Caribbean Travel Organization at World Travel Market. Ursula Petula Barzey.

World Travel Market: A Must-Attend Event for Professional Travel

The travel industry is a dynamic and exciting field that continues to grow and evolve. As technology advances and global borders become increasingly interconnected, the opportunities for travel professionals to connect with others in the industry and stay current on the latest trends and innovations are more important than ever. One event that offers a wealth of such opportunities is the World Travel Market (WTM), an annual conference that brings together industry leaders from around the globe to share insights and ideas. In this blog post, I will explore the history of WTM and why it is a must-attend event for those in the travel industry.

The History of World Travel Market (WTM)

The World Travel Market has a rich history that spans over four decades. The event was first held in London in 1980, and since then, it has grown into a global event attended by thousands of travel professionals each year. In the early years of WTM, the focus was primarily on the European travel market, with a focus on destinations and destination marketing. However, as the industry evolved and global travel became more popular, WTM expanded its focus to include a broader range of destinations and industry segments. Today, WTM is considered one of the leading events in the global travel industry, with attendees from every continent and a diverse range of travel professionals, from tour operators and airlines to hotels and technology companies.

Note: In addition to the main annual event in London, WTM also hosts regional events in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. WTM London is held at the ExCeL London exhibition & convention centre. It is located on a 100-acre site on the northern quay of London’s historic Royal Victoria Docks, between Canary Wharf and London City Airport.

Welcome to World Travel Market. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey. Welcome to World Travel Market. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

The current state of the travel industry and the role of WTM

The travel industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, driven partly by the rapid advancement of technology. The rise of online booking platforms and the proliferation of mobile devices has made it easier for consumers to plan and book their own travel, disrupting traditional business models and creating new opportunities for companies that can adapt to these changes.

In this increasingly competitive and dynamic environment, World Travel Market (WTM) plays an important role in bringing together industry leaders to share insights and ideas and foster collaboration. WTM offers a unique platform for travel professionals to connect with one another, learn about the latest trends and innovations, and explore new business opportunities. The event also provides an opportunity for companies to showcase their products and services to a global audience of potential customers.

5 Reasons why travel professionals should attend WTM

World Travel Market (WTM) offers a wealth of opportunities for travel professionals to connect with others in the industry and stay current on the latest trends and innovations. Here are the five main reasons why over 30,000 travel professionals attend WTM each year:

  1. Do business: WTM offers the opportunity to book one-to-one meetings with suppliers, distributors, and potential business partners. This is a great way to explore new business opportunities and build valuable relationships.
  2. Networking opportunities: WTM is a unique platform for travel professionals to connect with one another and build valuable relationships. The event features networking events, roundtable discussions, and other opportunities for attendees to connect with industry leaders and peers.
  3. Access to the latest industry trends and innovations: WTM features a wide range of seminars, panels, and presentations that cover the latest trends and developments in the travel industry. Attendees can learn about the latest technologies and best practices shaping travel’s future.
  4. Opportunities for personal and professional growth: Attending WTM is a great opportunity for travel professionals to learn and grow in their careers. The event offers a wide range of educational and training opportunities and the chance to hear from industry leaders and experts.
  5. Exposure to new products and services: WTM is an excellent platform for companies to showcase their products and services to a global audience of potential customers. Attendees can explore the latest offerings from leading travel brands and discover new opportunities for collaboration and growth.

Caribbean Travel Organization at World Travel Market. Ursula Petula Barzey. Caribbean Travel Organization at World Travel Market. Ursula Petula Barzey.

8 Tips for travel professionals attending WTM

Attendees at World Travel Market can expect long and busy days, so it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared. Here are some eight tips for travel professionals attending WTM:

  1. Book your travel early: Over 30,000 travel professionals attend WTM, so booking travel arrangements as early as possible is best to ensure hotel availability and get the best rates. Consider staying near the event venue to save time and make attending all events and activities easier.
  2. Pack/wear comfortable clothing: WTM is a large and busy event, so it’s important to wear comfortable clothing and shoes to ensure that you can move around easily and stay comfortable throughout the day.
  3. Bring business cards: As with any networking event, it’s important to bring plenty of business cards to WTM. This will make it easy for you to exchange contact information with other attendees and follow up after the event.
  4. Book business meetings: Using the WTM portal, research attendees and aim to book one-to-one meetings with potential suppliers, buyers, etc.
  5. Attend educational sessions: WTM is a large and busy event, so it’s important to plan ahead and prioritize the educational sessions and activities most relevant to your interests and goals. Fit these around your business meetings which take priority.
  6. Network, network, network: WTM is a great opportunity to meet and connect with other travel professionals, so make sure to take advantage of networking events and social opportunities to engage with others. Don’t be afraid to approach others and initiate conversations.
  7. Be open to new ideas and opportunities: WTM is a platform for exploring new trends and innovations in the travel industry, so be open to learning about new ideas and considering new opportunities for collaboration and growth.
  8. Follow up: After the event, follow up with any contacts you made and continue building on the relationships and connections you formed at WTM.

Overall, the key to success at WTM is to be prepared, network as much as possible, and take advantage of the many opportunities the event offers.

Official Route Planner for World Travel Market. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey. Official Route Planner for World Travel Market. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Takeaways

World Travel Market (WTM) is a must-attend event for travel professionals looking to stay current and connected. The event, held in early November each year, offers a wealth of business, networking, learning, and growth opportunities and the chance to explore the latest trends and innovations in the travel industry. With its rich history and global reach, WTM is an essential part of the travel professional’s calendar and an unparalleled platform for collaboration and growth.

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