Indian Holiday at World Travel Market 2018, London
Once in a year the travel industry comes together at World Travel Market (WTM). The event brings together tourist boards, airlines, hotels, wholesalers and other suppliers with travel buyers from around the world. 2018 witnessed the event from 5th to the 7th November. The 3-day event puts into limelight the latest developments that took place in the global travel industry. It includes sessions on different sectors of tour and travel industry.
Organized at ExCeL London, an exhibition and international convention centre, WTM 2018 was held from 5th November to 7th November. Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd was a part of this prestigious event. The event was attended by exhibiters, ministers, speakers, travel trade professionals, buyers, WTM Buyers’ Club members and international press. In its 39th year, WTM witnessed more than 50,000 attendees and almost 5,000 exhibitors across the three-day event.
Full of mini meetings and long-term business partnerships, WTM London was truly a learning experience. Our Indian Pavilion was also abuzz with travel agents from around the words.
To summarize the entire learning experience, we have brought forward some highlights of World Travel Mart London 2018
This year’s meet was one of the most fruitful in terms of forging new relations and expanding business through association with agents from around the globe. Meetings were mostly walk-in, thanks to the strategic location of our booth. We met with our old acquaintances as well, re-kindling relations for the better working in the sector.
WTM 2018 celebrated World Responsible Tourism Day on the third day of the event. This has been the call of the hour and properly addressed at the world’s largest travel podium.
Trends, campaigns and issues were discussed. The focus of the seminar was on minimizing environmental impacts, create economic benefits for local people and also understanding cultural and environmental issues. While international tourism crossed the mark of 1.3 billion, it is the need of the hour to take a look at ‘responsible tourism’. As growth comes with negative consequences, it is absolutely essential to take a look at the measures to prevent the negatives in the sector. The travel industry, from small hotels to big corporations, each link of the chain been taking together needs to take steps to reduce environmental footprint on tourism.
A very important topic- the Single-use plastic was widely discussed. Sherin Francis, the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourist Board, and Jo Hendrickx, founder of organization Travel Without Plastic addressed the meeting.
Another agenda of the event was communicating responsible tourism. Discussions and campaigns in this field, while demonstrating how best to relay these issues far and wide brought forward many interesting and helpful suggestions.
An equally important discussion was on equality. As much as helping the environment is the need of the day, so is equality, which is another arm of responsible tourism. Also the entire travel industry is working towards. Gender equality and its role in responsible tourism was a hot debate. Also the session discussed the emergence of women leaders in the travel industry and how they contributed to progress within the responsible tourism agenda.
Masses of travel and tourism professionals attended the event, to be part of the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world, WTM World Responsible Tourism Day (WRTD). The Responsible Tourism Awards, celebrated the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences from around the world. The session discussed the benefits of empowering local communities for better services for tourists. Kerala Tourism was awarded for its successful work in Kottayam, backwater town close to Kumarakom.
An interesting session of Women in Travel Meetup was attended by both females and male professionals alike. There were discussion on the challenges faced by women and partiality on the basis of age. The solution were to overcome such circumstances where networking, encouraging, mentorship and advice to create a healthier work environment. A fruitful exchange of ideas and experiences en-livened the session of entrepreneurship for startups in travel industry.
From travel advice to consumer habits, there were a number of discussions and meet up to learn and exchange knowledge on some of the biggest changes in travel with sessions that delve into research and trends.
First discussion involved the impact of the increasing number of booking channels on how customers plan and book their holidays. It was understood that the choices were in fact getting in the way of the customer to make an informed choice. The solution for the scenario is to cut through the noise and showcase their expertise.
Another key discussion featured the millennial trend of travel. Those aged between 15 to 29 years is one of the fastest-growing numbers of customers. In fact, it was revealed that these travellers account for 23% of the more than one billion international arrivals worldwide. As a growing number of young people prioritize travel, it has become a necessity rather than a luxury, therefore engaging this market is crucial.
Digital first had been discussed before and in WTM 2018, it was yet again a popular trend. Promoting a company online is becoming increasingly vital. There were several sessions held which focused on how to harness this technology and concentrate on digital mediums to keep up with customers and to keep up with the digital advancements.
Furthermore, a hugely successful discussion was on the internet’s role, especially social media. The web and the media handles cannot be underestimated for travel agents. who want to promote their businesses and the destinations they sell. A healthy discussion on how to harness these channels effectively and make your content stand out brought forward many interesting points. The conclusion of the discussion was to forge a relationship between emotions, so that it gets ingrained in memory. Thus, helping the travel content to stand out in customers’ minds.
The topic of content creation, aimed at discussing tips on how to use good content for conversions. Focusing on Quality Not Quantity was the highlight. The session showcase how companies used content in the form of stories converting it into bookings.
World Trade Market is always the best place to learn about new destinations, to meet experts in the industry, to know about the latest happening in the travel industry and most of all, do some great business and we sure had one of our best experiences in years at this year’s World Travel Mart in London.