms looking to grow their brands international using data and insights to hone their strategies.

10:20 REBOOT The shifting sands of travel distribution post COVID-19

Hugh Aitken, Vice President Commercial, Skyscanner

James Clarke, General Manager UK, Travelzoo

George Dumitru, CEO,

The travel sector has always been a complex interplay between players that compete and cooperate for the attention of customers, often at the same time. This session focuses on how the coronavirus pandemic will change the dynamic between supplier and intermediary. Will we see a renewed sense of collaboration, or will the battle for customers drive more aggressive direct sell tactics?

11:00 Break

11:20 RESET Turbocharge your drive for more conversions and transactions using payments and marketing data

Jay Abbot, Vice President Travel, Nuvei

Shaz Iqbal, Senior Payments Manager, British Airways

Bas Lemmens, CEO and President

In this panel session our experts will discuss the fundamentals for unpacking travel payments optimisation. As all travel firms look to operate more efficiently and effectively in a market coming to terms with COVID-19 it will also discuss conversion rate optimisation (CRO) alongside payments optimization and how rigorous testing programs drive more conversion and ultimately more transactions.

12:05 RESTART The view from On The Beach

Simon Cooper, Founder and Chief Executive, On The Beach

Simon Cooper is the founder and chief executive of listed OTA On the Beach, one of the biggest travel companies in the UK. He his career in travel while at university when he founded ski holiday company On the Piste in 1996, which went on to be purchased by Thomson (now TUI) in 2008. On the Beach was created in 2004 as a sister company and launched its first website in 2004. In 2007, is secured private equity investment from Livingbridge in 2007 and then Inflexion in 2013 before an IPO in 2015 and its entry into the FTSE 250 in 2018.  

12:30 RESET Conquering the conversion conundrum with behavioural economics

Ben Stirling, Managing Director, Web Loyalty

In the post pandemic world, operating more effectively and efficiently will become paramount for all travel firms as they look to make every investment in marketing drive optimal returns. Ben Stirling will explain how the travel sector reset will be underpinned by a better understanding and application of the science of shopping to help firms improve both conversion rates and loyalty among their clientele. Stirling joined Web Loyalty in 2018 having spent five years at Expedia, most latterly as EMEA director of partnerships.

12:50 REBOOT The role of technology in travel's 'new normal'

Karen Panetta, IEEE Fellow and Dean of Graduate Engineering, Tufts University

Karen Panetta, IEEE Fellow and dean of graduate engineering at Tufts University will close day one by explaining how COVID-19 has made the invisible technologies that enable travel all the more important and will discuss the need for greater collaboration and data sharing in travel to fuel the AI revolution.

13:20 Closing remarks

Lee Hayhurst, Editor, Travolution

Friday, October 2

09:00 Welcome

Lee Hayhurst, Editor, Travolution

09:10 RESTART Getting back in the race

Ait Voncke, Global Senior Vice President for Lodging, Vacation Rentals and Activities, Expedia

09:35 RESET Living with the pandemic

Gary Morrison, Chief Executive, Hostelworld  

Gary Morrison joined Hostelworld Group in 2018 as chief executive from Expedia Group where he was senior vice president and head of retail for the Expedia brand worldwide. He also served on the Board of Directors of Despegar, AirAsiaExpedia and Voyages SNCF. Prior to Expedia, he held senior management positions at Google as head of global sales operations for the online sales channel and Motorola as head of product management in the Smartphone division. Prior to this, he co-founded Webrewards, a UK startup which he sold to Bertelsmann in 2001. Hostelworld is a global hostel-focussed online booking platform that was established in 1999 which lists over 17,000 properties on 179 countries.

10.00 REBOOT How travel firms are using data to reboot their strategies

Andy Owen-Jones, Co-Founder and Chief Executive, bd4travel

This expert presentation session will present case studies into how travel firms are rebooting their businesses for the post-pandemic rebound by employing better and more relevant data and analytics. Andy Owen-Jones’ background in travel goes back to 1990’s when worked in IT for Virgin Atlantic. He was director for Travel Distribution Solutions at Amadeus for seven years before becoming Traveltainment Chief Executive and then starting his own firm, bd4travel, in 2012 which was sold to Dubai travel giant dnata in 2018.

10.20 RESET The COVID-19 travel reboot

Farina Azam, Partner and Travel Lead, Kemp Little

Stuart Barwood, Director Global Airlines Strategy, Forter

Jordan Pellant, Senior Sales Director, Travel, Trustpilot 

The coronavirus crisis has exposed many underlying issues with how the travel sector is structured which the sector can no longer ignore if it is to restore the trust and faith of consumers. Our experts in law, payments and analytics will explain what they see the COVID-19 recovery plan looks like.

11:00 Break

11.20 RESET Re-platforming for the post-COVID comeback

Pedro Anderson, Co-Founder, Winding Tree

Carlos Cendra, Sales and Marketing Director, Mabrian

Manuel Hilty, Chief Executive and Founder, Nezasa

Nick Shay, Head of Travel and Hospitality, Publicis Sapient

As well as going into survival mode, the COVID-19 lockdown was an opportunity for travel firms to take stock, reassess their technology needs and ask themselves are they ready for future challenges. Our expert panel discusses what those challenges may be and why being innovative is now more essential than ever.

12:05 RESTART Recovery and growth through customer experience

Schubert Lou, Chief Operating Officer, is the global OTA within the Group comprising Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. The online agent has its European base in Edinburgh and is growing rapidly in the UK and Europe. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003, Group has become one of the best-known travel brands in the world, with the mission of 'making every trip the perfect trip'. Hong Kong-born Schubert Lou studied in the US where he worked for the likes of eBay and Amdocs before returning to China where he originally joined Ctrip as chief global information officer leading the strategic development of the travel firm’s platform.

12:30 REBOOT High performing strategies to get into the fast lane to recovery

Paul Stephen, Chief Executive, Sagittarius

The travel sector reboot is going to require travel firms to get their technology engines purring, so they get back up to speed as quickly as possible. This expert presentation hears from Paul Stephen, the Chief Executive of award-winning London-based digital agency Sagittarius. The firm has a specialism in travel and transport and is a Google and Microsoft partner and a certified gold implementation partner for the Sitecore ecommerce platform.

12:45 Staying connected through Covid and beyond

Tony Smyth, Vice President, iFree Group  

Tony Smyth, Vice President of iFree Group draws the summit to a close and introduces the final keynote speaker.

12:50 RESTART Mastering technologies to push start your business

Peter Van Manen, Executive Vice President Living PlanIT, and former Managing Director of McLaren Applied Technologies Electronics, Data and Technology Division, ex-McLaren  

Our closing keynote will close the summit with how Formula One has led the way with data and technologies and how other sectors are learning the benefits to maximise their positions.

13:20 Closing remarks

Lee Hayhurst, Editor, Travolution


The Summit's commercial partners are at the cutting edge of marketing distribution and innovative thinking