Agenda Outline


Delegates Arrive

Conference Registration Desk Opens
12.00 - 16.00

The Advantage team will be ready to warmly welcome delegates.

The Advantage Tee Off

Welcome Party
19.00 - 23.00

Join us for a relaxed evening of food, drink, music and more, kindly supported by Melia Hotels International.


Plenary Conference Sessions
09.00 - 10.30

Coffee Break
10.30 - 10.50

Plenary Conference Sessions
10.50 - 12.00

Networking Lunch
12.00 - 13.30

Experiential Excursions
13.30 - 16.30

Free Time For Delegates
16.30 - 18.30

Pre-Dine Around Drinks
18.30 - 19.15

Kindly sponsorted by ATAS

Dine Arounds
19.15 onwards


Speed Dating
08.45 - 10.15

Coffee Break
10.15 - 10.30

Speed Dating
10.30 - 12.00

Networking Lunch
12:00 - 13.00

13.00 - 15.15

Coffee Break
15.15 - 15.40

Plenary Conference Sessions
15.40 - 18.00

Free Time
18.00 - 19.45

Farewell Dinner and drinks
19.45 - 23.30

Late Bar

23.30 - 01.30

Join us for post dinner drinks at the Mirador, kindly sponsored by Holiday Extras.


Delegates Depart

Departure times from Melia Villaitana will be available during the conference and will be approximately three hours prior to your flight time.

Sunday Sessions

Welcome to The Advantage Conference 2023

09.00 - 09.10

Our conference moderator David Meade opens this year’s Advantage Conference.

He will welcome delegates and give an overview of the day ahead in his own distinctive and energetic style!

Click here for more details about David


Hola – Advantage!

09.10 - 09.20

Manuel Butler Halter, Director of Turespaña welcomes you to the beautiful Valencia Region, and to Benidorm.


CEO Keynote

09.20 - 09.50

Hear from Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO of The Advantage Travel Partnership, as she introduces The Advantage Conference 2023!

Follow Julia Lo Bue-Said


The Economics of the Travel Bounce Back

10.00 - 10.20

Professor Trevor Williams is an economist who previously served as Chief Economist at Lloyds Bank for over a decade. In this session Trevor will look at how corporate and leisure travel have bounced back, uncovering the economics, and sharing his thoughts on the effects of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic and the recovery of the economy in the aftermath.

Click here for more details about Professor Trevor Williams


Keep Calm and Travel On

10.50 - 11.20

Mark Palmer is responsible for travel across both the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.  During his keynote speech, Mark will share his insights on what UK consumers are looking for from their travel experiences and will talk about the increasingly important role that he sees travel agents playing. He will also give his views on why he feels that travel is so important in today’s world and the associated benefits.

Click here for more details about Mark Palmer


Proactive Engagement to Influence Change

11.25 - 12.00

Kate Nicholls OBE joins us from UKHospitality, the single authoritative voice of hospitality representing everything from pubs, restaurants, hotels and nightclubs, attractions leisure and events.

In this session Kate will talk to us about how UKHospitality came about, its aims and objectives, and also the critical role that it performs with government on behalf of its members. She will also talk with Julia Lo Bue-Said about how she sees UK Outbound Travel working in a similar way in order to raise its profile with government and why it’s crucial to engage proactively with policymakers in order to influence change.

Click here for more details about Kate Nicholls


Experiential Excursions

13.30 - 16.30

After lunch our programme continues with a range of experiential excursions, it’s down to you to personalise your afternoon experience.

Click on the button below to view all of the experiences.

Monday Sessions

Speed Dating Sessions

08:45 - 12.00

It’s time for Advantage members and suppliers to catch up and discuss the products and services that are central to the success of our businesses.


13.00 - 15.15

This year we will be hosting seven tailored and personalised educational workshops to offer delegates a targeted focused discussion on opportunities and challenges affecting SMEs businesses. The topics have been chosen by our Conference Member Steering Group and we can now share an overview of what subjects each workshop will cover below.

Each delegate will get the opportunity to attend three out of the seven workshops.

The Travel Industry Talent Contest

In this workshop we look at how you can bring Modern Apprentices into your business to fill resource gaps and enhance your team, plus explore how training programmes can develop and motivate existing staff. Hear from members that have already benefitted from doing just this.

With more pressures on businesses to find the right talent, this myth busting workshop looks at how an apprentice could enhance your business – through bringing new people into the industry, or upskilling existing staff.

We will be hearing from Michelle Van Sprang, from Train4Travel AS Training, who will be providing you with all the information about how schemes works as well as taking questions from the audience.

Hosted by: Sarah Miller, Senior Business Development Manager, The Advantage Travel Partnership and Michelle Van Sprang, Managing Director, Train2Travel AS Training

You’re Hired!

To attract the best talent you need great job descriptions and recruitment adverts that stand out from the crowd. In this workshop we call upon a recruitment expert to show us the tricks of the trade, and look at ways to motivate your staff, ensuring they want to stay and grow with your business plus let members tell you how they have diversified from the norm.

Hosted by: Gail Kenny, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Gail Kenny Executive Recruitment and Lee Ainsworth, Head of Operations, The Advantage Travel Partnership.

Closing the Net on Fraudsters

Travel fraud comes in many shapes and forms and costs affected businesses £’000s. In this workshop we will explore some of the different types of fraud impacting our industry, and look at the prevention tools and tactics you can use to lessen the risk of an attack on your own business.

Presented by: Barry Gooch, Chairman of Prevention of Fraud in Trade Ltd., UK Ambassador for the Global Cyber Alliance

Marketing Hacks to Boost your Business

Are you making the most of your Advantage membership? We take a deep dive into the marketing tools and support available to members, many of which are included in your membership fee, and look at some quick wins to boost new enquiry and increase the value of existing customers, using member case studies to bring the ideas to life.

To help us deliver a series of quick fire sessions, we’re delighted to be joined by Bruce Martin, Travel Gossip and Ginger Juice Managing Director and the marketing team from award-winning agency Beverley Travel, and some of the Advantage marketing team too.

Hosted by: David Forder, Head of Marketing, The Advantage Travel Partnership

A ‘Leisurely’ Approach to Maximising Income

In this fast-paced session we will highlight some of the ways you can focus your operations to generate more income from your existing leisure sales and add £’000s to your bottom line.

For any business, income and profit is essential. As we have all learned over the last three years, the old adage of working smarter, not harder, is so important, so if maximising your income is important to you, this is the session for you!

Hosted by: David Moon, Head of Business Development, The Advantage Travel Partnership and Emily Shannon, Senior Business Development Manager - Managed Services, The Advantage Travel Partnership.

How can TMCs Seize the Day in this Post-pandemic Era?

It's not quite business as usual for all TMCs following the industry’s recovery post-Covid. The corporate travel ecosystem has changed, travel programs look very different now, and new opportunities are being presented. Travel buyers are embracing the evolution, are you ready to adapt too? In this session we hear from travel buyers and bookers with travel programmes of different sizes, to understand what they are looking for from their TMC now and in the future.

Not all corporate customers are looking for the same thing from their TMC. Requirements and priorities can vary hugely depending on the size and culture of the organisation, and the shape of their travel programme. Through panel discussions we explore whether the balance has changed for travel buyers after the disruption of the pandemic and what they are now looking for from a TMC.

Hosted by: Andy Boorman, Head of Business Development - Business Travel, The Advantage Travel Partnership

Moderated by: Scott Davies, CEO, ITM

Travel buyer panellists: Andy Neilson, Twisted Orange, Sue Reeves, Travel Manager and Nikki Rogan, Global Travel Director at Fujitsu & Board Director at ITM.

Looking for a MICE New Revenue Stream?

With demand for in-person corporate meetings and events growing rapidly, we look at how, without having a dedicated MICE team, you can still create client stickiness and support requests that meet the requirements of a hybrid working environment to grow revenues.

If you are new to MICE, or have some experience and would like to do more, please come and join the discussion. We will review the market by numbers, both from a UK and global perspective, then have a fire-side chat with industry peers to take a deeper look at the sector, the opportunities and the considerations when looking to provide the service. This is an interactive session and audience participation will be welcomed.

Moderated by: John Hobbs-Hurrell, Head of The Advantage Global Network

Panellists: Sian Sayward, Director Of People, Partnerships and Strategic Projects Inntel, Chair of BEAM and Alick Bisset, Managing Director, DP&L.

Welcome back

15:40 -15.45

Our moderator David Meade welcomes delegates back to the closing plenary sessions with another lively energiser!


Let’s hear from the Advantage Team

15:45 -16.15

In this session, led by Kelly Cookes, Guy Snelgar and Paul Nunn, Advantage’s Senior Leadership Team will update delegates on all their exciting plans for the remainder of 2023, and what initiatives are coming down the line to drive further commercial benefit and value to members.

Spotlight on Sustainability

16.15 – 16.50

In this session we hear from a number of speakers: Julia Lo Bue-Said will open the session and update delegates on how the Partnership is approaching the ever-important area of ESG (Environment, Social and Governance).

We also hear from Andrew Perolls (pictured), CEO of Greengage, a new Advantage partner. Greengage is helping organisations create a pathway to commercial success through helping the planet, and in this session, Andrew will give some insight and examples to of how members can enhance their sustainability journey through a number of simple steps.

We will also hear from Manuel Butler Halter from Turespaña on how they are focused on sustainability and its successes.


From Builders' Labourer to Bank of Dave – a Netflix Number One!

16:50 -17.35

During his keynote speech, Dave Fishwick will share his inspiring story of how, from humble beginnings, he went on to build six separate multi-million-pound businesses in the UK and USA, became the UK’s largest supplier of minibuses, and made government and policymakers, industry regulators and multinational banks sit up and take notice.

Click here for more details about Dave Fishwick


Conference Highlights and Closing Address

17.45 - 18.00

Final wrap-up and closing remarks from Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO of The Advantage Travel Partnership.