LONDON, 2 November 2021: Travel industry professionals worldwide joined the World Travel Market on 1 November after almost a two-year break.
The show organisers said exhibitors from more than 100 countries and buyers from 141 countries and regions are attending the three-day in-person show followed by a virtual WTM that will convene from 8 to 9 November.
All attendees needed to demonstrate their COVID-19 status by one of the following: Proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test result, or proof of natural immunity. Face masks are strongly recommended.
The continuing relaxation of travel rules in the UK and overseas in recent weeks has prompted a surge in exhibitor bookings and buyer registrations because travel to England is now easier.
The annual WTM Industry Report returns to set out the key trends that exhibitors and buyers need to know to gain traction and recovery during 2022.
WTM London is also hosting the Travel Forward conference 1 to 3 November), which focuses on the technology driving the industry’s recovery, and International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC), which will hold the ‘Invest Finance Restart’ investment summit (1-2 November), bringing together investors, thought leaders, destinations and entrepreneurs.
The investment will also be the theme of the annual UNWTO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and WTM Ministers’ Summit (2 November), which provides a practical platform for Travel & Tourism leaders of the public and private sectors to share best practices and explore investment opportunities.
The Summit will welcome more than 30 Tourism Ministers from around the world.
Hosting the event, UK Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “It’s been a challenging period for the travel and tourism sectors, but the huge international attendance at the World Travel Market is testament to the resilience and hard work of those in the industry.
“This landmark event in the travel sector calendar is once again offering brilliant opportunities to reconnect, innovate and build back better for the future.”
New for 2021 to help networking is the Smart Event tool, a contactless lead capture app that enables exhibitors to scan delegates’ badges to gather contact information and acts as a digital business card.
Developed by WTM parent RX, the app is available free for registered exhibitors and can be accessed via the Google Play store for Android devices and AppStore for iPhone users.
The contactless app is just one way that event organisers prioritise health and safety protocols at the venue.
WTM London will have a COVID testing facility inside ExCeL so visitors who need to take a test before flying home can do so without having to leave the venue.
Simon Press, WTM London Exhibition Director, said: “We are very excited to be just days away from reconnecting with our travel and tourism colleagues from around the world as the sector rebuilds and innovates.
“It has been heartening to see the surge in exhibitor confirmations and visitor registrations over the past few weeks as the easing of restrictions has given more delegates the confidence to travel.
“There is substantial pent-up demand for travel in 2022, so it’s crucial to gain a competitive advantage by doing business, networking and learning about key trends and best practices.
“WTM London will be the largest gathering of travel industry professionals in the world since the pandemic began, so it will be the perfect platform for recovery in 2022.”