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Bouncing Back from the Pandemic: Skift’s Virtual Online Travel & Distribution Summit

Bouncing Back from the Pandemic: Skift’s Virtual Online Travel & Distribution Summit

US travel media company Skift is hosting a virtual conference for the travel industry tomorrow, February 17. The topics include looking at emerging products, consumer shifts and transformations happening in online travel and distribution out of the pandemic. Speakers include Eric Bergaglia, senior director with Booking.com; Expedia CEO Peter Kern; Decius Valmorbida, Travel Unit president, Amadeus IT Group; and Lindsay Nelson, chief experience and brand officer, Tripadvisor.

The highly-competitive online travel market and its brands have been one of the most disruptive forces in travel, sparking digital transformation, spurring consumer demand, and impacting all sectors of the industry.

As emerging consumers, emerging products and consumer trust becomes more important than ever, online travel has the opportunity to reinvent and rebuild in a far stronger way. With Airbnb as a newly-minted public company, metasearch companies acting like online travel agencies, airlines launching lifestyle booking platforms, and online travel agencies using consumer data to stay ahead of the pack, 2021 will see no shortage of headlines and rapid changes in this sector.

This summit will attempt to answer the big questions facing online travel:

  • How will online travel agencies bounce back?
  • Who will likely IPO, be acquired, or seek investment to emerge stronger in 2021?
  • What is the role of metasearch and does it still have the clout it once did?
  • Who are the tech disruptors that might dethrone the giants?
  • How can we learn from Asia’s growth and innovations in distribution?
  • What’s the outlook and strategy now for big GDS companies?
  • What are the marketing challenges facing online travel agencies and how are they engaging consumers as demand returns?
  • Has the pandemic led to a deeper de-commoditization of supply?
  • Has airline distribution entered a new era?
  • Does the pandemic bring us back towards distribution, or have suppliers mastered direct?

The conference is live between 11am-2pm EST (4-7pm GMT) but you can also watch it on-demand. You can register here.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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