World Travel Market 2019 has officially opened in London. The trade fair, held at the ExCeL Centre, celebrates its 40th year at the three-day event between November 4-6.
Reed Expeditions, which operates the event, said the first WTM welcomed 40 countries, 221 exhibitors and 9,000 trade visitors at London Olympia in 1980. It has moved twice since – to Earl’s Court in 1992 and the ExCeL in 2002. It now facilitates £2.8 billion in industry deals and has around 5,000 exhibitors from 182 countries and regions and more than 51,000 participants.
As well as the trade show, there will an extensive conference that will include leading lights from the world of tourism. Lord Sebastian Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will speak at the exclusive WTM Leaders’ Lunch this year. The Effect of Brexit on Staycations will be dissected (Monday, 12:15-13:15, UKI & International Inspiration Zone) in a discussion chaired by Chantal Bowman-Boyles, managing partner, Finn Partners, and including speakers John Sullivan, head of commercial, at Advantage Travel and Tom Jenkins, CEO at ETOA (European tourism association). At the Travel Leaders Speak: UK Travel Markets – What to Expect in 2020 event (Monday, 14:00-15:30, WTM Global Stage), Caroline Bremner, head of travel, Euromonitor; Jo Rzymowska, vice president and managing director, UK and Ireland & Asia, Celebrity Cruises; and Neil Slaven, UK Country Director, easyJet are among the speakers.