What is the World Travel Market?
Staged annually in London, World Travel Market – the leading global event for the travel industry – is a vibrant must attend business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to UK and International travel professionals. It provides a unique opportunity for the whole global travel trade to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business.
More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, visit ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM. The event, now in its 36th year, generates more than £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
When I received my press pass to the World Travel Market, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I spent days (weeks even) researching the event. Who would be there….how would I approach the event….etc. Would my ideas of family travel and volunteer tourism be accepted or would everyone look at me like I was absolutely insane?
Let’s face it. Blogging, Personal Travel, and Volunteer work is not new to me. But Travel and Philanthropy combined with an event of this magnitude was completely new territory.
It made the most sense to me to reach out to attending tourism boards and services to see if I could schedule any meetings. I have to be honest with you I didn’t really expect much of a response. I thought maybe 2 or 3 meetings at best. After all, over 2,000 media professionals attend WTM and the bloggers that I knew of attending work on a far grander scale than I do with traveling. I almost felt like a newbie in the world of blogging even though I am entering year 6.
To my surprise….I landed much more than I expected. And I’ll just say my entire schedule was filled every single day. I met with representatives from Honduras, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Croatia, Morocco, and Italy-just to name a few. There were also meetings with tour services such as Stardawn Travel who provides trips, tours, and travel insurance. Stay tuned for what’s to come with our 2016 partnership.
I found that many were eager to hear more about giving back to their communities while promoting tourism or arranging tours based around volunteering. And of course family travel is always a hot topic.
I arrived on Day 1 of the market. And while only running on one hour of sleep I attended anyway just to get a feel of my surroundings. I was absolutely blown away. Representatives from the entire world were present all in this one building. The sights, sounds, costumes, food, drinks-you could literally experience any country or city you’d like. It was unbelievable.
Here are a few videos and photos I snapped from the week.
This video is not clear but it’s a clip from my Periscope broadcast at the Tanzania booth. This was one of my favorite moments from the entire show.
I was introduced to the ancient form of Beetle Wing Art at the Thailand booth. I watched the woman sew pieces of the wings into the frame. It takes quite a long time to complete and tons of patience but the end result is absolutely beautiful. Such a shame they told me the art is a dying one.
In addition to exploring the market and meeting with various travel professionals, I also had the opportunity to attend some pretty incredible sessions. My favorite one had to be from the iambassador team ‘How to Collaborate with Travel Bloggers to Create a Compelling Marketing Campaign’. It was extremely informative and entertaining.
The week went by incredibly fast but I am anxious to prepare for 2016. I think it’s going to be a great year.
Next destination? Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in 23 Days!
Are you a travel professional interested in the World Travel Market? Visit http://www.wtmlondon.com/home/ to learn more about the 2016 events.