Merlin Entertainments confirmed for Keynote at British Tourism & Travel Show 2018

Justin East, senior creative director of innovation at Merlin Entertainments, has been confirmed to host a Keynote session at the British Tourism & Travel Show, taking place at the NEC Birmingham on 21-22 March 2018.

While most have heard of major theme parks and attractions like Legoland, Sea Life, Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Madame Tussauds, The Dungeons and the London Eye, very few are aware of the innovators behind them.  Responsible for the concept, development and creative strategy of the Merlin portfolio, Justin East has implemented creative projects, including Legoland Discovery Centres, Thorpe Park’s Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, and Little Big City in Berlin, which have helped to shape Merlin’s success.  

Justin East’s session (kicking off on Wednesday 21 March at 11.30am) will offer an examination of innovation in the attraction industry, the thinking that stimulates it, and how it comes from ‘people who are engaged, relaxed and enjoy having fun’.  Visiting travel and tourism professionals will gain first-hand knowledge of what it takes to operate successful ‘world-class’ attractions. 

“I hope people will take away from the session that they should relax when they’re talking about creativity, and not be inhibited.  Start a vision – then lead the creative team towards that vision.  It's a crazy job, but you've just got to keep headspace for thinking, and not be embarrassed to make suggestions,” says East.

Previously confirmed Keynote speakers include Countryfile’s John Craven OBE, Google’s industry head of travel Ruairidh Roberts, Andy Headington, CEO of digital marketing agency Adido, and Max Sinclair, founder of Ecocompanion.  Returning panel sessions The AGTO (Association of Group Travel Organisers) ‘Question Time: The Changing Face of Group Travel’ and the annual ‘Tourism Question Time’ chaired by Bernard Donoghue, director of ALVA.  

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