LONDON — The numbers are in – WTM London 2019 was a huge success, cementing its reputation for being the premier event senior travel professionals can interact and understand trends that will determine the future of the tourism industry.
Over the course of three days, from Nov. 5-6 at ExCel London, the annual three-day trade show saw nearly 50,000 visitors from 182 countries, 1.2 million business meetings, over 100 conference sessions and a 77% increase in ministerial attendance. This all contributed to a total of £3.75 billion worth of travel industry business deals being signed, including one between easyJet and Atout France that will see a £1 million advertising campaign launched in the U.K. to promote French destinations.
This year the WTM Buyers’ Club was reformatted to include a stricter vetting process, which focused on inviting only the top industry buyers with the best reputation and purchasing power.
“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,” said Simon Press, WTM London’s Senior Exhibition Director. “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.”
Moreover, as this was the 40th anniversary of WTM London, celebrations took place across the regional inspiration zones, with countries from around the world bringing a slice of their unique culture to London.
Press added: “With more than £2.75 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 40 years.”
Other highlights of this year’s event include the following:
• Sessions took place on topics as diverse as responsible tourism, LGBT travel, aviation and the crucial role of technology in the future of travel
• High-profile events such as the annual Leaders’ Lunch and the UNWTO & WTM Ministerial Summit were attended by 76 tourism ministers, a 77% increase from the 43 Ministers who attended in 2018
• The co-located Travel Forward event, now in its second year, increased in size by 9%, including 49 new exhibitors that debuted their companies to the global travel industry
• London Travel Week was launched over the first week of November and encapsulated the various events surrounding WTM London throughout the capital
WTM London 2020 is scheduled to take place from Nov. 2-4, 2020.