Westminster Business Forum

The future for the UK’s outbound tourism industry - Brexit, consumer priorities and sector growth

Morning, Thursday, 14th March 2019

Central London


This conference is bringing together stakeholders involved in UK outbound tourism with policymakers to share latest thinking on:

  • Maintaining competitiveness, including priorities for adapting to emerging economic, social, and technological trends advances;
  • Priorities for consumer protection; and
  • Policy developments, the UK’s future international relationships and the future of Europe as a major travel destination.

The conference will assess what is needed to sustain growth and priorities for continuing to meet growing consumer demands, as negotiations are expected to begin on future UK-EU aviation, travel and overseas workers.

With a recent escalation in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, including the publication of the European Commission’s Contingency Action Plan, we expect discussion on any new arrangements put in place for flights between the UK and EU post-Brexit.  

We expect discussion on long-term changes in consumer trends and how Brexit will impact on consumer habits such as increasing domestic holidays and changes in destination preferences.

Sessions will consider how the industry can adapt to these changes and take advantage of new destinations and the rise of alternative holidays including responsible tourism and experiential travel, and the future position of Europe as a travel destination, EU directives, and realising ambitions for growth in the context of environmental obligations.

With the Aviation Strategy due to be published in early 2019, delegates will discuss the impact of its proposals, expected to include measures on fostering competition, increasing international travel capacity, and - as the Government consults on airport alcohol licensing laws - improving passenger experience.

Delegates will also consider what is needed from the Aviation Strategy and policy more widely to meet growing demand for international travel, such as making best use of existing capacity, improving surface transport, and additional runway and terminal capacity.

In the context of a third runway at Heathrow the agenda also looks at the commercial position and connectivity of regional airports and routes - and possible measures such as exemption from Air Passenger Duty for carriers, protecting key slots at airports and route development funds.

Further sessions will look at the consumer protection framework for outbound tourists, as the CMA takes forward its enforcement action against hotel booking sites, following its investigation which examined issues around fees paid by consumers and hotels, the use of pressure selling, and search result rankings, and the future for UK and EU consumer protection frameworks post-Brexit.    

The seminar is also timed as the Independent Review of Airline Insolvency is expected to be published, which is considering how consumers can best be protected when airlines collapse. We expect discussion on the implications for the sector and consumers of expected recommendations to Government to allow the fleet of an airline to continue operating after the company has gone insolvent and a potential levy on the industry to pay for the repatriation of tourists.     


Keynote Speaker

Mark Tanzer

Chief Executive, ABTA

Keynote Speakers

Mark Tanzer

Chief Executive, ABTA

Cecilia Parker Aranha

Project Director, Competition and Markets Authority

Jean-Philippe Monod de Froideville

Vice President, Government & Corporate Affairs, Expedia


Baroness Crawley

Nigel Huddleston MP


Senior speaker confirmed from Manchester Airports Group

Stephen Mason

Senior Counsel, Travlaw LLP

Andrew Brown

Sales and Marketing Director, Travel Money, Post Office

Sarah Searson

Managing Director, Skiworld

James Walker

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Resolver

Gwénaëlle Delos

Managing Director, UK and Ireland, Atout France

Rob Griggs

Policy and Public Affairs Director, Airlines UK