Former Confederation of British Industry director general and trade and investment minister Lord Digby Jones is to headline a new business day at World Travel Market.
Reviewing the problems that face businesses, Lord Jones will then be joined by a panel of senior travel executives to discuss how small and medium-sized businesses can survive and grow in such a difficult economic climate.
The panellists include former Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick, Travel Counsellors managing director Steve Byrne, Getabed.co.uk managing director Matt Stewart and Barclay Commercial head of travel Chris Lee.
Lord Jones will deliver his speech on November 11 followed by the panel discussion chaired by Michael East, managing director of Eastcastle Management Group.
The panel will examine what trading issues are particular to the travel sector and what should be done by companies to ride the downturn and take real advantage of current trading.
WTM chairman Fiona Jeffery said: “Experts are predicting that up to 20 travel companies will go to the wall by the end of the year in the UK alone – far more than usual – with three going bust in just one month this summer.
“As we face the challenges of the future for SMEs in the UK and Europe, it is essential that we do everything possible to help travel companies address the problems, maintain market share and bottom line. We have brought together first rate business speakers whose advice and guidance is much valued.
“World Travel Market’s Business Day is practical, independent and unmissable for senior and middle management.”