It takes a lot to rattle one of the world's most steady and stable travel markets. At €300 billion, the European travel industry is also one of the largest. For Europeans, travel is the number one discretionary spend, ahead of electronics, home improvements and dining/nightlife*. But for how long? European travel providers are being tested like never before. 

Unfolding before us is a series of worrisome setbacks and boundless prospects, economic threats and liberating technologies. From bankruptcies and restructurings, to the political uncertainty of Brexit, to shaming airlines, European travel companies are on high alert. Short-term rentals, tours and activities, environmental consciousness, cultural shifts, startups and investments, all provide unprecedented opportunities for industry players. 2020 is shaping up to be a momentous year as the decade unfolds. How do we pinpoint the threats, identify the options, pursue new ideas and act on opportunities in the era ahead? 

Register by 28 February and save €600.

Phocuswright Europe is a place where online travel's smartest audience connects to share ideas, debate topics and showcase what's next.  

Sessions include: 

  • Tour Operating Redefined: Debate the latest challenges and opportunities that guide the volatile European tour operator segment. Take a guided tour through new products and services, innovative technologies, a challenging political framework and the dramatic collapse of a giant. 
  • The Investor View: Some of Europe's smartest investors share their views on the state of startups, the climate for raising capital, and how to recognize the overlooked from the overhyped. 
  • Beyond Travel: Is the travel industry prepared to transport the next decade of global travelers? Travel avoidance and flight shame are issues in need of smart solutions. Examine the promise (and status) of multimodal, innovations in transportation and new ways of creating the perfectly suitable (and sustainable) trip.
  • Lodging Transformed: The merging of hospitality and short-term rentals has created a brand new, and enormous, lodging marketplace. As millions of new homes and apartments compete with traditional accommodations, the traveler decision becomes even more complex. Who will prevail and what will the customer decide?
  • Tours and Activities: The Next Act: Tours and activities has been heralded as the next, booming online travel category. New players emerged, existing businesses made power grabs and investments poured in. Now what? Is the category living up to the hype or still too early to tell?
  • From Luxury to Budget: How Hoteliers Remain the Preferred Choice: Hotels remain consumers’ preferred choice for lodging, but challenges keep mounting. Trusting third parties, building direct distribution through loyalty and mobile, competing with home rentals and private accommodation and knowing when to invest in guest technology are just some of the challenges for hoteliers. Hear from industry leaders how hotels must evolve to stay ahead in complex times.

Other topics include: 

  • The Digital Decade: Voice, chatbots, mobile messaging, AI, and VR all promise to transform the way we search, shop for and experience travel. How far along are we really? A series of Tech Talks capture the latest innovations.
  • The Sustainable Future: The Travel Foundation’s CEO describes the current and future risks facing destinations and shares a new model for tourism that everyone can embrace.
  • The state of hospitality, local and global OTAs, Brexit, crisis management, diversity, packaging, search, airline tech, Asia and emerging markets, are all topics to be discussed and debated at Phocuswright Europe. 

Against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainly and cultural change, European travel companies must overcome challenges and welcome change. Swiftly making thousands of kilometers of railway networks, tens of thousands of independent hotel rooms, private homes and apartment rentals and hundreds of thousands of activities easily assessable online and in an intelligent way still has long way to go. Airlines need to validate their business in a strained environment and hotels need to contend with an unceasing supply of new inventory and competition. Tour operators must avoid defeat as the new era claimed one of their biggest. Online travel agencies must face slowing growth for the first time as the industry matures. 

These are travel's biggest challenges to be confronted by the best and brightest at Phocuswright Europe. And yes, the industry is up for it.

* Phocuswright's Europe Consumer Travel Report 2018