Travel and tourism professionals from around the world will reconnect for the first day of World Travel Market Virtual today, as the event debuts from London.
The three-day virtual event for the international tourism community will run until Wednesday.
The show also includes the Travel Forward Virtual and International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC).
The conference sessions will also host top politicians, leading academics, health experts and the world’s media, as the travel industry plans for recovery in 2021.
Highlights of this week’s agenda include a global tourism forecast from Euromonitor International, a conversation between the tourism ministers of Israel, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as the UNWTO minister summit.
WTM senior director, Simon Press, said: “The travel and tourism industry is facing its worst crisis in living memory, so World Travel Market Virtual will provide a crucial platform for planning the bounce-back, reconnecting with business partners, forging new connections, and learning about the best way forward.”
The Euromonitor International report will explain why global tourism will take between three and five years to recover from Covid-19.
Called ‘Accelerating Travel Innovations after Coronavirus,’ the study will also reveal how the travel industry is innovating in order to survive the devastating impact of the pandemic.
The turbulence in aviation will be discussed on all three days of WTM Virtual, starting with a debate about trends and forecasts.
A session today called ‘The Long-run Evolution of Aviation Activity following the coronavirus pandemic,’ will feature expertise from Virgin Atlantic, Boeing, IATA and Tourism Economics.
The summit will also hear from Oliver Dowden, the British secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport.
It will be followed by ‘Tourism: The Path to Peace in the Middle East’, with the tourism ministers of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
In September, these countries signed the Abraham Accords, a historic deal that enables business opportunities and tourism prospects.
The ministers will be discussing the new travel and tourism opportunities and the sector’s role in supporting peace in the region.
It will be the first time the tourism ministers have met since signing the agreements.
Press concluded: “Since 1980, World Travel Market has provided an essential forum for the industry to do business, network and learn about trends in the market.
“This is the year where global connections need to be maintained, build those networks and understand what’s happening in these extraordinary and challenging times.
“Our delegates will be able to keep ahead of the game and lay strong foundations for recovery and innovation in 2021.”