AITO Operators and AITO Specialist Travel Agents reveal first of many speakers at Dubai conference

AITO is delighted to unveil the first of many high-profile speakers anticipated at its summer overseas conference (Dubai, 14 -17 June 2013)
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Feb. 21, 2013 - PRLog -- Jeff Strachan, Marriott International's Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Middle East and Africa, will speak to delegates about his travel industry experience to date, reflecting on the start of his career in 1992 when he worked as a resort representative for the AITO operator, Keycamp, compared with his current global role at Marriott International.

He will lead an interactive session, with the opportunity for delegates to join in a debate about growing a company from family roots into a global hospitality leader. Strachan’s talk will also look at how Marriott International is re-energising its core brand and how the independent sector can learn from their work.

Oliver Broad, Chairman of AITO Specialist Travel Agent says: “We’re excited to have Jeff on our speaker panel. He appreciates what we are about having worked for an AITO operator, and yet he is now part of a very large corporate world. This places him in a perfect position, understanding the framework of AITO whilst being able to offer an international perspective on the needs of the modern client. What’s more, Jeff has lived in the Middle East for 16 years and can offer us in-depth knowledge about selling the region.”

Jeff Strachan, Marriott International's Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Middle East and Africa, says: ‘I’m delighted to be speaking at the AITO conference. Independent travel agents, in my view, have a key role to play in offering clients a unique service, and I’m interested to discuss with delegates issues such as service fees and how they see themselves working in the future.”

Sponsored by the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Emirates - the award-winning airline - and Sofitel, the conference will offer the 100-plus member agents and 120 member tour operators of AITO the opportunity to meet up and to discuss the biggest issues currently affecting the travel sector.

The conference will focus on three key themes - the retail environment, how best to maximise the unique benefit of relationships between AITO tour operators and AITO Specialist Travel Agents and a careful analysis of consumer aspirations for travel in 2013 and beyond.

Oliver Broad, Chairman of AITO Specialist Travel Agent says: “We’re refreshing our conference format to enable the content to be driven by delegates via pre-event surveys that will identify priority issues for discussion. We’ll have more round table discussions and brainstorming, with the aim of sending every delegate back to the office with as many useful notes and ideas as possible.”

Delegates will stay at the luxury five-star Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel and will have the chance to explore the historic and cultural side of the destination as part of the programme.  

Other highlights include a special ‘dine-around’ evening taking place in restaurants at some of the most luxurious hotels in Dubai, including the Atlantis Palm Hotels and Resorts Atlantis and the Jumeirah Madinat Resort. Members’ achievements will also be recognised with the presentation of the AITO Specialist Travel Agents Supplier & Agent Awards 2013 on the final evening of the conference.

AITO Agents also have the opportunity to join a pre-conference fam trip to Oman with Kirker Holidays, as well as a post-conference fam trip to Mauritius with Beachcomber Tours. If Only is offering delegates the opportunity to spend extra time in Dubai before or after the conference, too.

AITO tour operators and AITO agents are uniquely placed to attract the UK’s most expert, independent travel companies – these conferences will provide participants with the inspiration, destination knowledge and business advice to maintain their position as the leading players in the market.

Ends – 21 February 2012

Press: For more information on AITO and AITO Specialist Travel Agents, please call Sue Ockwell or Stephanie Reed on 020 8891 4440 or email or
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