Industry Report: Londoners will drive leisure travel recovery in 2022, says WTM London survey

Industry Report: Londoners will drive leisure travel recovery in 2022, says WTM London survey

Londoners look set to lead the way to the sun loungers in summer 2022, as more of them say they will book holidays – and they want to splash more cash on their travel plans next year, reveals research released today (Monday 1 November) by WTM London.

They are also better off after the pandemic than others across the UK and more intent on buying a much-missed overseas trip, reveals the WTM Industry Report.

The research shows that 28% of Londoners want to take at least one holiday in 2022 – compared to about 22% of consumers across the nation. Furthermore, less than one in 10 (9%) said they will not be booking a 2022 vacation, far less than the 16% figure seen nationwide.

A quarter said they would spend “significantly more” – by a margin of 20% or more – compared to 17% nationwide, and 28% said they would spend “slightly more” than before –  up to 20% more – compared to 25% nationally.

Also, the survey showed more Londoners seem to have come out of the pandemic in a better financial position, as 29% said they’re now better off than before Covid-19, compared to an average of 19% across the UK.

Finally, the research showed that Londoners are keener to spend their cash on a holiday, as two thirds of them (66%) said they would spend their extra money on a break, compared to an average of 63% around the country.

The research bodes well for the recovery of the British outbound travel industry, suggesting there is strong pent-up demand for post-pandemic getaways as restrictions ease, with more opportunities for growth from consumers in the capital.

This may well be thanks to the wider choice of flights and train journeys, as Londoners can travel from three major international hubs – Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted – and stations such as St Pancras International for Eurostar services.

Another factor could be the slower pace of recovery for airports beyond London and the southeast of England, meaning many holidaymakers in the regions have fewer options than before the pandemic.

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, takes place over the next three days (Monday 1 – Wednesday 3 November) at ExCeL – London.

Simon Press, WTM London Exhibition Director, said: “It’s great news that consumers in London seem to be so eager to get away in 2022 – they are fortunate to have three well-connected airports and an international rail network on their doorstep so they can take full advantage of the resumption of services to Europe and beyond, especially as travel restrictions continue to ease.

“We hope that the on-going recovery of the leisure market will enable regional airports to rebuild their networks too and enable more holidaymakers across the UK to book an overseas break without having to travel too far for their departure airport.”

The WTM Industry Report polled 1,000 people across the UK.




World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events, online portals and virtual platforms across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts. In 2020, WTM Virtual facilitated 20,000+ meetings and held 42 live content sessions over the 3-days show.

Next live event: Monday 1 to 3 November 2021 at ExCel London

Next WTM Virtual: Monday 8 to 9 November 2021 – Virtual

Travel Forward London is the leading travel technology event, co-located with WTM London. Travel Forward is renowned for showcasing the next-generation technologies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Over 19,000 travel officials and 150+ innovative solution providers attend for 3 days of cutting-edge insights, open debate and unrivalled networking opportunities. The combination of a 2-day conference, interactive exhibition and start-up showcase makes Travel Forward truly unique.

Next live event: Monday 1 November to Wednesday 3 November 2021 at ExCel London

Next Travel Forward Virtual: Monday 8 November to Tuesday 9 November 2021 – Virtual

London Travel Week, brought to you by WTM London, is the one-stop-shop for event hosts and visitors to be able to shape the next 12 months of travel together. The festival of events supports the global travel and tourism industry through capturing invaluable news and enhancing industry connections.

Next event: Friday 29 October – Friday 5 November 2021

WTM Virtualis the WTM Portfolio virtual platform, created to offer global delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings, to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more. WTM Virtual embrace the global leading travel shows in one platform.

WTM Latin America takes place annually in São Paulo and attracts around 19,000 tourism professionals during a three-day event. The show offers qualified content, as well as networking and business opportunities. In its ninth edition – the first 100% virtual – WTM Latin America followed its focus on effective business generation and reached the milestone of 4,200 meetings held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors.

Next event: Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7 April 2022 – Expo Center Norte, SP, Brazil

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 6,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors.

Next event: Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 April 2022 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 29th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2021 showcased over 1,300 exhibiting companies from 62 countries across nine halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, with visitors from more than 140 countries over the four days. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #IdeasArriveHere

Next in-person event: Sunday 8 to Wednesday 11 May 2022, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai

Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2022. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes ATM Virtual, ILTM Arabia, Arival Dubai, Influencers’ events and activations, as well as Travel Forward. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events as well as a series of country summits.

WTM Global Hub, is the new WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub.

About RX (Reed Exhibitions)

RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face to face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.


RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 33,000 people, of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX. The market capitalisation is approximately £33bn, €39bn, $47bn.*

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