The four-day World Travel Market travel trade exhibition which starts today in London is expecting over 50,000 visitors and, as ever the focus for most will be the year ahead and how the continued impact of global recession will effect their businesses.
The event will be officially opened by London Mayor Boris Johnson, as it celebrates its 30th anniversary and a WTM global travel trends report is being published, while the World Travel & Tourism Council will give details of how it thinks tourism will cope with the economic downturn in 2010.
Ian McCaig, CEO of lastminute.com, guest speaker at World Travel Market’s Captains of Industry Lunch on Monday 9 November, is warning of a tough year ahead.
“I am very clear that 2010 will be just as challenging”, he said. ”No one can be complacent.”
“The travel and leisure industry continues to change at breakneck speed and in fact I would argue that recent economic conditions have accelerated the pace of that change.
“All of us need to be prepared to find our places in the business model that’s evolving here and do it quickly. Those who hesitate will indeed be lost.”
Elsewhere at the show an offical Iraqi delegation is attending promoting the country as a tourism destination.
The delegation of Iraqi officials, led by Tourist Board of Iraq Chairman Hammoud al-Yaqoubi, is attending to lead the country’s economic and social regeneration following the formation of a permanent government in May 2006.
It will be the first time Iraq has attended a travel trade event in Europe for more than a decade, as al-Yaqoubi looks to promote Iraq as a viable tourism destination to the travel industry.
And finally casts form blockbuster London West End musicals CHICAGO, PRISCILLA Queen of the Desert, JERSEY BOYS and MAMMA MIA! will star in a fast-moving, non-stop show, spectacularly marking World Travel Market’s 30th anniversary.
The 45-minute show - highlight of a 30th anniversary party for exhibitors and visitors - is produced and presented in association with London West End’s theatrical promotions agency Dewynters Ltd.
It will be staged on Wednesday 11 November at London ExCels’ Central Boulevard, immediately after World Travel Market closes for the day.