World Travel Market 2021 in London Attracts Global Participants as Tourism is Restarted

Published on: 04 November 2021


Excitement and anticipation were palpable in the air as thousands of professionals involved in the travel industry and guests from all around the globe gathered in London from 1st to 3rd November 2021 for World Travel Market 2021, one of the most significant exhibitions for the travel market industry.

Organized by Reed Exhibitions in ExCel, London, this year’s theme was Recover, Rebuild and Innovate. This marked the first time travel professionals, including tourism ministers, the press, and industry experts, have gathered together in such a large event since the Covid-19 pandemic began.


WTM London Virtual 2021

With numerous exhibitors from over a hundred regions and countries, three days were hardly enough to explore all the beautiful destinations and interact with everyone. Fortunately, WTM London Virtual starts from the 8th to the 9th of November, opening the travel fair to more people, even those not physically present in WTM London.

A virtual meeting point for the global travel industry, WTM London Virtual allows individuals to meet old contacts, reaffirm business contacts, as well as establish a wealth of new relationships from the comforts of their home or office. No need to hop on a plane to get back in business. Some of the contents expected at WTM London Virtual are a sneak peek of the most popular destinations of 2022, marketing secrets from gurus, and status reports from the world’s leading experts.

WTM Virtual is a virtual platform created to offer delegates all over the world the chance to do business, attend roundtables and conference sessions, arrange one-to-one virtual meetings, network, and more. WTM Virtual also embraces the leading travel shows on a single platform and allow exhibitors to promote their brand both live and online.

An innovative feature for this year is WTM Virtual giving exhibitors a physical stand on the show floor, in the form of a lightbox, so they can promote their brand even without staff.


WTM Industry Report

After almost two years of being locked up behind closed borders, people from all over the world are raring to pack their bags, hop on a plane and take a vacation and the World Travel Market is the perfect opportunity for various travel, including hotel chains, tourist boards, and cruise lines, to showcase their offerings to trade partners and buyers.

The exhibition opened with the WTM London Industry Report by the WTM Org from which participants gained more insights on emerging travel trends to help them tailor their offerings and cater to the needs of travelers everywhere.

According to the World Travel Market 2021 report, younger people nowadays are seeking the assistance of travel agents to book holidays. In a survey conducted among 1,000 respondents, 22% of people aged between 35 and 44 indicated that they are inclined to seek the help of agents while 21% of people aged between 22 and 24 and 20% of people aged between 18 and 21 say they feel the same way.

Consumers who participated in the survey further suggested that some of the places they were most looking forward to traveling to are Spain, Italy, Greece, France, and the United States.



World Travel Market 2021 is part of the London Travel Week festival, an event for both professionals and travel enthusiasts. Every November, London is transformed into a hotbed of festivities showcasing diversity, culture, and camaraderie among travel professionals. However, last year’s Travel Week had to be canceled at the height of the pandemic.

The event highly influences the next 12 months of tourism and as World Travel Market 2021’s theme, it aims to assist the travel industry recover, rebuild, and innovate after what has been an unprecedented situation that saw the tourism and travel industry being hit by losses.


Travel, Tourism, Responsibility, and Conservation

Aside from travel and tourism, keynote speakers also discussed a few more pressing issues in WTM London that impact the industry such as how to build back better for resilience and how the industry can play a bigger role in conservation.

World Travel Market 2021’s focus is not only on getting people to spend money on travel to breathe life into the industry but to do so in a responsible manner that will not jeopardize conservation efforts and take into account the future and welfare of some of the most popular destinations all over the world.

Among the things brought up during discussions were travel companies being obliged to commit themselves more towards conservation efforts through government legislation and implementation of conservation levies.


Saudi Arabia a Premier Partner at WTM London

Countries from the Middle East were among those that participated at WTM London. Saudi was the Premier Partner of WTM London 2021. The Arab country is aggressively ramping up its tourism drive to reach its target of 100 million visitors annually by the year 2030.

The CEO of Saudi’s Tourism Authority, Fahd Hamidaddin, says that the presence of the country’s delegates in this year’s travel fair will help leverage Saudi as one of the top leisure destinations in the world. At the pavilion, guests had the opportunity to explore what the country had to offer and they were also taken on an interactive journey through the country’s green landscapes, deserts, and ancient archaeological sites.

Saudi Arabia also announced a stream of agreements between the country’s major travel companies and international tourism partners. The partnership is expected to drive tourism traffic to the country, as well as provide market intelligence and education across the nation for tour guides and within universities.


Arab Countries Key Participants at WTM London

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism also showcased the emirate’s offerings on what is an opportune time to welcome and delight travelers as the country celebrates its Golden Jubilee this December. Abu Dhabi is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world. The emirate has numerous cultural events taking place this year and far into 2022.

The UK is considered an important market for the UAE as Brits love its culture, sea, sun, entertainment, and picturesque landscapes. More than a million British nationals visit the UAE every year and that number is expected to grow. Among the other Arab countries represented in this year’s travel market were Bahrain, Jordan, and Qatar.

Both this year’s physical travel fair and WTM Virtual in London are shaping up to be quite a success.


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