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Tomorrow's Travel Leaders Conference 2017


The elite conference for young achievers in the travel industry, was brought to you by TTG Media and WTM London.


Life stories from some of travel’s big hitters were at the heart of the event, including entrepreneurs from the Travel Tech Lab, and an interactive session featuring TTG 30 Under 30 members.


Don’t forget we are now on the hunt for the TTG 30 Under 30 2018!
We would like to uncover the 30 highest young fliers in travel under the age of 30 who we think are likely to be travel’s leaders of the future.

The morning was split into three sessions:


DOING IT – Today's travel leaders describe and debate their career paths


STARTING IT – Young travel entrepreneurs from the Travel Tech Lab describe their businesses from conception to success, and the triumphs and the pitfalls along the way


DONE IT – Hear from a true travel industry titan, reflecting on their career and in discussion with two of TTG's 30 Under 30 2017

Speakers included:


David Speakman, founder, Travel Counsellors

Jeannette Linfoot, managing director Saga Tour Operating, Saga Group

Brian Young, managing director EMEA, G Adventures

Jennifer Atkinson, CEO, Inspiring Travel Company Group

Gee Mann, founder, ibookedin

Sam Bruce, founder, Much Better Adventures
Katie Hegarty, programme manager, Traveltech Lab

Nathan Cable, co-founder, Party Hard Travel

Georgia Lewis, business development manager, Travelsphere

What people said about the TTG Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders conference


“Thank you all for such a warm welcome and fantastic day. Having now attended for the last two years it is one of my favourite and most inspiring motivating events in the calendar.”


Donna Allcock, channel manager,


"I wanted to say a big thank-you for the event. It was my first TTG Tomorrow's Travel Leaders conference, and I was inspired from the moment Jamie started the day through to Phil's amazing story. I wish all conferences kept to the same standard!”


Andreea Preluca, graduate trainee, JacTravel, after the TTG Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders conference 2016


Jennifer Atkinson

Jennifer Atkinson

CEO, ITC Travel Group


Having started as Head of Marketing in the group, Jennifer Atkinson became CEO, buying it out and then acquiring a number of other companies, all during her 30s.

In her 40’s, mother of two young children, owner of a multi-million pound empire and a constant champion of women’s rights in the workplace, she juggles it all and is a very inspirational woman.

Since Jen’s appointment as ITC Travel Group’s CEO seven years ago, she has grown the business from strength to strength, leading to a 2014 management buy-out and the creation of a multi-million pound empire, with the acquisition of the Western & Oriental Travel Group in 2015. ITC Travel Group now forms a collective of seven key companies – ITC Travel Group, Rainbow Tours, Regent Holidays, Villa Select and Western & Oriental, including ITC Travel Group Sports and Horse Racing Abroad.

Offering trips of a lifetime for all needs, temperaments and price points, ITC Travel Group is the UK’s definitive collective group of tour operators that is leading the way in the UK market.

Sam Bruce

Sam Bruce

Founder, Much Better Adventures


Sam and his business partner established Much Better Adventures in 2012, having spotted a gap in the market for a platform, which connects local hosts and guides with travellers – so that more of the expenditure goes to local businesses. His business journey has included successfully securing angel funding, securing seed fund investment, and being the very first member of the Traveltech Lab in London. They sent more than £10m in sales to their micro local tour operators around the world since 2013 and were voted young travel entrepreneurs of the year 2017. Sam also sits on the Traveltech Lab Advisory Board.

Nathan Cable

Nathan Cable

Co-founder, Party Hard Travel


After graduating from Portsmouth University, Cable worked as a business analyst for British Airways’ loyalty scheme, Avios, before leaving to work full-time at Party Hard Travel.


The operator managed to secure private investment to develop the business, which now offers packages to seven European resorts: Ayia Napa, Kavos, Ibiza, Malia, Magaluf, Zante and Sunny Beach in Bulgaria.

Katie Hegarty

Katie Hegarty

Traveltech Lab Programme Manager


Katie has worked in innovation for over six years, gaining extensive experience in programme, resource and stakeholder management for a magnitude of diverse actors. Whether it is supporting innovation in the delivery of aid for multi-million dollar programmes, working to develop a technology incubator programme for startups or training on income generating activities for marginalised populations in West Africa, her passion for innovation, improving business processes and identifying barriers for scaling businesses has led her on an invigorating path. She has worn many hats in her professional career, but innovation has always been core to her ethos.

Georgia Lewis

Georgia Lewis

Business development manager, Travelsphere


A self-professed show-woman, Georgia Lewis, business development manager at Travelsphere and Just You, joined the travel industry as an overseas entertainer for Tui.


In 2010, she joined Thomas Cook as a travel and foreign exchange consultant. During her tenure she was fortunate enough to be involved in the London 2012 Olympic Games working as a games break host.


Over the next three years, Lewis bolstered her travel experience working as a consultant for Affinion International Travel and All Leisure Holidays Group, eventually joining the Travelsphere and Just You team in December 2015.


Since then, Lewis has taken up the role of business development manager and is responsible for the growth of both brands through maximising sales opportunities during agency visits, and ensuring marketing campaigns run smoothly and are within budget while also adhering to brand guidelines.

Jeannette Linfoot

Jeannette Linfoot

Managing director Saga Tour Operating division, Saga Group


Jeannette joined Saga as Managing Director of Saga's Tour Operating division in December 2015 and is responsible for Saga Holidays, Titan Travel, Destinology and the VIP transport division. Her role is focused on spearheading growth across the three brands and leveraging the travel potential across the wider Saga Group.


With over 20 years’ experience in the travel industry, Jeannette has held a wide variety of senior roles across different businesses. Prior to joining Saga, Jeannette held the position of Managing Director, Emerging Markets for TUI Travel where she spent more than seven years, Product Director at First Choice, Head of Product at Thomas Cook, as well as a further eight years earlier in her career at TUI. Post graduating from Leeds University with a degree in Economics, Jeannette joined the Government Economic Service responsible for demographic profiling and pensions forecasting.

Jeannette has a strong record in strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions and operational delivery in a global environment as well as providing inspirational leadership and vision.

David Speakman

David Speakman

Founder, Travel Counsellors


David Speakman was the original pioneer of the travel agents working from home concept. He founded Travel Counsellors, which was the first - and is also the largest - travel home-working company in the world, in 1994.


At that time he had already been in the travel industry for 16 years, operating a chain of retail travel agents in North West England.


David was inspired by a book by American trend guru Faith Popcorn which predicted a rise in the number of people shopping and working from home. This gave him the idea for a new kind of travel agency: one where people would book their holidays from the comfort of their own home. Even better, the new company would empower agents to work for themselves and be in charge of their own destiny.


Since those early days Travel Counsellors Ltd has enjoyed phenomenal success. While the rest of the industry battles against the internet, it continues to emphasise the importance of building relationships and loyalty with customers and has enjoyed phenomenal growth due to its emphasis on service, rather than price. It now has over 1,600 agents in the UK and overseas.


In 2003 the company was presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest business accolade. The first time a travel agency had won the award.


Again in 2014 Travel Counsellors were awarded the Queens Award for the second time, this time for International trade.

Brian Young

Brian Young

Managing director EMEA, G Adventures


In March 2015, after 11 years in the accommodation-only sector, Brian took on a new challenge when he became managing director at G Adventures for the EMEA region.


G Adventures is the world’s largest independently-owned small group adventure company, founded by Canadian entrepreneur, Bruce Poon Tip.


Brian is no stranger to entrepreneurship himself, having co-founded On Holiday Group and Holiday Taxis. His travel experience spans operations, human resources (or talent, as it is called at G Adventures), sales and marketing, and customer experience within the tour operating and online travel sectors.

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