Industry Update
Press Release16 March 2015

The Economist Events to Host Conference to Debate the Future of Travel

Conference brings together global leaders to examine how changes in technology, innovation and regulation can foster a holistic travel experience over the next decade

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The Economist Events

More than 150 senior business leaders, policy makers, and travel industry experts, are gathering in Madrid on 24 March 2015 to discuss the future of the travel industry and the contribution technology, innovation and regulatory change can make to delivering a holistic travel experience.


The Conference entitled 'The Future of Travel' will debate the future of the industry, which now accounts for at least 9.5% of global GDP*. Examining issues such as whether Europe can become a single travel area, the potential for a 'multimodal' travel future and inspiring the new explorer generation of travellers. Simon Vincent, EMEA President, Hilton Worldwide commented: "Now more than ever it is important for us to consider the future of travel and the way industries such as hospitality will evolve over the coming years. The growing prosperity of emerging markets is set to change the face of the demographics of international travel. Coupled with exciting advances in technology, we stand at a point in time where the travel industry can take the lead in driving economic growth and create an estimated 73 million new jobs by 2022."

"Everyone talks about the magic of travel but few enjoy the shop and book process, which includes up to 48 flight searches on average. Investing in technology and travel intelligence helps to remove the pain of travel, to bring travellers the confidence they need to click and go," said Greg Schulze, Senior Vice President, Global Tour & Transport at the Expedia group.

Discussing his views on the next decade of travel Luis Maroto, CEO, Amadeus commented: "The travel industry is poised for a golden decade with average growth rates of 5.4% over the next ten years. Rapidly emerging economies such as China, Brazil and Indonesia will reshape our industry as non-OECD economies represent 50% of global air traffic for the first time by 2023. The fundamentals of the business travel sector will evolve as we expect links between those rapidly developing economies and Western markets to be a source of significant opportunity for years to come." He continued: "Set against these developments our industry stands at a crossroads - with the potential over the next decade to foster a truly 'multimodal' experience for the traveller afforded by advances in both infrastructure and technology. At Amadeus we are committed to working with the industry to shape a more personalized, connected and sustainable future."

Key speakers include:

  • JOSE MANUEL SORIA LOPEZ, Minister of Energy, Industry and Tourism, Government of Spain
  • TALEB RIFAI, Secretary General, UNWTO
  • MICHAEL O'Leary, Chief Executive Officer, Ryanair
  • LUIS MAROTO, Chief Executive Officer, Amadeus
  • TONY TYLER, Chief Executive Officer & Director General, IATA
  • JOSE VIEGAS, Secretary General, International Transport Forum, OECD
  • SIMON VINCENT, President, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide
  • ALISTAIR HANN, Chief Technology Officer, Skyscanner
  • LEE MCCABE, Global Head of Travel, Education & Consumer Services, Facebook
  • GREG SCHULZE, Senior Vice President, Tour & Transport, Expedia

The Future of Travel is organised by The Economist Events, and sponsored by Amadeus. For the latest programme, please visit can also join us on Twitter at #econtravel and @EconomistEvents.

Video sessions of the event can be accessed from the 24th March by selected journalists. For more information please contact [email protected]

About The Economist Events

The Economist Events is the leading provider of international forums for senior executives seeking new insights into strategic issues. These meetings include industry conferences, management events and government roundtables held around the world. As part of The Economist Group, The Economist Events is a highly respected brand with a 162-year history and an unrivalled reputation for excellence and independence. Each meeting organised by The Economist Events delivers objective and informed analysis. Our meetings provide unusually high-level forums where senior executives can gain insights, exchange views and compare strategies.

About Amadeus

Amadeus is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail and ferry operators, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and travel management companies). The Amadeus group employs around 10,000 people worldwide, across central sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters), Nice (development) and Erding (operations), as well as 71 local Amadeus Commercial Organisations globally. The group operates a transaction-based business model. Amadeus is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange under the symbol "AMS.MC" and is a component of the IBEX 35 index. To find out more about Amadeus please, and for more on the travel industry.

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