Founder and Chairman of Internova Travel Group, Mike Batt, addressed invitees at the latest Cardiff Business Club webinar, speaking about the impact of the pandemic on the travel industry and his new venture into the world of neurology.

Mike, from Aberbargoed, began his distinguished career in sales and marketing at M&M Mars, before moving to British Airways as Head of Brand Management and subsequently Marketing Director. Following a stint as Senior Vice President for Alamo Rent-a-Car, Mike took on the role of President at Carlson Leisure Group before establishing Internova Travel Group in 2008.

Headquartered in New York City, Internova encompasses an extensive network of more than 65,000 travel advisors across the globe helping to deliver the best travel experiences to its clients and ascertaining it as one of the industry’s leading travel services companies in the world.

Mike admits the past year has been tough. He said: “At the peak of the pandemic, both international and domestic air travel were down well over 80%, hotel volumes dropped by half and cruises were down 60% for the whole of 2020. McKinsey is forecasting that global travel will not return to 2019 levels until at least 2024, with corporate travel particularly slow to recover.

“Moving forward post-COVID, Internova has restructured the business and rationalised footprint to permanently reduce costs. We have been supported by shareholders who provided additional capital and have attracted new agents and agencies, and we expect to continue gaining market share.”

Alongside his role at Internova, Mike has invested in and joined the Board of an emerging medical technology company, NeuroCytonix, (www.neurocytonix.com) which is developing transformational medical technologies for regeneration of the nervous system and can help to treat non-progressive neurodegenerative conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury. The company has recently completed a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled FDA clinical trial for Cerebral Palsy and results will be published later this year.

Cardiff Business Club’s next event will take place on 17 June featuring Gareth Davies CEO for Wynnstay Group Plc. To book your place, visit https://www.cardiffbusinessclub.org/events