Industry Update
Press Release15 September 2020

WTM London and Travel Forward will be virtual-only shows in November 2020

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WTM Global Hub
  • The shows will take place on 9-11 November and are set to be the main virtual travel trade events of 2020
  • WTM Virtual to feature one-to-one meetings, conference sessions, roundtables and speed networking
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WTM London - the event where Ideas Arrive - and Travel Forward - the travel and hospitality technology event co-located with WTM London - will be entirely virtual in November.

Live shows had been set to take place at ExCeL London (2-4 November 2020); however, the continuing travel restrictions, imposition of quarantine requirements and local lockdowns across Europe mean that our events will be fully virtual experiences.

WTM London's Senior Director Simon Press said:

"Sadly, this year will be the first time since we launched WTM London in 1980 that there will be no live event.

"We have worked tirelessly to organise a physical show, but the increasing number of travel restrictions and the uncertainty around the world means it will be impractical for many overseas visitors to attend in person.

"Additionally, there remains uncertainty around business events and conferences being allowed to take place in the UK. The official deadline for this decision being the 1st October.

"However, thousands of travel trade professionals from around the globe will still be able to meet and do business in an extensive range of virtual sessions, to help the industry recover, rebuild and innovate."

WTM Virtual will take place from 9-11 November, offering delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more.

The virtual show will also see an investment summit in partnership with ITIC - International Tourism & Investment Conference - and a new Marketing Forum and masterclass workshop in partnership with The Five Percent.

The WTM Virtual will have four virtual theatres to host webinars and debates, including the Responsible Tourism.

Furthermore, a virtual version of Travel Forward is being shaped up and will combine virtual exhibition, free virtual conference sessions and speed networking for start-ups to meet investors.

With the theme "Resilience, Innovation, Response", Travel Forward Virtual will add a technology-based approach in supporting the recovery of the travel and tourism industry.

Richard Gayle, Event Manager for Travel Forward said:

"Travel Forward is the event that embraces fresh concepts and innovative projects to inspire delegates. This year, running Travel Forward virtually will allow us to connect even more with global travel tech companies wanting to promote themselves to the world.

"We are confident Travel Forward Virtual will offer delegates all the support and ideas about how the industry recovery and more solutions to overcome the biggest challenges facing the travel industry."

London Travel Week (30 October-5 November 2020)

London Travel Week will be returning virtually providing attendees with a chance to learn, network and innovate in the week leading up to WTM Virtual.

During London Travel Week, there will be six Speed Networking sessions on offer so that exhibitors, brands and destinations can meet before the virtual show and form business connections.

London Travel Week will also provide the perfect forum to celebrate the achievements of those in the travel and tourism industry through virtual awards ceremonies such as the World Travel Leaders' Awards and the Responsible Tourism Awards.

The week will also see summits on Wellness, BAME Tourism, LGBT Tourism as well as Destination Briefings and Press Conferences allowing countries and brands to showcase their activities in the last few months to recover, rebuild and innovate.

The UNWTO, WTTC & WTM Ministers' Summit
will gather tourism ministers and the private sector with a mixture of live and virtual events to set out a roadmap for a safer, greener and smarter future for the sector.

The summit is the largest annual gathering of tourism ministers and pledges to bring together about 100 ministers along with 100 industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and experts to help develop the manifesto through a Delphi process.

Simon Press concluded:

"We made the decision to transition to a virtual-only event after a great deal of consultation with our industry partners, sponsors, delegates and staff. We know this will be a disappointment to all those who were planning to attend the live show.

"However, our main objective has always been to deliver a global show bringing travel professionals from the seven continents, and we are now channelling our energies into the creation of an outstanding, large-scale digital gathering that will enable the travel industry to connect, to network, do business and learn about this new consumer environment.

"We will miss meeting you in person at ExCeL but we have the skills, experience and resources to produce an engaging and effective show to support the industry's recovery.

"2020 has been a challenging year, but we pledge to do everything we can for the travel industry in 2021 and bring you the best live version of WTM London from the last 40 years".

Related Event

Webinar: WTM London (Virtual Event)

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event information

About World Travel Market

World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

Almost 48,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL - London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM, now in its 34th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals.

WTM 2012 generated £1,860 million of travel industry contracts, revealed independent research by Fusion Communications.

WTM is owned by the world's leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions (RE), which organises a portfolio of other travel industry events including Arabian Travel Market and International Luxury Travel Market.

In 2012, RE held more than 460 events in 36 countries bringing together more than seven million people from around the world generating billions of dollars in business.

Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world's leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.

The 19 events are; World Travel Market (WTM), World Travel Market Latin America (WTM Latin America), Arabian Travel Market (ATM), International French Travel Market Top Resa (IFTM), International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), International Ski Travel Market (ISTM), International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTM Asia), International Luxury Travel Market Americas (ILTM Americas), International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTM Africa), International Luxury Travel Market Japan (ILTM Japan), International Luxury Travel Market Spa (ILTM Spa), Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) (owned by Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau), Global Exhibition for Incentive, Business Travel, and Meetings (EIBTM), Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM), Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (AIBTM), China Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (CIBTM), India Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (IBTM India) and Business Travel Market.

September 2013 will see the launch of IBTM India in Mumbai, India, and another exciting launch in the ski travel sector, with International Ski Travel Market in March 2014.

RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world's leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 39 countries. In 2011 Reed brought together six million active event participants from around the world, generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 33 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider and a FTSE 100 company. www.reedexpo.com

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