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Lockdown Countdown

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Welcome to SLC’s Lockdown Countdown – keeping the conversation alive one day at a time this lockdown!

Every day we will be bringing you conversations to share ideas and inspiration from our travel industry contacts, designed to be uplifting and motivational as we navigate lockdown 2.0.

Day 27: Nicola Wood, Global Director of Sales - Europe, COMO Hotels & Resorts

We’ve reached day 27 of our Lockdown Countdown, and Elen caught up with Nicola Wood on how COMO Hotels and Resorts has used this year to develop content around its wellness brand values, from launching an online wellness programme to developing expert insight across a range of topics from nutrition and mental well-being. Not to mention healthy festive recipes to get us in the Christmas spirit!

Day 26: Alison Murphy, Commercial and Product Manager at If Only

Day 26 of our lockdown countdown, and Maria Popova is chatting to Alison Murphy from If Only, talking about quick reactions to the constantly changing travel corridors, and strong forward demand for destinations including the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.

Day 25: James O'Leary, Global Head of Destination Marketing at Skyscanner

As we near the end of our Lockdown Countdown, Kate is delighted to be joined by James O’Leary from Skyscanner, sharing fascinating insights on consumer sentiment, and the very encouraging spike in long-lead search since the vaccine news.

Day 24: Valentina Lazarov, Senior Sales Manager at Sojern

Day 24 of our Lockdown Countdown, and Elen is chatting to Valentina Lazarov from Sojern on how the travel industry has pivoted more towards using data to inform decisions, and on their prediction for more collaboration between the public and private sector in the digital marketing space.

Day 23: Simon Lynch, Global Sales and Product Director at Scott Dunn

It’s day 23 of our lockdown countdown, and Matt is chatting to Simon Lynch from Scott Dunn on “surviving and thriving” during the pandemic. We were really inspired to hear how Scott Dunn innovated this summer, and within 2 weeks launched a co-operation to take their kids’ club concept to Gleneagles!

Day 22: Howard Salinger, Travel Connection Group

It’s day 22 of our Lockdown Countdown and Elen spoke to Howard Salinger from the Travel Connection Group. Listen in for a burst of positivity as Howard talks through the shift to the virtual event space, launching the hugely successful “Social With Media” series, and the exciting plans for a VirtYule Christmas party.

Day 21: Kristina Wallen, Harp Wallen

Day 21 of our Lockdown Countdown, and a different viewpoint today as Deborah Pearce speaks to Kristina from Harp Wallen, Global Executive Recruitment & Search. Kristina talks about the interim market for flexible roles, and movement within the sector as people reassess their future careers.

Day 20: Bruce Martin, Ginger Juice & Travel Gossip

Day 20 is upon us, and today Emma caught up with Bruce Martin from Ginger Juice and Travel Gossip, on embracing video content, using the pause to rebrand Travel Gossip, and giving a heart-felt shout out to all the agents that have been on the front-line of this crisis and who have been an inspiration to us all.

Day 19: Ashley Lutz, Sales GM UK & Europe at Vivu Journeys

It’s day 19, and Gill caught up with Ashley Lutz from Vivu Journeys, a DMC covering the UK and Portugal, which launched Indochina as a new programme during lockdown. Listen in to hear Ashley talk about how being dynamic and quick to make decisions has helped Vivu in its first year of trading, and about what makes a Vivu journey different from any other.

Day 18: Andrew Turner, Global Sales Director at Discova

Day 17 of our lockdown countdown, and Maria caught up with Andrew Turner from Discova, who was 2 weeks into his role when the pandemic hit. Hear how they have adapted with tech investment, new revenue streams and a pioneering agent portal launching soon.

Day 17: Kate Fenton, Head of UK Trade at Tourism New Zealand

Kia ora to day 17 of our lockdown countdown, and Sharon spoke to Kate Fenton from Tourism New Zealand on missing her favourite destination. To quote: “I need New Zealand. I need that burst of energy I feel.The vineyards, the beaches, the alpine, the mountains the forest – I want that today! I feel lighter when I come back from New Zealand and I think we could all do with a dose of that right now.” 

Day 16: James Bell, Managing Director, The Turquoise Holiday Company

Day 16 of our lockdown countdown, and Gill caught up with James Bell from The Turquoise Holiday Company on winning the Conde Nast “Best Tour Operator” award, on hot destinations for 2021, and on keeping a strong company culture during challenging times.

Day 15: Daniel Bainbridge, Regional Manager UK & Europe at Malaysia Airlines

Halfway through our Lockdown Countdown, and Kate spoke to Daniel Bainbridge from Malaysia Airlines about a turbulent year for the airline industry; tune in for an update on onboard protocols, reassuring clients with a new product offering….. and virtual cycling!

Day 14: Vicky Babbs, Travel Counsellor

Day 14, and Sandra is chatting to Travel Counsellor VIcky Babbs. Working on the front-line of this pandemic, Vicky talks candidly about refunds, rebooking, and the trust she has built up with her loyal client base, as well as virtual safaris and the challenges of home-schooling.

Day 13: Ian Dockreay, Chief Executive of Equator Learning and TravelUni

It’s day 13 and our Joint MD, Gill Davies, is talking to Ian Dockreay, Chief Executive of Equator Learning and TravelUni. Online learning has taken front and centre in 2020, so today we’re excited to talk less about adapting and more about expanding. Listen in to hear how Equator and TravelUni have grown engagement, developed the product and expanded globally!

Day 12: Alison Porter, Titan

Keeping the conversation one day at a time this lockdown! Day 12, and today a look at which destinations are in demand for 2021 and personalising the sales process with Alison Porter from Titan.

 

 

 

 

Day 11: Lorna Curry

Day 11, and some inspiration for your Sunday morning as Gill chats to Lorna Curry, who has turned the challenges of 2020 into an opportunity to follow a passion and launch a brand new copy-writing venture, Lorna Curry Creative Copy. Best of luck Lorna – we will be championing you all the way!

 

 

 

 

Day 10: John Bevan, CEO of Dnata Travel Europe

Day 10 of our Lockdown Countdown, and Deborah caught up with John Bevan, CEO of Dnata Travel Europe; tune in for an update on the Dnata brands, predictions on hot destinations for 2021, and thoughts on the concept of “frictionless” travel.

 

 

 

 

Day 9: Tom Scott, Head of Sales - Travel at News UK

It’s Day 9 of our Lockdown Countdown, and today Elen is hosting an interview packed with inspiration from News UK’s Tom Scott, discussing why lockdown was the right time to launch Times Radio station, the rise of long-form content and musings on how 2020 has sparked renewed creativity in marketing.

 

 

Day 8: Claire Ross, Product Director at Kuoni

Day 8 of our Lockdown Countdown, and lots of positivity from Claire Ross, Product Director at Kuoni, talking about focusing on what you do well, looking for new opportunities and removing barriers. Keeping the conversation alive one day at a time this lockdown – do tune in every day for innovation and inspiration from our network of industry contacts.

EDIT: its definitely day 8, contrary to Deborah’s lovely intro :O)

Day 7: Chris Lee

Day 7 of SLC’s Lockdown Countdown, and today bringing you a heart-felt chat with industry legend Chris Lee – on missing hugs, embracing fitness goals and the hope of a Thailand reunion this side of Christmas with the introduction of a number of visas. Tune in every day for insight and innovations from our industry connections as we countdown the days of lockdown 2.0.

Day 6: Lisa Fitzell, Managing Director at Elegant Resorts and If Only...

Day 6 of our Lockdown Countdown – and a privilege to hear from Lisa Fitzell, Managing Director of Elegant Resorts and If Only… From launching a brand new domestic programme to the “Elegant Promise” and a virtual awards ceremony last week, we’ve been so impressed with how Lisa and her team have embraced this year’s challenges.

Day 5: Sam Mullen, Leisure Director at Quintessentially Travel

Day 5 of SLC’s Lockdown Countdown, and Matt caught up with Sam Mullen, Leisure Director at Quintessentially Travel. “It’s about showing clients our value. In a post-covid landscape, clients are going to depend on travel agents and travel companies to support them in booking their trips, and trusting us with their money.” Watch the full interview here.

Day 4: Adam Hanmer, Trade Manager at Destination Canada

Day 4 of SLC’s Lockdown Countdown – and the turn of Adam Hanmer, Trade Manager at Destination Canada. We’re asking our contacts 3 questions about adapting to 2020, Covid-innovations and bucket-list destinations. Check out the full series, posted every day across FB, LinkedIn & Youtube, as we navigate lockdown 2.0.

Day 3: Jen Snow, Product Manager for Australasia at Freedom Destinations

We had a lot of fun catching up with Jen Snow, Product Manager for Australasia at Freedom Destinations, bringing us some sunshine this Saturday morning. Every day we will be bringing you conversations to share ideas and inspiration from our travel industry contacts, designed to be uplifting and motivational as we navigate lockdown 2.0.

 

 

Day 2: Steven Balderston, Trade Training Specialist at South African Tourism

Every day we will be bringing you conversations to share ideas and inspiration from our travel industry contacts, designed to be uplifting and motivational as we navigate lockdown 2.0. Today’s special guest is Steven Balderston, Trade Training Specialist at South African Tourism.

 

Day 1: Sam Collins, Founder, Ethos Travel

Every day we will be bringing you conversations to share ideas and inspiration from our travel industry contacts, designed to be uplifting and motivational as we navigate lockdown 2.0. First in the hot seat is Sam Collins, founder of SE Asia specialist operator Ethos Travel.

 

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