AITO Travel Conference – Moderator’s Reflection

I have been privileged to moderate over 20 previous AITO- The Specialist Travel Association  Conferences.

Having had time to reflect further on what was a hugely enjoyable, as well as enlightening AITO 2023 Conference in Thessaloniki I continue to be reminded how lucky the Association is to benefit from such a broad collection of travel experts.

Tour operators, travel agents and business affiliates take a bow; your combined expertise, enthusiasm, and energy was as inspirational as it was cheering.

Against a backdrop of continued post-pandemic change (economic, political, geopolitical, technological, social, and employment challenges abounding at every turn) our conference theme ‘Shaping the Future’ was reliant on a hugely well-informed team sheet of conversant soothsayers, speakers, and panellists.

True to form, the array of experts from within the AITO family, as well as like-minded industry associates, succinctly advised on how best to kick on across today’s commercial landscapes. Furthermore, the energy and generosity of all participants at the Gala Dinner Charity auction was admirable. Thank you – an auctioneer’s dream.

In the process of thanking so many participants, if you were unable to attend, I do suggest you try and further engage with all things AITO – The Specialist Travel Association.

In particular, with the Association presently reaching out to invite non-member travel companies to apply for membership this could be the best opportunity to join what I believe to be the most impressive, supportive, and knowledgeable ‘travel family’.

My particular thanks go to the following, who made my moderating job as easy and it was enjoyable.

Martin Alcock – Presentation on today’s travel industry outlook

Eleni Skarveli Chris Wright Amrit Singh Chris McIntyre – Destinations experts

Fiona Charrington Peter Cookson Ami Naru – Re-Building Business gurus

Mark Thompson Mark Bush Matt Illston Zoe Davidson  – AI updates … ‘keep it simple’

Alison Sarmiento – Courage to Change

Sara Zimmerman Sarah Bradley Martin Garland – Travel & Tourism Changes sages

Chris Rowles Kevin O’Regan Ian Prior – Future Proofers

Jo Rzymowska – Ab Fab & more

Richard Carrick Chris Thompson Jonathan Wall Martin Alcock – How best to move on up

Claire Ingleby Stephen Brock Nicky Shafe Sam Clark – Here & Now Reflections

Plus: Chris Haslem (COP28 & a Future Imperfect); Andy Tucker (Today’s World); Noel Josephides (stick as is, as no need to twist); Richard Rice(Return of the Jedi)

In addition to all sponsors, business affiliates & AITO Conference Team – David Howard Martyn Sumners Yvonne Kinder Pam Hersey Amy Waller Bharat Gadhoke

12 replies
  1. Alison Sarmiento says:

    A great conference! Thank you for the invitation Jono and to Yvonne Kinder, Martyn Sumners and the team for such a well run event.

    It was good to have the opportunity to meet so many AITO – The Specialist Travel Association members and hear of their triumphs and challenges.

  2. Sue Ockwell says:

    Brilliantly put, Jono! You are a conference moderator par excellence… it is we who are privileged, to have your brain, know-how and charm bringing it all together… Huge thanks to you and to all those at AITO and outside the organisation who work year-round to make AITO conferences such must-attend events for one and all.

  3. Yvonne Kinder says:

    I believe what we give, we receive … we are definitely the best conference team. Here’s looking forward to 2024!

  4. Ami Naru says:

    You are the glue that fixed all the pieces of the jigsaw together! Great job Jono Vernon-Powell

  5. Yvonne Kinder says:

    As always Jono, it’s been a true privilege to work with you. You kept us all engaged from start to finish.

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