Destinations, suppliers and attractions in the UK are set to see a sustained recovery in 2022, thanks to inbound and domestic holidaymakers’ keenness to explore the British Isles, reveals research released today (Monday 1 November) at WTM London.
About one in six Brits (16%) say they plan to book a 2022 staycation – despite widespread demand for foreign holidays as overseas travel is likely to recover in 2022 – while international travel buyers at WTM London are eager to seal deals for UK products.
The findings, from the WTM Industry Report, will be a welcome boost for UK exhibitors at WTM London, who will be keen to capitalise on the popularity of domestic tours and the pent-up demand for overseas visitors to return to Britain.
The figures come from two polls commissioned by WTM London – the first quizzed 1,000 consumers and found that 843 are planning to take a holiday in 2022. About a sixth (17%) of these say they will take a staycation.
The second survey spoke to 676 trade professionals and found that more than half (58%) are interested in contracting UK products at WTM London 2021, if they attend. The breakdown of figures showed that 38% were ‘extremely interested’ and 20% were ‘interested’.
When asked about particular destinations or regions, London was the most popular, but a wide range of others were also mentioned by respondents, including other parts of England (such as Devon, Cornwall, Kent and Manchester) plus Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
A wide range of exhibitors with interests and products in the UK will be at ExCeL – London for the WTM London this week (Monday 1 – Wednesday 3 November), including tourism association European Tour Operators’ Association; coach hire firm Abbey Travel; Dover District Council, which represents White Cliffs Country; London and UK tours specialist Golden Tours; and Merlin Attractions, which has a host of sites in the UK, such as Legoland Windsor, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Madame Tussauds and the London Eye.
Merlin Attractions’ own research shows that consumers in the US and UK are ready to return to theme park adventures “in their droves” because of the ‘JOLA’ phenomenon – the Joy of Looking Ahead.
After a difficult couple of years, families and groups increasingly want to book ahead in order to look forward to an outing and to spend time together, according to the attractions giant.
VisitBritain has forecast a slow recovery ahead, with a lot of ground to catch up after two years of highly restricted inbound travel.
It estimates that overseas visitor spending in the UK in 2021 was just £5.3 billion, compared to £28.4 billion in 2019.
Inbound trade association UKinbound has lobbied ministers throughout the pandemic to highlight the plight of its members, many of whom saw revenues plunge by 90% or more.
However, the reopening of travel between the UK, Europe and the US will offer hope for inbound tourism’s recovery – especially as 2022 will see a tremendous global opportunity for the UK. It will host and celebrate the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Festival UK 2022 and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Simon Press, WTM London Exhibition Director, said: “The findings suggests there will be brisk trading for the UK exhibitors at WTM this year – they will be keen to take advantage of the renewed interest in domestic breaks among the British market as well as making the most of deals to be struck with international buyers, who are eager to reconnect with suppliers after the hiatus in holidays to 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 Virtual, is 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 http://africa.wtm.com/
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 https://www.wtm.com/atm/en-gb.html
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. https://hub.wtm.com/
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. www.rxglobal.com
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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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