OCTOBER 27-29, 2023  |  JAVITS CENTER, NYC
12 Noon - 2.00pm General Session

One on one interview with Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, about his cruise line’s sustainable practices and how it has grown exponentially in the last 10 years with more to come, including more homeports in the U.S. like Miami, Port Canaveral and New York City.

KEYNOTE INTERVIEW

How The Biggest Privately Held Cruise Line in the World Focuses on Sustainability

KEYNOTE PANEL

What’s the Future of Travel-The Link Between Sustainability & Profitability

A group of top travel executives discusses how the industry can emerge from the pandemic and come back better than ever. The panel will feature a cross section of leaders from the cruise, tour and destination segments. Panel includes MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, Treadright’s Shannon Guinan, Hurtigruten’s Asta Lassesen., Panama Tourism Minister Ivan Esklidsen, and Terry Dale, President and CEO of U.S. Tour Operators Association.

INTRODUCTION: 

Travel + Leisure GO

1.00 - 1.45pm

KEYNOTE INTERVIEW

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the cruise group for MSC Group and global chairman of Cruise Lines International Association.

Vago oversees the target privately held cruise line in the world, which includes MSC Cruises and the new luxury Explore Journeys.

 

MSC Cruises will soon debut sailings out of New York and already has ships sailing of Miami to the Caribbean. It has extensive cruises in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and South America. MSC also is a leader in developing sustainable cruising around the world.

Interviewed by James Shillinglaw, co-founder and editor in chief of Insider Travel Report.

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TRADE CONFERENCE

Industry Led

Industry Focused

Industry Collaboration

AGENDA    -   10/28/22

  • 4 Tracks for Trade-Only    

  • Keynote Interview & Panel 

  • Taste Of The World Presentations

9.00 - 9.50am

CRUISE TRACK

A panel of top cruise executives discuss the evolution of ocean cruising and how travel advisors can better sell it as we emerge from the pandemic. From contemporary to premium to luxury ships, from big ships to midsize ships to niche ships, ocean cruising has under gone a revolution in their design and the amenities they provide to guests. How do you choose the right ship for your client? Panel includes Royal Caribbean, MSC, Seabourn, Celestyal and more.

Moderator: Liam Cusack

Royal Caribbean: Lisa Falango, director of sales, Northeast and Caribbean, Royal Caribbean International

MSC Cruises: Kris Endreson, 

Seabourn: Wendy Whitener, Seabourn’s director of sales, North America (today only)

Explora Journeys: Michael Ungerer, president and CEO of Explora Journeys

Celestyal: Jon Grutzner, vice president-business development, North America, Celestyal Cruises

How to Sell Ocean Cruise Ships Today

DESTINATIONS TRACK

A group of top European destination leaders discuss how Europe is emerging from the pandemic into a banner year for travel and tourism. How can travel advisors sell it even better? 

Britain: Gavin Landry, Executive Vice President, Americas, VisitBritain

France: Anne-Laure Tuncer, director-U.S.A., Atout France

Germany: Ricarda Lindner, regional manager-the Americas, German National Tourist Office, 

Spain: José Manuel de Juan, Consul for Tourism Affairs, Tourist Office of Spain

Switzerland: Paolo Lunardi, Head of Trade Relations, Switzerland Tourism

Ireland: Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President-North America & Australia/NZ, Tourism Ireland

How to Sell Europe Today

HOTELS & RESORTS TRACK

As even more product enters the market, how can travel advisors select the right all-inclusive resort for the right client. What should every resort offer and what are the latest trends in amenities and resort features? 

Moderator: James Shillinglaw

Club Med: Justin Heckman, director of sales strategy, Club Med

Iberostar: Justyna Chelstowski, director of national accounts, Iberostar Resorts

Palace Resorts: Antoinette Larman, Business Development Manager, Palace Resorts

Travel advisor: Stacey Cabell, owner of Starstuff Travel

Travel advisor: Samantha Hoffman, owner of jusadventures

How to Sell All-Inclusive Resorts Today

LUXURY TRAVEL TRACK

We talk to top luxury travel agency executives and luxury travel suppliers to find out the secrets of selling luxury travel today in a post-pandemic world. How has the sale of luxury travel changed after two years of coronavirus? What is luxury today? Panel includes travel advisors or executives from Virtuoso, Internova, Signature, Explora Journeys.

Moderator: Annie Fitzsimmons

Valerie Wilson, founder and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel in New York 

Joshua Bush, CEO of Avenue Two Travel in King of Prussia, Pa.

Albert Herrera, executive vice president-partner relations, Internova in New York

Ignacio Maza, executive vice president of Signature Travel Network in New York

Chris Austin, chief sales officer, Explora Journeys

What Luxury Travel Is Today and How to Sell It

2.00 - 7.00pm

OPENING CEREMONY AND EXHIBITION HALL

Open for trade only

3.00 - 4.00pm

DESTINATIONS TRACK

How Destinations That Embrace Diversity Reap Big Rewards -

Whether you’re a travel advisor, a tour operator or cruise line, or a destination marketing Organization, you might be leaving money on the table if you’re not working to attract customers from under-represented groups. Black leisure travelers alone spent $110 billion on domestic travel in 2019, according to a study by MMGY Global, and Americans with physical disabilities represent 80 percent of the luxury travel market, according to Open Doors Organization. Learn about destinations that have truly embraced diversity, accessibility, and inclusion, and where you can be confident that all travelers will be welcome and have a memorable ­– even life-changing – experience. Presented by SATW (Society of American Travel Writers).

4.00 - 5.00pm

UPDATE ON CUBA

Update on Support for the Cuban People through an increase in tourism from the U.S.

3.00 - 5.00pm

TASTE OF THE WORLD PRESENTATIONS

4 sessions on culinary travel and cooking school trips around the world in the Taste of the World Theater in the Exhibition Hall.

5.00 - 7.00pm

TRAVEL INDUSTRY RECEPTION

Located in the Taste of the World Theater.

11.00 - 11.50am

CRUISE TRACK

A panel of top river cruise executives examines the newest itineraries, ships and destinations offered and how travel advisors can sell river cruising even better. Panel includes representatives from AmaWaterways, Uniworld, American Cruise Line and more. Moderated by Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion host travel agency.

Moderator: Jackie Friedman. president of Nexion Travel Group

Uniworld: Guy Young, chief trade engagement officer, TTC Tour Brands/Uniworld

Tauck: Jeremy Palmer

AmaWaterways: Columba Calicchio, business development manager, AmaWaterways

Avalon: Barbara Canizio, business development manager, Avalon Waterways

American Cruise Line: Susan Schultz, vice president of sales, American Cruise Line

How to Sell River Cruising in Europe, America and Beyond

DESTINATIONS TRACK

A group of top Middle East and African destination leaders discuss how we are emerging from the pandemic and how to sell their destinations today. How can these destinations recover and how can travel advisors sell these destinations even better? Panels includes representative from Israel, Egypt, Abu Dhabi and more. 

Moderator: Michael Luongo, freelance journalist and Purdue University School of Hospitality & Tourism 

Eyal Carlin, Consul and Tourism Director for North America, Israel Ministry of Tourism Representing Israel

Gregory Khalil, President and Co-Founder, Telos Group, representing Israel and Palestine

Rene Du Terroil, Iran Doostan Tours, North American & Italian Market, representing Iran & Central Asia

Mahmoud Gebril Founder and President, Osiris Tours, representing Egypt

How To Sell The Middle East and Africa Today

HOTELS & RESORTS TRACK

As more hotels in cities across the world, how can travel advisors select the right hotel for both their leisure and business clients. What should every luxury or boutique hotel offer and what are the latest trends in accommodations? This panel includes veteran general manager from top New York City hotels, including The Pierre, Baccarat, Gansevoort and more.

Moderator: Annie Fitzsimmons

Anton Moore, general manager, Gansevoort Meatpacking

Brett Blass, chief operating officer, Triumph Hotels.

Pradeep Raman, general manager of Baccarat Hotels

Francois-Olivier Luiggi, general manager of The Pierre

The Evolution of the Luxury Hotel

DESTINATIONS TRACK

A group of top Latin America destination leaders discuss how we are emerging from the pandemic and how to sell their destinations today. How can these destinations recover and how can travel advisors sell these destinations even better? This panel include representatives from Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico and more.

 

Moderated by Michaela Guzy, founder + producer of OhThePeopleYouMeet, a content house focusing on people, places + purposes globally.

Brazil: Alisson Andrade, advisor at Brazilian Government Board of Tourism

Colombia: Gilberto Salcedo Vice President of Tourism PROCOLOMBIA

Nicaragua: Ana Carolina García, marketing director, Nicaragua Tourism Board

Mexico: Miguel G. Herevia, tourism attached for Department of Economic Affairs Consulate General of Mexico in New York

How to Sell Latin America Today

10.00 - 10.50am

CRUISE TRACK

A panel of small ship and expedition cruise executives discuss the evolution of expedition and luxury cruising as even more product comes on the market. How can travel advisors better sell these brilliant new ships and itineraries to their clients? 

Panel includes representatives of Seabourn, Ponant, Hurtigruten.

Seabourn: Jen Martin, Seabourn’s director of expeditions operations

Ponant: Dale Woods, Ponant’s director of business development-Northeast

Hurtigruten: Carly Biggart, vice president of sales, Hurtigruten Group Americas

How To Sell Small Ship and Expedition Cruising Today

DESTINATIONS TRACK

A group of top Caribbean destination leaders discuss how, as we emerge from the pandemic, to sell their destinations today. This panel includes representatives of Bahamas, Jamaica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Martin and more. Moderated by Michaela Guzy, founder + producer of OhThePeopleYouMeet, a content house focusing on people, places + purposes globally.

Bahamas: Rissie Demeritte, Area Sales Manager-New York

Jamaica: Philip Rose, Regional Director, Jamaica Tourist Board

Grenada: Petra Roach, Chief Executive Officer, Grenada Tourism Authority

St. Lucia: Richard Moss, senior sales manager, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority

What’s New in the Caribbean & Bahamas Today?

TOURS TRACK

This panel of top tour executives, moderated by USTOA President & CEO Terry Dale, will examine how escorted, FIT and packaged tours are changing to truly provide more affordable experiences for travelers, as well as how travel advisors can better sell these products. This panel includes representatives from Collette, Tauck, TTC Tours and more. Panel moderated by USTOA’s Terry Dale.

Moderator: Terry Dale, president and CEO, U.S. Tour Operators Association

TTC Brands: Guy Young, chief engagement officer, TTC Tour Brands

Tauck: Jeremy Palmer, chief operating officer, Tauck

Collette: Willie Montano, Senior Director Global Brand Marketing, Collette

Central Holidays: Maria Merino, chief operating officer, Central Holidays

How The Tours And Packages Segment is Evolving

RESOURCES TRACK

How the State Department can help your clients when they are on the road. A top State Department official talks about what resources the government has for Americans traveling abroad. U.S. Department of State Assistant Secretary of State Angela Kerwin.

How To Prepare Your Clients For Getting Back On The Road

RESOURCES TRACK

ASTA executives and advisors talk about the benefits of joining ASTA, which include helping to lobby government on key travel agency issues, education and training, certification, networking and access to a community of like-minded advisors.

Jasmine Causey, director of membership development, ASTA

Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion Travel Group

How ASTA Membership Can Benefit You as a Travel Advisor

ITS2022 CONFERENCE CHAIRMAN

James Shillinglaw, Editor in Chief of Insider Travel Report, winner of Travel Journalist of the Year and a leading authority in the travel industry.

Mr. Shillinglaw has compiled a comprehensive conference agenda focused on The Future of Travel for industry professionals.