Travel industry prepares to do business at WTM Virtual

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Simon Press, WTM Senior Director

Travel and tourism professionals from around the world will reconnect tomorrow (Monday, 9th November 2020) for the first day of WTM Virtual (9-11 November), a three-day virtual event for the international tourism community.

Final preparations are being made for the online event which includes the Travel Forward Virtual and International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC).

The conference sessions will also host top politicians, leading academics, health experts and the world’s media, as the travel industry plans for recovery in 2021.

Highlights of this week’s agenda include:

  • Global tourism forecasts from Euromonitor International
  • ITIC – International Tourism & Investment Conference
  • Responsible Tourism programme
  • Aviation sessions with bosses of major low-cost carriers Ryanair and JetBlue
  • UNWTO, WTTC & WTM Ministers’ Summit
  • Ministers from Israel, UAE and Bahrain

WTM Senior Director Simon Press said: 

“The travel and tourism industry is facing its worst crisis in living memory, so WTM Virtual will provide a crucial platform for planning the bounce-back, reconnecting with business partners, forging new connections, and learning about the best way forward.”

The Euromonitor International report, to be launched tomorrow at WTM Virtual, will explain why global tourism will take between three and five years to recover from Covid-19.

Called ‘Accelerating Travel Innovations after Coronavirus’, the study will also reveal how the travel industry is innovating in order to survive the devastating impact of the pandemic.

The International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC) will have the mission statement of ‘Invest, Finance & Rebuild the Travel & Tourism Industry’.

It will feature a ministerial panel on Monday, 9 November and a summit with industry bosses, politicians and experts on Tuesday, 10 November.

The Responsible Tourism Programme takes place across two days, with eight conference sessions featuring authoritative speakers from the private and public sectors. 

On 10 November, the sessions will be: Resilience & COVID 19; Build Back Better; Tourism and Biodiversity; and Decarbonising Aviation.

The sessions on 11 November will be: Responsible Tourism in India; Racism in Tourism; Certification and Consumer Choice; and Can we make tourism better? 

The turbulence in aviation will be discussed on all three days of WTM Virtual, starting with a debate about trends and forecasts tomorrow, 9 November. 

Called ‘The Long-run Evolution of Aviation Activity following the coronavirus pandemic’, it will feature expertise from Virgin Atlantic, Boeing, IATA and Tourism Economics.

WTM’s aviation expert, John Strickland, will interview Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair on 10 November, and JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes on 11 November.

The annual UNWTO, WTTC & WTM Ministers’ Summit on 9 November is the largest annual gathering of tourism ministers and private sector leaders.

Under the rallying cry of ‘To Create Safer, Greener, Smarter Travel & Tourism’, it will host tourism ministers and private sector bosses debating the recovery of travel and innovations to deal with Covid-19 and sustainability. 

The summit will also hear from Oliver Dowden MP, the British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

It will be followed by ‘Tourism: The Path to Peace in the Middle East’, with the tourism ministers of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

In September, these countries signed the “Abraham Accords”, a historic deal that enables business opportunities and tourism prospects.

The ministers will be discussing the new travel and tourism opportunities and the sector’s role in supporting peace in the region.

It will be the first time the tourism ministers have met since signing the agreements.

Simon Press, WTM Senior Director, concluded: 

“Since 1980, WTM has provided an essential forum for the industry to do business, network and learn about trends in the market. 

“2020 is the year where global connections need to be maintained, build those networks and understand what’s happening in these extraordinary and challenging times.


“Our delegates will be able to keep ahead of the game and lay strong foundations for recovery and innovation in 2021.”

About World Travel Market:

World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises six leading travel events, an online portal and a virtual platform across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:

WTM Global Hub, is the new WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub. 

WTM Virtual, is the new WTM Portfolio virtual platform, created to offer global delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more. WTM Virtual will embrace the global leading travel shows in one platform.

Taking place: Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 November 2020 – Virtual 

London Travel Week, brought to you by WTM London, is the one-stop-shop for event hosts and visitors 

to be able to shape the next 12 months of travel together. The festival of events supports the global travel and tourism industry through capturing invaluable news and enhancing industry connections.

Next event: Friday 30 October to Thursday 5 November 2020 – Virtual 

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts. This year the show will be fully-virtual.

Next event: Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 November 2020 – Virtual 

Travel Forward London is the leading travel technology event, co-located with WTM London. Travel Forward is renowned for showcasing the next-generation technologies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Over 19,000 travel officials and 150+ innovative solution providers attend for 3 days of cutting-edge insights, open debate and unrivalled networking opportunities. The combination of a 2-day conference, interactive exhibition and Start-up showcase makes Travel Forward truly unique. This year the show will be fully-virtual.

Next event: Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 November 2020 – Virtual

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 27th year, continues to be the focal point for the Middle East’s resilient and ever-changing travel and tourism landscape and prides itself on being the hub of all travel and tourism ideas – providing a platform to discuss insights on the ever-changing industry, share innovations and unlock endless business opportunities.

Next event: Sunday 16 to Wednesday 19 May 2021 – Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)- Sheikh Zayed Rd – Trade Centre 2 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

WTM Latin America attracts around 19,000 participants – 11,586 unique. The trade show, which takes place in São Paulo, has a worldwide audience that meets to establish the direction of the travel industry. The event is recognised for attracting a high level of professionals from the segment, including buyers and travel agents. It also offers programmes with qualified content and plenty of opportunities for networking and generating business that is relevant to the travel industry

Next event: Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 April 2021 – Expo Center Norte, São Paulo http://latinamerica.wtm.com/.

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 6,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.

Next event: Wednesday 7 to Friday 9 April 2021 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town http://africa.wtm.com/.

Reed Exhibitions is a leading global events business. It combines face-to-face with data and digital tools to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 500 events in almost 30 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than 7 million participants.  Our events, organized by 35 global offices, leverage industry expertise, large data sets and technology to enable our customers to generate billions of dollars of revenues for the economic development of local markets and national economies around the world. Reed Exhibitions is part of RELX, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 20 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, LGBTQ+ travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf and spa travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.