If you were following our updates, around this time last year you would recall that we had partnered with Travel Tech Conference Russia team with a goal to bridge the gap between Indian and Russian travel-tech startups. We spoke with Valentin Dombrovsky, Chief Alchemist at Travelabs to understand what’s in store for this year’s conference.
1. What are your expectations from TTCR 2017 Russia.
Travel Tech Conference Russia is going to be a unique event connecting people from various areas of travel industry and various countries around travel technology present and future! We hope to make step towards making Moscow a place to meet for travel tech pros from all over the world.
2. How is TTCR 2017 different from last year’s event.
Well, first, we’ve changed format a bit. This year we’re going to have special tracks dedicated to hotel and aviation technology – this will help us to go deeper into subjects that are more relevant for hoteliers and airline professionals.
We’ve grown in number of international speakers – they’re going to come from all over Europe and from US too!
We’ve partnered with Phocuswright for our travel startup pitch competition and are going to welcome startups from 5 European countries who will compete for the chance to win a spot at Phocuswright Europe Battleground.
We also changed venue – this time it will be better fit to welcome our guests. We hope that will help us to move toward becoming really global event.
3. You’ve mentioned that Russian travel-tech is still evolving. How do you see its growth in the coming years?
Well, I believe that Russian travel tech should explore the areas which are “hot” all over the world right now – that is artificial intellegence, opportunities provided by block chain and b2b technology. I believe, Russian market is good fit for companies striving to bring new tech to travel and making travel business more effective. That’s why I expect lots of interest to startups that are going to be on stage in the morning session – most of them represent b2b technologies for various travel verticals.
4. Globally, which are some of the travel start-ups to watch out for from Russia.
Well, you surely should watch at Skadi – that’s one of our startup pitch competition participants (it’s technically from Lithuania, but has Russian origin). I also see interesting developments in blockchain made by VChain – UK company with Russian “roots” and like what PiligrimXXI working in AR space is doing.
5. Talking about international participation, are you expecting overseas participation at this year’s event.
You know, it’s tough for us to bring international participants for various reasons:
- We’re only 2 years old and face huge competition from events all over the world;
- Political and economical situation makes it questionable whether you should travel to Moscow and try to make business in Russia;
- You need to have visa to travel here and for many that becomes an obstacle.
Nevertheless, we’re working with international partners and try to spread the word about our event everywhere (and thank you for your help with that too!). On one hand, we hope to make Russian market more attractive to those who could find new opportunities here – on other hand we want to go beyond image of “purely local” event. People don’t visit ITB in Berlin or Phocuswright Conference for instance only because they want to make business in Germany or US – they visit it to meet with people from all over the world and to see new opportunities. We want to make Travel Tech Conference Russia one of such events. Quite ambitious, but why not? I think that the progress that we made during just 2 years allows us to have big plans for the future.
6. Who are some of your partners for the event.
I’ve already mentioned Phocuswright – company which provides great opportunity for the winner of our startup pitch competition. I am proud to be Phocuswright Innovation Platform Ambassador and to see how this company makes steps towards bringing more opportunities for travel startups.
We’re also partnering with Travelport Labs and Bluesmart that provide prizes for our startup pitch competition participants.
Paris Welcome City Lab and London Traveltech Lab helped us to spread the word about event in European travel startups community.
More news about our great partners will come up soon! We thank everyone for their support to our initiative and invite readers to join (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries).
The Travel Tech Conference Russia is taking place at Moscow Technopolis Congress Centre (Moscow, Volgogradskiy prospect, 42, building 5). Here’s video from last year’s conference where our team member Tanu Arora had participated.