Travel industry professionals prepare for WTM London – the largest industry gathering since the pandemic began

Travel industry professionals prepare for WTM London – the largest industry gathering since the pandemic began
  • The UNWTO, WTTC and WTM Minister’s Summit will welcome more than 30 Tourism Ministers, including the UK Government Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston
  • Exhibitors from more than 100 countries confirmed, while buyers are coming from 141 countries and regions
  • All attendees will need to demonstrate their COVID-19 status by one of the following:

proof of vaccination; proof of a negative test result; or proof of natural immunity.

Face masks are strongly recommended

Thousands of travel industry professionals from more than 140 countries are preparing to visit WTM London next week (1-3 November) for the largest industry gathering since the pandemic began.

The continuing relaxation of travel rules in the UK and overseas in recent weeks has prompted a surge in exhibitor bookings and buyer registrations because travel to England is now easier.

For those who cannot attend in person, WTM & TF Virtual will take place online on November 8-9, offering further opportunities for networking and business deals.

The event organisers have now confirmed exhibitors from more than 100 countries signed in, while representatives from more than 141 countries and regions have signed up to WTM London’s Buyers’ Club.

These stand bookings demonstrate how many countries see the UK as an important source market in their recovery roadmap – and that WTM London is perfectly timed for 2022 inventory.

The event will also host tourism ministers from across the globe, industry experts, keynote speakers and members of the press.

Alongside the valuable face-to-face networking opportunities, WTM London will feature important sessions with insights and research about how the sector can recover from the pandemic and reflect the event’s theme: Reconnect. Rebuild. Innovate.

The show will start with the presentation of the annual WTM Industry Report, which sets out the key trends that exhibitors and buyers need to know.

The session will be moderated by Simon Calder, Britain’s leading travel commentator, with input from Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor; aviation expert John Strickland, Director of JLS Consulting; and Tracy Halliwell, Director of Tourism and Convention Bureau at London & Partners.

WTM London will also host the Travel Forward conference (1-3 November), which focuses on the technology driving the industry’s recovery, and International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC) which will hold the ‘Invest Finance Restart’ investment summit (1-2 November), bringing together investors, thought leaders, destinations and entrepreneurs.

Investment will also be the theme of the annual UNWTO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and WTM Ministers’ Summit (2 November) which provides a practical platform for Travel & Tourism leaders of the public and private sectors to share best practices and explore investment opportunities.

The Summit will welcome more than 30 Tourism Ministers, including the speakers:

Mr. Nigel Huddleston, MP of United Kingdom;

H.E Dr Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt

H.E. Vasilis Kikilias, Minister of Tourism of Greece

H.E. Massimo Garavaglia, Minister for Tourism of Italy

H.E. Rita Marques, Secretary of State for Tourism of Portugal

H.E. Bernadette Fátima Romulo-Puyat, Secretary of the Philippines Department of Tourism

H.E. Mrs. Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Sierra Leone

Federico González, CEO Radisson Hotel Group


UK Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

“It’s been a challenging period for the travel and tourism sectors, but the huge international attendance at the World Travel Market is testament to the resilience and hard work of those in the industry.

“This landmark event in the travel sector calendar is once again offering brilliant opportunities to reconnect, innovate and build back better for the future.” 

‘Investing in Tourism’s Sustainable Future’ is the timely theme of the summit, especially as WTM London will be taking place while world leaders are in Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

Furthermore, WTM’s responsible tourism programme – a firm fixture for many years – will debate travel and tourism’s role in the climate crisis.

There will be discussions with experts about conservation, nature, sustainability and ‘building back better’ – plus the presentation of the 2021 WTM Responsible Tourism Awards.

Exhibitors and buyers can get their face-to-face deal-making off to a great start with the Speed Networking sessions – five-minute mini-meetings that help forge new business relationships.

They will take place between 8.30am-10.00am at N1 entrance from the boulevard (West Entrance) on Monday and Tuesday of the show.

The session on 1 November will have buyers seated according to the European areas from which they are interested in buying.

The second session on 2 November will feature buyers seated by product type, such as responsible tourism, cruise, technology, adventure travel and others.

New for 2021 to help networking is the Smart Event tool, a contactless lead capture app that enables exhibitors to scan delegates’ badges to gather contact information and acts as a digital business card.

Developed by WTM parent RX, the app is available free for registered exhibitors and can be accessed via the Google Play store for Android devices and AppStore for iPhone users.

The contactless app is just one way that the event organisers are prioritising health and safety protocols at the venue.

Only pre-registered WTM London visitors who are badge holders and exhibitor badge holders will be able to attend.

Attendees will need to demonstrate their COVID-19 status by one of the following: proof of vaccination; proof of a negative test result; or proof of natural immunity.

WTM London will have a COVID testing facility inside ExCeL so visitors who need to take a test before flying home can do so without having to leave the venue.

Simon Press, WTM London Exhibition Director, said:

“We are very excited to be just days away from reconnecting with our travel and tourism colleagues from around the world as the sector rebuilds and innovates.

“It has been heartening to see the surge in exhibitor confirmations and visitor registrations over the past few weeks as the easing of restrictions has given more delegates confidence to travel.

“There is substantial pent-up demand for travel in 2022, so it’s crucial to gain a competitive advantage by doing business, networking and learning about key trends and best practice.

“WTM London will be the largest gathering of travel industry professionals in the world since the pandemic began so it will be the perfect platform for recovery in 2022.”

WTM London takes place from November 1-3 2021, at ExCeL, London, and will be followed by WTM Virtual on November 8-9.

Ends –

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 & TF 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

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.*

*Note: Current market capitalisation can be found at

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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world-leading events, content and digital tools that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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