WTM London Preview
WTM London adds 3 floor areas, caters to new trends
World Travel Market London (WTM London) 2023, one of the world’s most influential travel and tourism events, will have three new areas on the exhibition floor this year – Accommodation & Wholesalers, Experiences and Transportation.The new areas will replace the International Hub and predominantly showcase private-sector and non-destination exhibitors. The Accommodation & Wholesalers, Experiences and Transportation areas have been launched following extensive research carried out by World Travel Market earlier this year, which identified a trend towards travel purchasing decisions based upon experiences, as opposed to purely destination, particularly among younger generations. WTM’s behavioural research highlighted the changing habits of the traveller, with Millennials and Gen Z increasingly making travel choices based on experience or bucket lists, as opposed to just the city, country, or region they want to visit. Juliette Losardo, Exhibition Director at World Travel Market London, said: “While Gen X might go to Spain, New York or Paris, the newer generations want to visit a wellness retreat, go white-water rafting, or learn to cook in a local community. “This year we’ve seen an increase in the number of non-destination exhibitors signing up to WTM London, in response to the shift in requirements of younger travellers, who make travel choices based on what they want to do and experience. “The new Accommodation & Wholesalers, Transportation & Experience areas of the show tap into this cultural shift, offering a place where buyers can come and see what is new and exciting on offer, all in one place.” In the Accommodation & Wholesalers area, visitors will find dozens of suppliers, including: Hilton Hotels & Resorts, a global brand of full-service hotels and resorts and the flagship brand of American multinational hospitality company Hilton; Intrepid Travel Group UK, one of the world’s best-known small-group tour organisers, with over 30 years’ experience of providing adventures across the globe; European Tour Operators Association, the trade association for global and European tour operators and suppliers in European destinations; and Miki Travel, which is one of the largest and most experienced wholesale tour operators in Europe. Visitors to the Experiences area can find exhibitors such as: Go City (previously known as Leisure Pass Group) – the world’s largest sightseeing pass business, operating in more than 30 destinations, including London, New York, Sydney and Oahu – and Montparnasse 56, operator of the Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck that offers an incredible panoramic view overlooking the Eiffel Tower and other iconic monuments in Paris, are also waiting to be discovered in the Experiences area. Sporting events providers are also represented in the Experiences area, with exhibitors including XS2Event and Champions Travel Ltd, both offering access to many of the best events around the world. Also in the Experience area, City Sightseeing, the ‘hop-on hop-off’ tours; Big Bus Tours which allows travellers to discover places on an open-top bus; and experience company City Cruises Ltd. Last but not least, in the Transportation area, visitors can meet representatives from companies including car-hire operators and transport providers, such as: European train ticket and rail pass provider Rail Europe; car-rental giant Enterprise Rent-A-Car; German car rental supplier Wheego Mobility; and Global Passenger Network, an organisation of independent coach companies operating in more than 40 countries around the world. Also, in the Transportation area will be representatives from the fast-growing river-cruise sector, including 14-ship operator Amadeus River Cruises, Dutch Cruise Line BV – which operates a fleet of nine river ships – and United Rivers AG, provider of tailor-made white label river-cruise operations.