Tourism Tattler interviews Simon Press, Director at Reed Travel Exhibitions, about World Travel Market’s vital role in facilitating travel industry business and new initiatives at this year’s WTM-London event.
TT: What will WTM 2013 look like?
SP: WTM 2013 will be the biggest and best yet with three new initiatives taking place. Firstly, the Travel Tech Show at WTM is launched as a travel technology focused event alongside WTM; A Taste of ILTM at WTM will increase the amount of luxury business taking place on the show floor as WTM joins forces with fellow Reed Travel Exhibition’s event International Luxury Travel Market taking place on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 November; fellow Reed Travel Exhibition’s event Business Travel Market is co-locating at ExCeL – London on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November.
TT: Why must African exhibitors, buyers and visitors attend WTM 2013?
SP: World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the event where the industry conducts its business deals. WTM 2012 will generate a massive £1,8bn ($2.7bn) in business deals for all exhibitors, in contracts signed at the event or generated from WTM 2012 before WTM 2013, with the industry’s senior buyers from WTM Buyers’ Club. WTM 2013 is poised to facilitate even more business.
TT: How much business can African exhibitors expect to conduct?
SP: African exhibitors can expect to conduct a great deal of business at WTM 2013. Last year WTM experienced a massive 73% increase in buyers attending the event to strike deals with African exhibitors in 2012.
An impressive 3,951 buyers attended WTM 2012 with the intention of signing deals with African exhibitors, compared to 2,283 for WTM 2011.
We welcome Sao Tome e Principe, Neptune Hotels, Pearlsun Hotels & Resorts and Egyptian Resorts as new exhibitors to this year’s WTM.
TT: Tell me more about WTM Buyers’ Club
SP: WTM Buyers’ Club – the leading global business network: making contacts, concluding deals – is the original buyers club for the global industry’s senior buyers. For the past 21 years it was called WTM Meridian Club.
TT: What opportunities are there for exhibitors and WTM Buyers’ Club members to negotiate and conduct business at WTM 2013?
SP: There is a whole portfolio of business and networking opportunities across the four days of WTM, starting with WTM Speed Networking before the exhibition opens on Monday 4 November. On the final morning there is the Networking Breakfast followed by a second WTM Speed Networking event to initiate post-WTM 2013 deals.
Last year 310 buyers and 867 exhibitors started negotiations at WTM Speed.
Networking events. On the second and third evenings there are informal networking receptions for buyers and exhibitors to discuss deals.
TT: How do buyers find out if they are eligible for WTM Buyers’ Club Membership?
SP: Buyers can register at wtmlondon.com/register as a visitor. The application will then be reviewed to see if they qualify for WTM Buyers’ Club status. Buyers will be emailed to confirm their status.
TT: What will the event programme look like at WTM 2013?
SP: There will be sessions on a wide range of sectors including aviation, hotels, social media and responsible tourism. Last year more than 15,000 delegates attended 127 sessions.
TT: Where can African visitors register for WTM 2013?
SP: Visit wtmlondon.com/register
TT: Where can people interested in attending WTM 2013 get further information?
SP: Visit wtmlondon.com or download the WTM app available on all major smartphones.
Tourism Tattler is an Official Media Partner to WTM-London 2013.