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 31 March and save €400.

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 innovations in transportation, trends in destinations, 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?
  • Mobility – What's Next? This session that explores the impact of flight shame, the promise (and status) of multimodal, consumer trends and the reality of combining ground, rail, bus and flight to create the perfect (and connected) trip.
  • 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.
  • Crisis Management 2020: Covid-19 is not the first and unfortunately won't be the last occurrence to stress the global travel industry. A panel of experts discuss how they are dealing with Coronavirus impact and preparing for what's next – based on learnings from past pandemics, terror and weather-related setbacks.
  • 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 uncertainty, health emergencies 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 accessible 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