Dec 25, 2012 11:00 - holly | 1,929 views
The World Travel Market, held in London in November each year, has always been an important showcase for tourist businesses, not to mention a great opportunity for more overlooked countries to develop their own industries – providing they give a good account of themselves at the show. Bermuda, for example, whose impressive showing at this year’s event featured Gombey dancing, saw a 400% increase in hotel bookings as a direct result of their campaign. The 2011 show overall resulted in roughly £1,653 million of industry deals, with similar numbers for 2012. With this kind of potential impact on a country’s tourism, it’s no surprise that the WTM is considered to be one of the most important dates in the industry’s calendar.
The plans for 2013 are certainly ambitious, as well as indicative of the general direction of the industry. There are three main sectors which are to be expanded: luxury, business, and most interestingly, travel technology.
The emergence of new technologies in devices like laptops and tablets has affected every facet of the way we live our lives, and travel is no exception. The tourism industry has had to change the way it courts potential holiday-makers, who now have an almost infinite number of choices about their vacation literally at their fingertips.
Until recently, online travel agencies lacked a personal touch which could only be found in high street travel agents. New apps, such as Travel Seeker and Fastsearch, aim to inspire the customer using search categories such as ‘sunny’ or ‘self-indulgence’. This is a radical departure from the approach traditionally taken by online travel agencies – that of simply presenting the user with a list of dates and destinations. It is exactly this sort of innovation that the organisers of the WTM are hoping to embrace at 2013′s event.
The Travel Technology region of the show, which was a big hit this year and accounted for around £102 million of industry deals at the show, will rightly be given its own event next year, called the Travel Tech Show at WTM. WTM Chairman Fiona Jeffery explains the decision to shift the focus of the event: “Travel Technology at WTM has been successful over the past few years so it was the natural and obvious progression to give it its own event status.”The fact that the organisers feel that travel technology is important enough to be given its own event is surely a sign that the way we travel and book our holidays is changing.
The World Travel Market 2013 will take place from 4th-7th November, at ExCel London. It is undoubtedly going to be a huge opportunity for technology companies to tout their wares, and we can expect to see a number of exciting products on show.
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