A Tale of an Intrepid Traveller: Our Top Travel and Transport Speakers

1 April 2019

Our travel adventures often start from the inspirational lightbulb moment and expediates into detailed planning and preparation, followed by the journey itself. But what does this all amount to? Why of course, it’s The Experience!

The travel and transport sector  have created, altered and radically innovated our experience, driven by some of the most forward-thinking and innovative companies in the world.

What lessons can we learn from those who have guided, influenced, inspired and motivated individuals to go on a journey of a lifetime? Let’s find out…

Planting the Seed

The idea to visit specific destinations are usually started through reading travel blogs, watching television programs or seeing pictures from influencers.

Travel writer Simon Calder  is an example of this. Making his way to the position of after a fortunate event of catching the travel bug. Currently Britain’s leading travel commentator, Simon has written everything from travel guides and articles to inflight magazine articles and is a regular on national TV and Radio. Since catching the travel bug, the Senior Travel Editor at The Independent is the go-to voice for all travel and transport issues.

Sarah Dodd , also shares her unique cultural experience and passion for sustainability, communication, travel, motivation, after travelling to over 100 countries since she escaped her family history of drug and alcohol abuse, and depression.

Travel shows are also a popular way for people to find travel inspiration, with one of the biggest show’s being the BBC’s The Travel Show. The main face of the show is Matthew Collins, who has experienced everything from travelling overland to Spain with his leg in plaster, to spending a week in a French nudist camp where single men and photography were banned. Luckily he also writes all about his adventures too.

Booking the journey

The way we now book our journey has completely changed since the days of High Street travel agents, where we must check reviews, view pictures and compare prices. But what can we learn from this incredible change?

One half of the Mr. and Mrs. Smith team, Tamara Lohan  has taken a business idea and turned it into one of the UK’s most successful ‘aspirational but still accessible’ accommodation brands. As CTO of the company, Tamara leads the development team who power the cutting-edge technology behind the website and the booking engine.

Author, venture capitalist and innovator, Terry Jones  is the founder of another travel booking company, Travelocity.com. A track record of leading companies whose innovations have revolutionised an industry, including the likes of Essential Ideas, Kayak.com and Smart Destinations, Terry encourages innovation and cultural change to keep up with the everchanging world.

And for those who require an ethical approach  Deirdre Bound ’s company i-to-i.com is a natural destination. With her grit, determination, brilliant idea and sense of humour she succeeded in her dreams and now shares her personal story of success in the business circuit.

Are we nearly there yet?

Right, so we know where we want to go, but how do we get there?

Now, one of the more forward-thinking travel options is Virgin Galactic’s commercial space travel, which  Will Whitehorn  was the former President. If you’re contemplating space travel, or simply want to learn how Virgin Galactic went from concept to reality, convincing investors, overseeing technical plans, and moving to a position where daily flights to one hundred miles above the Earth's surface was a genuine possibility, then Will is your man!

Or, with the push towards clean energy and sustainability that is needed in the world, perhaps Tony Seba’s book “Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation” will while away the airport queues. And then you’ll want to book him for your next event.

Arrival at the Destination

Hurray! All those months of planning and preparation has led to arriving at your travel destination. Taxi! Or maybe not…

Perhaps an option that was considered was hiring a car, and an individual who continues to disrupt the industry is Robin Chase , the brains behind Zipcar, Buzzcar, GoLoco and most recently, Veniam. Having changed global attitudes towards transportation and car ownership, Robin has encouraged governments companies and individuals to rethink environmentalism and come up with innovative solutions and ideas enable changes to cities, countries and society.

If London is part of your travel journey, then you may have heard of the New London Taxi, designed by Niels von Roij’s design studio. With a background speaking and consulting with some of the biggest automotive brands, appearing on the London Design Festival, and had work shown in the Victoria and Albert Museum, he provides design strategies, thinking and brand DNA’s for business success.


It’s usually at this point in the journey, once you’ve figured out the mode of transport you intend to utilise, that you're grateful to arrive at your chosen accommodation.

Regardless if it’s a boutique hotel, or an AirBnB, Chip Conley has led the development, creation, and management of more boutique hotels than you could imagine. During his nearly 24 years as CEO, JDV grew to become the second largest boutique hotel company in America, and Chip has now taken on the role of the Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership at Airbnb. Sharing his unique perspective of success, creating happiness and practices to profit in the changing world, his experience is second to none.

The employees one finds at a company is the face on the company, they are the cogs that keep the business turning and ultimately provide the service that individuals are requesting. With over 30 years of International Management and Business Advisory experience, Henk den Dekker understands how differences in culture and international co-operation affect business, and so his valuable expertise within strategy and organisation, management in development of International Companies and Post Merger Integration is vital for any customer-facing business.

Coming from a long line of hoteliers and after becoming a successful hotelier herself, Alex Polizzi  moved into the television industry creating her show The Fixer, with the focus on helping revive businesses, and later returning to see the progress. Publishing her Little Black Book of Hotels, Alex shares valuable advice on how to enjoy the very best hotels – a tip many could utilise.

Room Mate Hotels might have been an option considered by travellers, with the founding director Kike Sarasola having hotels in the US, Latin America and Europe. A strong believer in delivering excellence in customer service and utilising new technologies, he outlines how he founded Room Mate Hotels, the process involved and competing with huge international chains. Cheap and chic is the business philosophy followed by Kike for his Room Mate business, one that many travellers will appreciate.

And while you’re contemplating life on the sunlounger…

For those complex issues, scenario setting and policy insights, former ministers are usually a good bet.

Broadcaster, conservative politician and former Minister for Transport, Steven Norris  can provide food for thought when it comes to advising major developers on complex planning issues. So, if you’re suddenly thinking of the office back home, and the challenges which need to be solved, keynote speakers from the inner sanctum might just be your one-way ticket to that promotion.

Every business strives to create an experience that individuals love, whether that be creating an article or program that will drive people to a specific destination, the physical booking process, perhaps the mode of transport to, from and around a location and finally the chosen accommodation process.

So if you’re looking for a speaker from the travel and transport industry , we hope these options give you some inspiration to help your company on the path to a brighter future.

For further information or to book one of our speakers, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070  or email  info@speakerscorner.co.uk .

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