WTM London taps into rapidly expanding tours and activities sector

WTM London taps into rapidly expanding tours and activities sector

LONDON — Organizers for WTM London say they will highlight the “huge potential and rapid growth” for tours and activities product with a special area dedicated to tours and activities exhibitors at the Nov. 5 – 7 conference.

Major names in the sector such as Merlin Entertainments, City Sightseeing and Leisure Pass Group have signed up for the new zone, along with regional specialists.

A study by travel industry research specialist Phocuswright found that the tours and activities sector reached US$135 billion globally in 2016, accounting for 10% of global travel revenue – more than rail, car rental or cruise.

Start-ups and major brands – including Expedia, Airbnb and TripAdvisor – have moved into the sector to fuel “astonishing” growth, said Phocuswright, which forecasts the market will reach $183 billion by 2020.

iVenture Card will exhibit at WTM London to promote its city attraction passes to a global audience. Headquartered in Sydney, iVenture Card operates across five continents, offering its passes to consumers and the trade, enabling visitors to explore destinations in a convenient and cost-effective way.

Joost Timmer, Managing Director, said being at WTM London will generate opportunities to extend the firm’s footprint in new destinations.

“We can also connect with existing trade partners and meet new distributors keen to capitalise on this rapidly expanding segment,” he added.

He said attraction passes are popular with many in the trade, including online travel agents, traditional travel agents, airlines, loyalty programmes and other closed-user groups – and they also increase exposure for the providers of tours and activities.

Other exhibitors in WTM’s new tours and activities zone include Merlin Entertainments, Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator. Merlin operates more than 100 attractions, 13 hotels and six holiday villages in 24 countries and across four continents.

In September, it opened a new attraction for thrill-seekers, created with adventurer Bear Grylls.

The £20 million Bear Grylls Adventure launched at the NEC in Birmingham and is designed to test adrenaline junkies both physically and mentally.

Another exhibitor, City Sightseeing Worldwide Ltd, 
is the world’s leading open-top bus tour operator with more than 100 tours across five continents including key destinations such as London, New York, Dubai, Cape Town, Moscow and Singapore.

It will be joined at WTM by City Sightseeing sister brands from Rome, Barcelona, London, Dubai, Amsterdam Bus & Boat and New York.

More tours and activities companies heading to WTM London include Gray Line, Cirque du Soleil, Leisure Pass Group and Big Bus Tours.