World Travel Market London 2015, the leading global event for the industry, has signed up almost 250 new exhibitors for this year’s event.
The 247 newcomers hail from all four corners of the globe and represent every travel sector, including airlines, tourist boards, luxury resorts and technology specialists.
They range from large corporations to small-business entrepreneurs who have spotted a gap in the market for a new product.
Together they will contribute to some of the 1.1 million on-stand meetings that are expected to lead to more than £2.5 billion worth of deals being agreed during the four days of the show.
Flag-carriers such as Avianca and Kuwait Airways and high-profile tourist boards from as far afield as Orlando, Tokyo, the Caribbean and Scotland are among the newcomers.
All nine WTM regions will host new exhibitors, with North America welcoming one of the world’s most recognised carriers – United Airlines – and the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the US – Visit Orlando.
The Caribbean region welcomes four new exhibitors: the hugely influential Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association; hotel group Palace Resorts; inter-island carrier Trans Caribbean Air and the Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board.
Latin America has six new exhibitors, including Colombia’s flag-carrier Avianca and Brazil’s Caiman Ecoturismo, while Asia has wooed eight new exhibitors, including representation firm Khiri Travel; the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau and a new tour company Pegu Travels, which offers experiences in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, fast becoming a popular tourist destination.
Two well-known UK tour operators – Premier Holidays and Cosmos Holidays – are among 39 new exhibitors in the Europe area.
Others include Ticket Bureau; Ibiza’s tourism promotion agency and Liberation Route Europe, an international remembrance trail that connects important milestones from the Second World War.
The UK and Ireland zone has 12 fresh faces including VisitScotland, which is taking its own stand for the first time; Norfolk Broads boating holiday firm Herbert Woods; B2B accommodation specialist Vanilla Tours; and group travel organiser The Group Company.
India, sponsor for the WTM Buyers’ Club, and Africa have attracted 12 new exhibitors each, including Hotel Pushkar Palace in Rajasthan and the tourism department of the state of Telangana in India, plus Morocco’s tourist board and the West Midland Safari Park, representing Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia, in the Africa region.
Middle East has ten, including major players such as Kuwait Airways; the tourism office of the Kingdom of Bahrain; and Dubai Parks & Resorts – which will open three theme parks and a waterpark in 2016, including Legoland Dubai.
WTM London, senior exhibition director, Simon Press said: “The fact that WTM London has signed up almost 250 new exhibitors shows how immensely important the global travel trade sees this event.
“The variety of new exhibitors is impressive, with small, entrepreneurial start-ups to tourist boards to well-established global operators and everything in between.
“With many opportunities to network and conference sessions that cover the whole spectrum of the industry, there is no better place to do business than WTM London.”