Business-to-business (B2B) tour operators have the potential to strengthen and develop their industry presence by attending travel trade exhibitions and connecting with other tourism enterprises.

Trade shows have the potential to benefit travel players

The World Travel Market (WTM) fosters the growth and expansion of the global travel industry. By presenting six yearly business-to-business events across four continents, WTM provides a chance for travel industry professionals to network, learn, and do business. Events like the WTM, which is happening in London in November 2022, could play an important role in tourism’s road to recovery as approximately 50,000 attendees are expected to attend the WTM. Represented at the WTM will be a diverse range of both visitors and exhibitors, covering various sectors of the tourism industry.

Every November, nearly 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government officials, and international journalists attend WTM London, resulting in over £3.71 billion in travel sector contracts. Leading tourism companies like Saudia Airlines, Indian Airlines, HotelRunner, Louis Hotels, and many more have often been seen exhibiting at the WTM. This shows the opportunities B2B operators have at WTM, and this will make it a significant role player in the road to tourism recovery. Owing to their large attendance, travel trade shows have the potential to significantly benefit B2B tour operators. Attendees have the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge, meet and connect with potential clients, and increase brand awareness. These travel trade shows, such as the WTM, could be critical to tourism’s resurgence.

Price-sensitive travellers still present a challenge

The tourism business was one of the most hit by the Covid-19 epidemic. With foreign travel mainly halted as a result of travel restrictions, many firms could not continue, and some were severely harmed owing to personnel shortages exacerbated by erratic cash flow caused by travel restrictions. Although events like the WTM are a positive sign in tourism’s recovery, tour operators will still need to wary of traveller’s price sensitivity. According to GlobalData’s Q2 2022 Consumer Survey, 88% of global respondents are anxious about their financial status*. This reflects significant financial insecurity which will likely mean that travellers are increasingly price sensitive.

Nevertheless, the tourism sector must rebound in order for small to medium-sized tour operators to survive, and travel trade events are a terrific way for them to get back into the business and create more B2B connections. These relations could ensure price cuts by removing the middleman and increasing cost-effective marketing to attract more consumers. According to GlobalData, international travel is predicted to fully recover by 2025. WTM marks an important moment for B2B tour operators to display their products or services in order to improve worldwide passenger flow at this critical moment.

WTM addresses major themes in the tourism industry

WTM has traditionally been one of the most popular travel trade events in the world, typically resulting in billions of dollars in travel industry contracts. According to a Greek Travel Pages (GTP) Headlines interview with WTM London exhibition director Juliette Losardo, this year’s themes will include the future of tourism, sustainability, technology, and insights.

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WTM’s themes are devoted to the advancement of tourism. Issues like sustainability are increasingly pertinent in travel and tourism. According to GlobalData’s Q2 3033 Consumer Survey, 94% said that they actively look for sustainable options before making a purchase*. WTM London aims to unite the global travel industry, companies, organisations, and professionals alike, to share sustainable practices and ethical methods and drive the responsible tourism agenda. Through the World Responsible Tourism Awards, the WTM also recognises businesses doing the most to develop and implement responsible practices. By addressing a major theme, such as sustainability, the WTM is contributing to raising awareness of issues and spreading knowledge about practical solutions to sustainability challenges. 

*GlobalData’s Q2 2022 Consumer Survey – 21688 respondents