WTM London is expecting ‘almost all’ countries to participate this year but predicts a reduced delegation from the US and South America at its live event due to Covid-19.
More than 200 countries have already confirmed their attendance at the event, which this year includes a live show at ExCel London on November 2-4 and a virtual event from November 10-11.
These both form part of London Travel Week, launched last year, as well travel technology event Travel Forward, which this year will be free to attend at ExCel London.
The UK government has given the go-ahead for the exhibitions industry to resume from October 1 in the UK .
The live event at ExCel is expected to have a higher presence of European destination exhibitors while the virtual event is likely to have all countries represented, said organisers.
Reduced delegations are expected from regions heavily affected by Covid-19 such as the US and south America. The virtual event, which is aiming for representation from all countries, will offer one-to-one meetings, networking opportunities, live and on-demand conference sessions.
WTM event director Simon Press said: “There remains huge demand for live content. We are bolstering the live event with a virtual offering the following week where businesses will have the opportunity to connect.
“We are expecting a very good performance even in this, the most difficult of years. Our visitor attendance will mirror the impact of Covid-19 on the world. The attendance sentiment is high. We expect all major regions to be covered across the live and virtual events; European presence is expected to be strong at the live event.”
To meet Covid-19 health and safety guidelines organisers are considering wider aisles on the show floor, a traffic flow system, socially distanced queues, and numbers of visitors each day will be carefully monitored “to ensure safe levels of attendance”. Capacity in the theatre settings will also be “carefully controlled”.
This year’s themes will be health, investment and the future.
Tie Ministers’ Summit on Monday, November 2, will include representatives from the public and private sectors and a manifesto will be produced from conversations before and during the event for a ‘safer, greener and smarter future’ for the sector, aimed at influencing government policies over the next decade. The UNWTO and WTM are partnering with the World Travel & Tourism Council to make it the UNWTO, WTTC & WTM Ministers’ Summit this year.