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Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Research

Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Research

Reveal the highs and lows of the customer experience, pinpoint key moments of influence and unlock new growth opportunities

In a nutshell


This event has taken place.

Market research and consumer insight has never been so important in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors where disruptive models and new consumer preferences are driving change. Identifying new growth opportunities and adapting quickly to new paradigms is essential for those companies who want to continue to grow and strengthen customer relationships.

• Uncover consumer influences, preferences and behaviours to predict future trends, retain valuable customers and underpin commercial strategies
• Realise the value of collaborative customer research in developing great customer experiences
• Analyse the decision making process involved in selecting holidays, breaks and days out
• Map and understand the fragmented booking journey to develop exceptional omnichannel experiences
• Strengthen stakeholder engagement in consumer insights and quantify research ROI
• Improve engagement with travel and tourism advertising to boost your brand influence
• Discuss how research can support organisations in addressing disruptive models in travel and tourism

5 reasons to attend

· Turn insight into impact: Case studies demonstrating how research insight is being used to underpin commercial strategy, product innovation, marketing & communications, customer services and sales

· Hear hot off the press case studies: Heathrow Airport, TfL, TUI, Blenheim Palace, SkyTeam, HS2, Celebrity Cruises and others to be announced

· Evaluate the performance of a range of research techniques: Neuroscience, biometrics, segmentation, data modelling and analysis, mobile ethnography, journey mapping, consumer communities, surveys, interviews

· Network with global organisations: Discussion and informal networking opportunities across the day

· Participate in industry debate: Discuss future opportunities for research in travel, tourism and hospitality sectors


Feedback from Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Research, 2016

I just wanted to congratulate you all on a really good conference last Thursday. Having worked in travel and tourism for the past 5 years I have never been to anything like it. I hope there will be future editions.

Atout France

I really thought it was an extremely good day – impressively packed with sessions and all interesting to listen to (well-presented and interesting content) so whoever put it together should be very pleased with themselves!

Fiori International Market Research

Where is the event taking place?

Park Plaza Riverbank

18 Albert, Embankment

With thanks to:


09.00 Registration & coffee

09.30 Opening comments from the Chair
Ian Wright, Head of Insight, Transport Focus

Customer Collaboration To Develop Great Customer Experiences

09.40 Encouraging consumer collaboration to help define the HS2 future customer experience

HS2 is passionate about raising the standards of rail travel beyond all recognition. It will launch the first leg of its service in 2026.
Through a series of workshops and an ongoing customer community, HS2 has worked with consumers to understand their needs, and apply them to the design of the end-to-end customer experience. Explore how the consumer community is making a huge impact in the decisions that HS2 make.

Ian Wright, Head of Insight, Transport Focus
Patricia Rubio, Business Consultancy Director, Illuminas
Alyce Bennett, Head of Customer Experience, HS2

10.05 Skypriority: Research as a customer service
SkyTeam, one of the largest international airline alliances, launched a pilot customer centricity project for their key product - SkyPriority. The project uses an innovative approach (mobile app) designed to evoke a feeling of customer centricity through research. The research revealed a positive impact on high value customers with customers feeling more valued and keen to collaborate with SkyTeam. Similarly, airline managers also had a positive perception of the project and reported improved implementation of the SkyPriority product. Hear how this innovative research model is delivering real-time insights to 20 airlines.

Farrell Styers, Research Director, Insites Consulting
David van Dongen, SkyPriority Customer Experience Manager, SkyTeam

10.30 Morning refreshments

Harnessing Data Driven Research

10.50 The future for travel: Combining data and insight to predict travel trends and shape future product strategies
The travel market is in the midst of a considerable flux as a result of world events such as terrorism, political unrest and falling exchange rates from Brexit. This is having an impact on the choices travellers are making. Evolving consumer trends are spurring the popularity of personalized, experimental holidays and new destinations and entrants to the market are disrupting the “traditional” holiday model and booking process.
Consequently, predicting the future for travel is a significant challenge but by using a combination of sales data, traveller insight and consumer trends TUI can understand where and how opportunities for growth will come from.
In this session TUI will demonstrate how it is able to make informed product innovation and strategy decisions with a focus on Millennials and Leading Edge Travellers.

David Crosbie, Research Director, Consumer Trends, GfK
Gemma Seal, Senior Product Strategy Manager, TUI

11.15 How celebrity cruises turned big data into smart data to drive growth

Celebrity Cruises wanted to drive growth in the UK by increasing direct bookings, specifically among customers with a higher level of spend. They had a ‘sea’ of disconnected business, customer and prospect data. The challenge was to unlock the power of their data, from multiple sources, to inspire the team to set sail in a new direction. This session will examine how to:• Turn disparate data sets into actionable stories that holistically connect data to inform and inspire business action• Identify the data that matters and integrate it into a customised data ecosystem• Use advanced analytical modelling techniques, to uncover data relationships which aren’t immediately obvious• Feed data driven insight into an actionable strategic decision-making a toolkit to help deliver commercial success

Kurt Stuhllemmer, Partner, Hall and Partners
Toby Shaw, Director of Marketing and PR, Celebrity Cruises

11.40 Round table – Stakeholder engagement; embedding insights into organisations
• Bringing segmentation to life and integrating it across the business
• Examining how self-serve online cross-tab and dashboard solutions disseminate access to insight
• Discussing how best to integrate other data sources with research to provide deeper insight
• Comparing the reach and impact of different media to share insight across your organisation:- infographics, webinars, videos, dashboards etc.
• Considering the extent to which communication of insight impacts on reach of knowledge across organisations and ROI on insight spend

Round table facilitators:
David Crosbie, Research Director, Consumer Trends, GfK
Patricia Rubio, Business Consultancy Director, Illuminas
Kate Slaymaker, Client Business Partner, Nielsen
Farrell Styers, Research Director, Insites Consulting

Identifying Key Touchpoints In Customer Journeys

12.10 Identifying pain points and opportunities on the journey to Heathrow

Heathrow’s vision is to give passengers the best airport service in the world. The journey to and from the airport is a critical component in how the airport experience is judged. It is not only the first and last impression a passenger will get, but also an important emotional stage in the journey.  Through extensive journey mapping with passengers, Heathrow identified a number of key moments where it can make a lasting impression that will improve the journey to and from the airport. Hear how the research has made a demonstrable impact on this travel experience, and the airport customer experience overall.

Robert Kettrick, Associate Director, Ipsos
Tim Wheen, Head of Research and Commercial Insights, Heathrow Airport

12.35 Turning boaters into boat owners: understanding how and when to connect in the moments that matter the most
For someone who has never owned a boat, the path to boat ownership is murky, fragmented, and filled with emotional ups and downs. Discover Boating in the US needed to understand their journey so the entire boating industry could better meet the needs of this group.
Leveraging a mobile platform, Tempo used the intimacy of self-ethnography and moderated forums alongside the precision of survey questioning to follow people across the various stages of their journey to purchase. This provided the most comprehensive view of their behaviours and feelings, while illuminating crucial motivators, barriers, and influencers across different channels and touchpoints.
This session will examine how Discover Boating developed a clearer understanding of who it should reach and how to truly help people in the moments that matter most in their journey to purchase. 

Sophie Wells, Director, Tempo
Joanna Fanuele, Managing Partner, Tempo

13.00 Lunch

Driving Engagement With Travel & Tourism Brands

14.00 How do you create emotionally engaging travel ads?

With increasing competition and the risk of commoditisation in the travel industry it’s never been more important to emotionally engage consumers with your brand. As such, it’s imperative to capture and understand unconscious and conscious reactions to all interactions consumers have with your brand and specifically your advertising.
Hear how cutting edge neuroscience and combined biometrics is being used to drive emotional engagement in travel advertising.

Dr. Jane Leighton, Director Consumer Neuroscience, Nielsen
Alistair Daly, CMO, On The Beach

Understanding Key Decision Making Factors

14.25 The decision-clinching factor behind destination choice

The Holiday Trends report is a predictive holiday information source. The 2017 study asks a range of questions around destination choice including factors that were important in destination choice for their last holiday in 2016, the proportionate importance of these factors, and the one ‘decision-clinching’ factor. Find out what the single most important factor is and what this new insight means for travel, tourism and hospitality providers.

Jon Young, Research Director, BDRC
Ken Robinson, CBE for services to tourism

14.50 Destination UK – never mind the sun, soak up the culture
• Uncover the latest insights into the likes and dislikes of British tourists:
    o leisure day market
    o staycationing
    o regional tourism
• Identifying the key barriers to visiting UK attractions
• Generating insights into how to extend visitor offerings

Noreen Kinsey, Head of Retail & Leisure, Future Thinking
Anna Fenten, Head of Marketing, Levy Restaurants, Compass

15.15 Afternoon refreshments

Adjusting To New Paradigms For Travel & Tourism

15.40 The value of travel time – is faster better?
The transport business has traditionally viewed travel time as a ‘disutility’. As a result, transport providers generally seek to reduce customers’ duration of travel. Less time travelling is assumed to be desirable and beneficial to the economy as well as individuals. But is faster better…?
This session will draw upon a number of recent research projects conducted for Transport for London that have challenged the established thinking that travel time is a disutility, and question how transport and travel organisations can act on this to the benefit of customers.

Kat Jennings, Research Director, 2cv
Ian Pring, Marketing & Communications Research Manager, TfL

16.05 Wish you were here? Helping TUI support holidaymakers as they transition from brochures to digital content
In today’s digital world, what role, if any, do holiday brochures play in the booking journey, and what is their future?
TUI recently undertook a quantitative/qualitative study among holiday goers, to understand the role that brochures have among consumers, vis-à-vis other channels such as online, app and in-store technology.
What became apparent is that brochures do still play a pivotal role for many consumers although consumers are open to digital alternatives as long as they are helped through this journey. Hear what TUI learnt about how best to support their customers through the transition from brochures to digital content.

Afra Acquah, Qualitative Specialist, Discovery
Karen Bilsborough, Senior Customer Insight Manager, TUI UK & Ireland

16.30 Panel: Adapting to disruption in travel, tourism and hospitality
• How can the research industry support travel and tourism organisations to deal with disruption in the industry?
    - Disruptive models: sharing economy, online review and advocacy, direct booking vs agent, growth in digital and omnichannel
    - Disruptive events: terrorism, travel bans, natural disaster, political conflict
• How rapidly are disruptive models changing consumer behaviour and what does this mean for traditional commercial strategies?• The role of insight specialists and researchers in identifying future trends, highlighting areas of risk and revealing new opportunities for collaboration

Harry Mirpuri, Head of Research & Insight, London & Partners

James Bland, Director, Hotels & Hospitality, BDRC
Jo Rzymowska, Vice President & Managing Director - UK & Ireland & Asia, Celebrity Cruises
Kurt Stuhllemmer, Partner, Hall and Partners

16.55 Closing comments

17.00 End of conference

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Please click on the photographs to view each speaker's biography.


Delegate fee until 17 March 2017

MRS Member £355 (£426 inc VAT)

Non-Member £485 (£582 inc VAT)

Please note: Early Bird fees must be paid in full by 17.03.17

Delegate fee from 18 March 2017

MRS Member £455 (£546 inc VAT)

Non-Member £585 (£702 inc VAT)

Company Partner Discount rate - £300 (£360 inc VAT) or 1 Company Partner ticket


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Feedback from Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Research, 2016

I just wanted to congratulate you all on a really good conference last Thursday. Having worked in travel and tourism for the past 5 years I have never been to anything like it. I hope there will be future editions.

Atout France

I really thought it was an extremely good day – impressively packed with sessions and all interesting to listen to (well-presented and interesting content) so whoever put it together should be very pleased with themselves!

Fiori International Market Research

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