WTM London 2021 will be the start of the industry’s recovery and the Industry Report will reflect the exhibition floor positivity
This week we’ve started planning and researching for the WTM Industry Report 2021. This has made us fast forward to Monday November 1 2021 – when the report is released at WTM London – to think about the shape and confidence of the industry as WTM London opens its doors for the first since before the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the moment the picture is mixed. The World Travel and Tourism Council claim the UK is losing £639 million a day with international travel being off limits. Its Economic Trends Report states Asia Pacific has been worst hit region with its contribution to GDP down 53.7% – compared to a global fall of 49.1%. The latest figures for Spanish tourism shows that arrivals in May totalled 1.4 million, 83% down compared to the same month in 2019.
The report’s function is to gage the buzz on the WTM London exhibition floor, the sentiment of the industry and holidaymakers, as well as to discover the popular destinations for the following year.
The past 15 months and the data highlighted above may make you think the industry will be downbeat and concerned for the future. We suspect it will be the complete opposite. WTM London will be the first major travel event for the industry to get together and sign deals face-to-face. Long overdue in an industry which is all about personal relationships and connections.
Six out of ten of the UNWTO panel of tourism experts believe international tourism will bounce back by 2022. With 14% believing 2022 will see the industry bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. More than a third (36%) believe it will be 2023.
The European Travel Commission are also predicting a strong 2022, with intra-European travel back to 2019 levels next year. The conversations for the industry to recover will start at WTM London.
In the UK, quarantine will no longer be required from Amber List destination from 19 June. The Amber List includes many of the UK favourite holiday hotspots including Spain and Greece. This has led to greater interest and booking, with easyJet saying flight bookings from the UK are up 400% with easyJet Holiday booking up 440%, compared to the week before the announcement.
So we believe the industry will have a positive and confident state of mind on November 1 2021 and the WTM Industry Report will reflect this optimism. There is an undoubted pent up demand from people to travel in 2022. Many people will travel in 2021 but the world should be more open in 2022, with less hurdles to travel.