WTM Virtual and Trave Forward Virtual will take place from November 9 to 11 this year, with the tourism board of Andalusia as WTM Virtual’s Premier Partner for 2020 and 50 per cent of the buyers interested in the Middle East
Travel companies and tourist boards from around the world are preparing to set out their stalls at WTM
Virtual and Travel Forward Virtual (November 9 to 11).
Thousands of travel professionals are due to take part in the online events, to showcase their destinations, services and tours to delegates from across the globe.
Many exhibitors have signed up as main standholders and – as with live events in the past – they are hosting lots of companies within their stands, to add value to the shared experience.
The tourism board of Andalusia – WTM
Virtual’s Premier Partner for 2020 – has confirmed that 40 companies will share its stand to help promote products and services from the popular Spanish region.
The USA will be showcasing its destination via the USA Pavilions with other important main stand holders such as Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority.
Other main stand-holders include the tourism authorities of countries as varied as Canada, Indonesia, Korea, Bulgaria, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, the Philippines, a host of Caribbean countries and Costa Rica.
These are each bringing more than 20 stand-holders from their nations.
Meanwhile, companies offering tours, accommodation and tourism services have also taken main stands for next month’s online event.
“We have a host of fascinating smaller destinations represented, such as the Falklands, Slovenia, Gibraltar, Malta, Ras Al Khaimah, the Seychelles and more”
– Simon Press
They include destination management companies such as Abbey Ireland & UK, DER Touristik and Elite Travel of Croatia.
Accommodation providers are represented, such as B&B Hotels and Hilton Cancun, as well as other enterprises, such as Davids of London, which offers chauffeur cars, tours and transfers.
Furthermore, there are technology and social media specialists among the main stand-holders, such as Ginger Juice and Juniper.
Even more technology experts can be found among the virtual stand-holders at Travel Forward, which shines a spotlight on travel technology trends and innovations.
These include Vamoos, which provides apps to hotels and travel companies; audio provider Listen Technologies; and cloud technology platform Babble.
Several others offer booking systems and software such as Tourplan; GP Solutions; RightRez, Inc; WeTravel; and wbe.travel.
London’s Senior Director Simon Press said: "Now, more than ever, it is vital to restore and develop business connections, expand your network and find out about companies that can help your recovery in 2021.
"Our exhibitors range from major tourist boards and destinations, such as Andalusia, the USA and Japan, to specialists offering a host of services, such as responsible tourism, golf, spa and wellness, and attractions.
"We have a host of fascinating smaller destinations represented, such as the Falklands, Slovenia, Gibraltar, Malta, Ras Al Khaimah, the Seychelles and more.
"We’re delighted to welcome these exhibitors to WTM
Virtual and Travel Forward so they can meet senior buyers and potential business partners from across the globe."
He added: "It will be a different way of networking this year but the WTM
Portfolio team has hosted many successful virtual events during this pandemic, so exhibitors and visitors are guaranteed to have a rewarding experience.
Virtual and Travel Forward Virtual will set the scene for recovery and innovation in 2021 and beyond."
Buyers from travel firms around the world can reconnect with established partners, forge new contacts and make business deals. Organisers of the online event aim to host 5,000 pre-selected buyers from a diverse range of companies across the world and from their global database.
Of those buyers already registered, almost 50 per cent have expressed an interest in the Middle East region.
To date, over 100 exhibitors from over 10 destinations in the Middle East have confirmed. They include Dubai Tourism, Expo 2020 Dubai, Emaar Entertainment, Jordan Tourism Board, NEOM, RAKTDA and Saudi Tourism Authority, among others.
Buyers will have access to free one-to-one meetings, along with other opportunities to meet exhibitors taking part in WTM
Virtual and Travel Forward Virtual. Furthermore, they can meet members of the media and influencers from around the world.
Some buyers with spending power in certain sectors will be selected to take part in Speed Networking sessions during London Travel Week.
As well as sealing crucial business contracts for 2021 and beyond, the buyers will be able to learn about key travel trends as the industry recovers, rebuilds and innovates in the wake of the pandemic.
Those who apply will be vetted to ensure they are senior, high-calibre buyers and then they can join the WTM
This will enable free access to the entire WTM
Virtual platform, with many opportunities to connect, learn and do business.
The online activities start with London Travel Week (October 30 to November 5) which hosts networking and promotional opportunities ahead of the main events during WTM
Virtual (November 9 to 11).
London’s Senior Director Simon Press said: "This will be a vital opportunity for senior buyers to reconnect with valuable contacts in the wake of the pandemic, as we all look to recover and rebuild in 2021.
"Many travel businesses have seen widespread changes in personnel over the course of the Covid-19 crisis so it’s more important than ever for buyers and suppliers to make contact with the right people in order to plan their roadmap to recovery.
"Our number one priority is to facilitate meetings and networking – but another key element will be our conference sessions with thought leaders from across the travel industry. These will help buyers invest in the right products and destinations for growth next year."
He added: "Although we can’t meet in person this year, the online platform does mean that we can attract a wider variety of buyers than in previous years.
Portfolio team has hosted many virtual events in recent months and we have a 40-year track record of holding top-level gatherings, so buyers and suppliers can be confident that they will have a first-rate experience."