WTM London 2019 – the event where ideas arrive – saw a 77% increase in ministerial attendance as well as a higher quality of WTM Buyers’ Club Members. It confirms WTM London as the place for senior travel professionals to interact, connect and understand the trends that will determine the future of the tourism industry.
In total, almost 50,000 visitors from 182 countries attended the three-day event at ExCeL London. There were around 1.2 million business meetings conducted and over 110 conference sessions held. This all contributed to a total of £3.75 billion worth of travel industry business deals being signed.
This year the WTM Buyers’ Club was re-formatted to include a stricter vetting process, which focused on inviting only the top industry buyers with the best reputation and purchasing power.
During the event itself, many landmark deals were signed for the travel and tourism industry. These included a deal between easyJet and Atout France that will see a €1 million advertising campaign launched in the UK to promote French destinations.
In addition to this, several large booking deals occurred at the event this year, which will see clients such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the Seychelles secure increased stand-space heading into the 2020 edition of WTM London.
Furthermore, as this was the 40th anniversary of WTM London, this was a show with a difference. Celebrations took place across the regional inspiration zones to mark the significance of this anniversary, with countries from around the world bringing a slice of their unique culture to London.
The event programme for WTM London continued to advance to reflect the modern trends dominating the travel industry. There were sessions on topics as diverse as responsible tourism, LGBT travel, aviation and the crucial role of technology in the future of travel – thus creating a conference programme filled with fascinating content.
With high-profile events such as the annual Leaders’ Lunch and the UNWTO & WTM Ministerial Summit, tourism ministers flocked to the event; there was a 77% increase, taking it from 43 Ministers in 2018 to 76 this year.
The co-located Travel Forward event also saw similar successes this year with visitors experiencing the latest in travel technology. In only its second year as a dedicated travel technology show and conference – exhibitor stand space at Travel Forward increased by 9%, including 49 new exhibitors debuting their companies to the global travel industry.
Highlights of the innovative Travel Forward conference programme included sessions from leaders in the travel tech industry such as Sector Director for Travel UK at Google, Becky Power, and Managing Director of Virgin Hyperloop One in the Middle East & India, Harj Dhaliwal – to name only two. All of the 33 sessions covered insightful topics outlining how the future of travel will look alongside the next developments in technology.
London Travel Week was officially launched over the first week of November and encapsulated the various events surrounding WTM London throughout the capital. With tens of thousands of senior travel professionals ascending on London for WTM, London Travel Week’s diverse collection of networking sessions, conferences and awards helped to create a truly global hub for the travel and tourism industry.
WTM London’s Senior Exhibition Director, Simon Press said: “WTM London 2019 was unquestionably a great success. We are delighted to have been able to facilitate the business and creative connections of 50,000 attendees, exhibitors, buyers and media in order to form the future of the travel industry.
“By welcoming almost 80 Tourism Ministers and increasing the quality of Buyers’ Club members at the event this year, it proves that WTM London is not only the event where ideas arrive, but where decisions are made.
“We challenge ourselves to keep developing this event and to make sure that everyone who travels to WTM London, Travel Forward and London Travel Week – as well as BorderlessLive in September – gets the best possible experience.
“With more than £3.75 billion worth of deals being generated at WTM London 2019 – this has shown how crucial it is to attend from a business perspective. We are incredibly proud of all that WTM London has achieved in the last 40 years and can’t wait to see how it develops over the next forty years.”