TTW – Over the years, WTM has witnessed a stark increase in the number of exhibitors registering for the event. How has been the response this year?
Simon Press :World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, has had an excellent response to registration going live this year, currently ahead on pre-registration compared to this time last year. We expect this year’s event to be extremely successful with record numbers of both exhibitors and visitors.
WTM is the event where the travel industry conducts its business deals. WTM 2011’s exhibitors will sign deals with WTM Meridian Club members worth £1,653m. WTM 2012 is poised to facilitate even more business for the industry.
TTW – This year WTM has made an expansion by making a debut in Latin America – brief us about this new introduction?
Simon Press : Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), the leading provider of events in the global travel and tourism industry announced the launch of World Travel Market Latin America – the first global event for this increasingly important region for travel and tourism.
The first World Travel Market Latin America will take place in São Paulo in April 2013. The event is targeted at the booming Brazilian and Latin American travel and tourism industry. Latin America will attract 33,127,000 tourists (including those travelling between countries and into the region) in 2011 rising by 5.2% a year to 55,191,000 in 2021, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
WTM Latin America will fuel the growth of tourism within the region, making the industry aware that it is one of the most important tourism destinations in the world.
TTW: WTM 2012 has introduced Extra Speed Networking Event – could you please elaborate on its impact on traders and how will they benefit from this service?
Simon Press : World Travel Market has introduced an extra Speed Networking event following the phenomenal success of the concept over the past three events. Last year more than 200 (204) buyers and 438 exhibitors took part in the Speed Networking which took. The event took place before the exhibition opened which gave exhibitors and buyers from the WTM Meridian Club even more time to discuss and conclude business deals.
For WTM 2012, the WTM Meridian Club Networking Breakfast will be followed by the WTM Speed Networking Thursday event, for discussion about further business opportunities beyond WTM.
TTW: What are the emerging trends in WTM and what are the key priorities for the WTM this year?
Simon Press : EasyJet Chief Executive Carolyn McCall OBE will headline World Travel Market’s new Talk Business Series on Thursday 8 November. McCall will be the first of three senior business leaders to speak for 45 minutes on the issues and challenges of business in the current uncertain economic climate.
The Talk Business Series gives WTM delegates three industry-leading must-attend 45 minutes sessions, which still gives delegates plenty of time to continue negotiations and conduct business deals on the exhibition floor. WTM 2012 will highlight China as this will be the focal point of this year’s BRICS events as the country has snowballed into one of the biggest inbound and outbound tourism market. Besides, WTM World Responsible Tourism Day on November 7th will focus on how African elephants and rhinoceros are mercilessly and illegally being poached to near extinction. Charlie Mayhew MBE, Founder and CEO of Africa’s leading conservation group Tusk is this year’s official opener. WTM Technology event will include various summits which will allow the participants to hear from the leading lights of the travel industry as well as new entrants with innovative business models. They will give their take on the latest developments in travel that will possibly change the face of travel industry. Search Engine Update 2012 is another important seminar where one can hear about the importance of optimisation through search engines.
World Travel Market is also lined up with a comprehensive Sports Tourism programme reviewing the success of the London 2012 Olympics and measuring the benefits and constraints for host nations of major sporting events.
TTW: What are the changes you are contemplating to make the show surpass its previous year’s success?
Simon Press : WTM 2012 will have a brand new layout with India being a dedicated region of the event for the first time. This sees the Global Village and Travel Technology regions move to the South Hall West Entrance with India positioned next to Asia in the South Hall East Entrance.
TTW: Which are the prominent destinations exhibiting this time at WTM?
Simon Press : Abu Dhabi, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Spain all have some of the larger stands at the event which suggests the importance that tourism plays within their economies and the need to attend WTM and have maximum exposure in order to conduct business.
We have a number of new exhibitors either exhibiting for the first time or returning such as The Falkland Islands Tourist Board, Chic Outlet Shopping Europe, Belarus Tourist Board and The National Trust. A total of 189 countries and regions are represented at World Travel Market on the exhibition floor, all of equal importance to us