World Travel Market (WTM), the global travel reunion, is gearing up for its forthcoming edition at Excel, from November 7-9. We sat with Juliette Losardo, WTM’s exhibition director, to hear her thoughts on the travel industry’s evolution and what’s in store at this year’s exhibition.
What can we expect to see at WTM 2022?
The World Travel Market brings together the global leisure travel community, providing inspiration, education, sourcing and benchmarking for travel professionals seeking to build unique and competitive world-class travel experiences.
The exhibitors at WTM showcase a comprehensive sourcing opportunity to anyone looking to build leisure travel getaways, and this year, we’re delighted to see so many regions of the world and travel brands represented once again.
The conference will address and debate solutions around emerging trends from the tourism sector and provide a home to the largest gathering of tourism policy makers globally – The Ministers Summit – supported by UNWTO and WTTC.
With the slogan “The Future of Travel Starts Now,” we will look to the future, beyond the pandemic, and focus on how the industry powers on and keeps up the resilience that was shown in abundance throughout the pandemic – to enable business deals and resolution-based conversation.
As we enter our 42nd year, WTM is a trusted source: a knowledge center for the tourism sector and a facilitator of business connections. It attracts huge global attention and provides the ideal platform for those working in international travel and tourism to reunite in the most powerful way — in person — to develop their business networks, explore trends and seal important deals.
What are the themes of this year’s event?
World Travel Market will always be driven by the developments seen within the sector.
This year, there will be four conference stages dedicated to emerging tourism trends, plus some brand-new, very exciting features around the show floor.
The Future Stage is the largest conference stage and will host fundamental and futuristic content from a variety of sub-sectors, such as space tourism, aviation and responsible tourism. We will hear from world-leading market-research companies that will uncover what the future holds for the travel sector.
The Futures Stage will host the inaugural Ministers Summit, which is organized in conjunction with UNWTO and WTTC — the largest gathering of policymakers globally. We welcome back the ITT Future You Conference, which supports aspiring students within the travel community and is of paramount importance when the sector is tackling recruitment and retention challenges.
In addition, visitors to WTM will find a Sustainability Stage, a Technology Stage and an Insight Stage, all delving deep into matters that need head-on discussion.
How are you promoting sustainability and responsibility in the tourism sector?
WTM has been running its Responsible Tourism program for many years now. Our actions speak louder than words when it comes to our commitment to these initiatives. Building a robust and responsible future for travel and tourism is a priority, and World Travel Market London aims to unite the global travel industry with that shared objective.
Through the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards, we recognize and showcase businesses doing the most to develop and implement responsible practices. Our focus is on raising the issues and spreading knowledge about practical solutions.
This year at WTM, there’s a stage dedicated to sustainability, where we plan to share expert knowledge on tangible actions directly with the travel community.
What can you tell us about the conferences?
As mentioned, we have four dedicated stages supporting the most pressing issues facing our sector. So far, we have completed work on over 70 sessions spanning three days – and this work is ongoing! There are well-known keynote speakers, a plethora of case studies and business insights led by industry leaders and even a few celebrities!
How will you be encouraging new talents to join the industry?
We are focused on bringing the global tourism industry together. In a normal year, 55,000 professionals attend the show, including 9000 decision-makers. It’s our hope that with this reach, we facilitate global conversations that deliver solutions to our sector.
Recruitment and infrastructure are big topics this year. The Insights Stage will host sessions around business strategies, and there will also be some sessions dedicated to recruitment and retention.
We welcome back the ITT Future You Conference this year, which is dedicated to tourism students and young people wishing to work in travel. It aims to inspire the next generation and show them the huge breadth and variety of roles available in the industry, some of which they may not have considered before. This group of young people is more important than ever, and we’re keen to show them all the wonderful things the industry has to offer.