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WTCE’s Taste of Travel Theatre Focuses On Tech And AI

Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are set to be key topics at this year’s Taste of Travel theatre during the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE). The event, in collaboration with Onboard Hospitality and sponsored by En Route, will feature a panel of experts discussing the potential impacts of technology on the onboard industry over three days.

WTCE Taste Of Travel Theatre Program

Tackling Fraudulent Transactions With Tech

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On May 28th, a panel discussion at a conference will discuss the challenges airlines face with fraudulent transactions, which can cost airlines up to 5% of their income. The panel will explore strategies to mitigate these issues through online payment verifications and enabling sales of high-value items with advanced connectivity solutions.

Feature experts:

  • Maryann Simson, Director, Jetway Communications,
  • Job Heimerikx, CEO, AirFi
  • Raluca Ioana Avram, Anti-Fraud and Investigations Manager, Wizz Air
  • Manuel Hübschmann, Retail Director, Retail inMotion 
  • Livia Vité, CCO, Perseuss

Advances In In-flight Retail and Meal Pre-Ordering Services

Southwest Airlines flight attendants equipped with MOST tablets for in-flight retail.
Southwest Airlines flight attendants are equipped with MOST tablets for in-flight retail.

At WTCE’s Taste of Travel, industry leaders worldwide will discuss innovative strategies for enhancing inflight retail and pre-ordering services for future travelers.

This session will feature:

  • Joe Harvey, Business Development Manager, Deli Lites
  • Thorunn Gudmundsdottir, Purchasing & Logistics Manager Icelandair,
  • Salim Hazif, Managing Director, Food Folk,
  • Brett Hooyerink, Director of Sales & Culinary, McGuire & Associates, and Co-Chairman of the IFSA Innovation Committee 
  • Paul Bilham, VP Sales, Omnevo

The Role Of AI In Driving Change For The Passenger Experience

AI is becoming a significant driver of innovation and transformation as we progress through the changing fields of aviation, hospitality, and tourism. On Tuesday afternoon, a panel will take to the stage to question whether AI catalyzes positive change.  

  • Lance Hayward, Founder of Hayward Partnership,
  • Max Pillong, Director of AI and data Analytics at Lufthansa Industry Solutions
  • Jon Harwood, VP of Retail at dnata Catering,

Continuing the discussion around AI, Vimal Kumar Rai, Managing Partner, Commercial Excellence Partners, will derive inspiration from AI-led transformation in other industries, which could inspire use cases for the inflight domain. He will answer the question: Will AI really transform the Inflight Customer Experience?

Located in Hall A1 at the Hamburg Messe from 28-30 May 2024, Taste of Travel Theatre will host educational sessions, including live cooking demonstrations and tasting opportunities. Registered visitors and exhibitors are free to attend all sessions.


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