The global event for the travel industry World Travel Market has revealed there will be 183 new exhibitors at the event for 2011.
Travel & tourism industry professionals are arriving at London Excel in preparation for the event which gets underway today.
National tourist boards, destination management companies, technology companies, ground handlers, lodge owners, and tour operators are all hosting their own stands for the first time.
The growth has been largely driven by the technology and online travel region, which will host 71 exhibitors with their own stands for the first time. The increase is symptomatic of the growth of the importance of technology in the industry.
Companies making their débuts cover virtually ever aspect of the online travel world and include 3D interactive travel-guide platform 3rd Planet, digital agency Fortune Cookie, hotel room recommendation site Room 77, online marketing specialists World Independent Hotels Promotion, and tour operator booking systems provider TigerBay Software.
Following the technology region is Europe, with 32 exhibitors making their début. Coming from far and wide across the continent, they include the tourist boards Latvian Tourism Development Agency and the Crimean Tourism Development Centre, tourist attraction the Istanbul Sapphire Observation Deck, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon Spa, and luxury hotel chain Aqua Vista Hotels.
Asia offers a total of 27 first-time exhibitors at this year’s World Travel Market, all representing the diversity of product available today in the East. Tourist boards include Goa Tourism and Ile de la Reunion Tourisme, group travel specialists Easia Travel, Mongolia adventure specialists Selena Travel, and the Somatheeram Ayurveda Group, owners of the first Ayurvedic resort in India Somatheeram.
Meanwhile, the Global Village region will see 16 exhibitors from all parts of the industry appearing for the first time.
They include Bournemouth University, Travel Group Marketing, travel and tourism consultancy Tourism Intelligence International, B2B hotel booking service provider Innstant Travel, and SurPrice Car Rental.
A further 15 new exhibitors will attend the show in the Africa region highlighting the continued development of African tourism.
Those making their débuts include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, newly-formed ground-handling company Albrieux Africa Tours, truck touring specialist Nomad Adventure Tours, destination marketeers the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa, and the Savoy Sharm el Sheikh.
The UK is next with a total of 14 exhibitors coming from across the country to make their first appearance at the event. They include tour operator Thomas Cook Sport, tourist attraction the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, tourism office Visit Guernsey, Windermere Lake Cruises, and hotel operator Millennium&Copthorne Hotels.
Meanwhile from the Americas and Caribbean, 8 new exhibitors are attending the event including the Belize Hotel Association, tour operator Latin America Travel, and luxury ecolodge the Pikaia Lodge from the Galapagos.
Reed Travel Exhibitions Director World Travel Market Simon Press said: “World Travel Market is delighted to welcome 183 new exhibitors for WTM 2011.
“The number of new exhibitors at this year’s event shows the importance of WTM for generating business for exhibitors.
“WTM 2010 generated a massive £1,425 million in industry deals and research of our Meridian Club buyers reveals they plan to sign contracts equating to even more business this year.”