International Business Festival 2018




Laureece Nuttall, Festival Intern
16 October 2017

From relaxing beach retreats to busy city breaks, we can't get enough of holidays. That's why travel and tourism is one of the world's fastest-expanding sectors, with the World Travel & Tourism Council predicting that it will grow by nearly 4% a year over the next decade.

Travel is clearly big business, so it's fitting that the industry will be one of the areas of focus for the final day of the 2018 International Business Festival. Taking place on the same day - 28 June 2018 - within the Festival's hosted events space will be Future Global Opportunities for UK Tourism, a conference organised in association with tourism trade bible TravelGBI.

We caught up with the event organiser's, and industry expert, Simon Greenbury for a quick-fire interview on the business of travel and what attendees can expect from the event next June.



Simon Greenbury, organiser of Future Global Opportunities for UK Tourism


How do you feel about bringing your event to the 2018 Festival?

“Tourism has been touched on before at the International Business Festival – mainly as it related to other sectors, for example, creative and digital – but this is the first year there has been a direct focus on the industry. I think it's going to be really exciting.

"Once we understood that there was an opportunity for us to hold a dedicated tourism industry conference within an event that has such global reach, we jumped at the chance. The fact that the Festival is in such a fantastic city is a real bonus too.”


Is there some significance for you in hosting the event in Liverpool too?

“In a way, Liverpool is the mothership for us – and for a lot of people in the travel business. We're always so impressed with how the city promotes itself as a global visitor destination, and it's particularly great to see the strides that have been made in terms of place marketing. It's an ideal case study really, I think the industry at large can learn a huge amount from the city.”


What can people expect from Future Global Opportunities for UK Tourism?

“As the name suggests, the conference will be focused on the future of tourism in the UK, both outbound and inbound. The aim is to help people make the most of the potential that exists within the industry.

"The event will take the form of a series of sessions designed to help professionals within the travel and tourism sector to develop and build their brand and their business.

"If you're in business, then you're busy – and this is doubly true in travel and tourism – so we want to make sure that delegates get the most out of our event. It's going to be jam-packed with the best insights across a whole range of topics – from hospitality to online bookings to airlines.”


What are you looking to achieve from holding an event at the 2018 International Business Festival?

“A really important goal for us is to encourage more networking within the travel and tourism industry. Building connections are absolutely key, and I know is what the Festival is all about.

"And we want the professionals who attend to consider new opportunities they might never have considered. This will probably come as much from what delegates experience on the Festival floor itself as at our event – whether that's advice on access to finance or inspiration from one of the panels or speakers on the Futures Stage.”


Who would be your ideal speaker on the Futures Stage?

“I think it would be interesting to hear from someone from outside of the travel and tourism industry, and maybe someone not considered a typical keynote speaker. Ideally, they would challenge preconceptions and provoke debate – what they're saying should have an impact.

"At a previous event, we organised we heard from the Ex-CEO of Burger King, Barry Gibbons. He was the head of a global franchise which has an important impact on the tourism industry, however, he perhaps wasn't who you might have expected. But he offered relevant and effective advice that was genuinely useful in a business context. People were very pleasantly surprised.”


For more information on how Sport, Culture and Travel themed-sector day is shaping up visit our festival programme for the most recent updates.

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