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LONDON — The digital economy will be a central focus at this year’s WTM London, which will include a packed three-day program from Nov. 5-7 that will also see the annual Minister’s Summit discuss technology in tourism.
Monday, Nov. 5 on the WTM Global Stage will start with a look at Instagram’s impact on travel. The photo-sharing app reached its billion-user threshold in June and as its influence continues to grow, the session will ask how travel marketers can get involved. This will be followed by a talk titled ‘How to Get Billions of Video Views’, which will explain how a handful of video creators are responsible for billions of Facebook views.
Monday’s lunchtime’s session will tackle the growing issue of overtourism. ‘Coping with Success in Major Cities’ will feature representatives from London, New York and Amsterdam and looks at how cities are following Barcelona’s example in facing up to the challenges. Leading expert Martin Brackenbury will chair the discussion.
The first day at WTM London will also hear from G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip about the brand’s unifying purpose of changing people’s lives. He will also reveal the results of the first global State of Purpose in the Travel Industry survey. Monday then concludes with a session on Nation Branding in a Digital Economy, with speakers including Lina Annab, Jordan’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. The discussion will look at how the sharing economy, viral newsfeeds and connected economies are shaping tourism marketing.
Tuesday on the WTM Global Stage will start with the UNWTO and WTM Ministers’ Summit, which this year takes the theme of Investment in Tourism Technology. CNN’s Richard Quest will moderate a panel discussion on private sector technology investment, followed by the Ministerial Roundtable, which will tackle the broad issue of funding tourism’s future.
The afternoon will switch to the subject of Wellbeing, in which the 2018 Global Wellness Tourism Economy Report will be presented. Susie Ellis, chairman and chief executive of the Global Wellness Institute will then deliver a report, ‘Global Wellness Travel Trends to Bank On’, before concluding with a 10-minute meditation experience.
Tuesday’s final session will come back to reality with a look at Creating a Killer Content Brand Strategy. Three sessions from The Digital Think Tank will tackle trends, data transparency and how to engage digital consumers.
The digital theme is taken up the following day with sessions on how to inspire bookings with social media and quality content and working with influencers. National Geographic Traveller’s Blogger of the Year and founder of Budget Traveller, Kash Bhattacharya, will be sharing his secrets. A panel of experts will also discuss the power of images in travel marketing.
WTM Global Stage 2018 events will conclude with the annual Best of Social Media Awards, when five finalists will compete for the Awfully Entertaining Social Media prize. The 2015 winner was Iceland, 2016’s Finland and last year’s went to The Faroe Islands.
WTM London takes place from Nov. 5-7 in London. Go to london.wtm.com.