Youth, Student & Educational Travel – the key to long term, sustainable recovery in the travel industry

Steve Lowy, BETA Chairman & Session Moderator

Steve grew up in the Hospitality industry with both his parents working in the hotel trade. He went onto to study Hospitality & Tourism Management at the University of Salford. Having created the umi Hotels brand in May 2007, he launched Umi Digital in 2010 with the view providing the independents in hospitality a one-stop-shop for their digital needs. Steve lectures across the UK and Europe, to both businesses and hospitality students, as well as employing over 180 students in a variety of roles. With a specialism in youth travel and independent brands, he is the CEO of Anglo Educational Services and current serving chairman of the British Educational Travel Association (BETA).

Vicki Cunningham, Chief Operating Officer,  BUNAC

With nearly 20 years of youth and student sector experience, Vicki has worked across several marketing and general management roles. She has spent the last 12 years managing BUNAC, a global work and travel company. Established in 1962 by University students, BUNAC has a long history of evolving its products and services to meet current customer needs and as COO Vicki has continued to meet this challenge by remaining laser focused on BUNAC’s vision and youth target market. Vicki also sits on the Management Board for the World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation.

 

Dan Baker, GM EMEA, Student.com 

Dan is the General Manager, EMEA at Student.com, the world’s largest marketplace for student accommodation. An experienced General Manager within the travel and student sectors, Dan has an impressive background as a digital commerce professional with a strong focus on leveraging new and emerging technologies to achieve tangible results.

Passionate about supporting the industry in which he works, Dan currently serves on the board of the British Educational Travel Association – an umbrella body representing producers and suppliers of youth, student and educational travel related products. Dan began his professional career after studying Marketing at The University of West England. In his role at Student.com, Dan holds general management responsibility for the EMEA business, working closely with the teams servicing over 400 cities across the globe, and utilises his knowledge of strategic management and digital expertise.

Sam Willan, General Manager, StudentUniverse

A marketer by trade and training, Sam is currently General Manager at StudentUniverse, a youth and student online travel company, who believe travel is essential to a modern day education.

Sam started his career in travel a decade ago, progressing through the ranks at Flight Centre Travel Group’s retail marketing team, working across the marketing mix on a range of brands, including The Travel Club, Flight Centre and Round the World Experts. He made the move into youth travel five years ago, leading the marketing strategy for gapyear.com, before finding his niche in ecommerce as Head of Marketing with StudentUniverse.

Peter Jordan, Head of Strategy and Research, TOPOSOPHY

Peter is a senior consultant and researcher specialised in the curation and interpretation of travel trends, for diverse clients from inside and outside the tourism industry. His past experience includes four working for the UN World Tourism Organization in Madrid and the Pacific Asia Travel Association in Bangkok.

Since 2014 Peter has led TOPOSOPHY’s international projects, having been responsible for managing diverse strategy and research projects for clients including European Cities Marketing, Coca-Cola, Scottish Enterprise, the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group and the European Travel Commission. Recently, Peter oversaw the creation of the ETC Study on Gen Z Travellers for the European Travel Commission in 2019, and this year, he has led the development of the European Cities Marketing Covid-19 Continuity Checklist, and the Handbook on Covid-19 NTO Recovery Strategies. Peter pilots TOPOSOPHY’s research and strategy development from his base in Amsterdam.

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