Inclusion was a key theme of Day Three at WTM with greater diversity suggested as a way to help widen both recruitment and customer bases. Technology was predicted to become rapidly more important to travel in the next five years with customers using VR for ‘try before you buy’ experiences. Meanwhile the final sustainability sessions saw a call for an industry-wide single certification system to avoid ‘greenwashing’.
- A United Nations-led pilot project to “put women at the centre of recovery efforts after Covid” has reaped rewards after research showed a higher percentage of women in tourism lost their jobs than men during the pandemic. As a result of the pilot, 175 people in Costa Rica had been trained on gender equality, 124 women employees had received a promotion and 50% of participating businesses now offer maternity leave of 14 weeks.
- Marketing experts have called on the travel industry to make its advertising more diverse and inclusive – and employ a broader range of staff.
Carol Hay, Founder of consultancy McKenzie Gayle, said: “Don’t think of the stereotypical – look at the talent, culture and heritage; use that in marketing. There are so many misconceptions and biases about gender and race.”
Tom McLoughlin, Founder of SEO Travel, added: “To make it better, look at your team – build a more diverse team with better insight.”
Amy Skelding, Senior Partner at Finn Partners, highlighted how Intrepid Travel aims to better represent people of colour, different ages, races and weight with its ethical marketing guide.
- A Gen Z influencer singled out Ryanair’s social media channels and Virgin Atlantic’s advertising some of the best in travel for younger consumers.
Non-binary TikTok creator Perrin Hooper – who has 401,000 followers on TikTok – told an audience at WTM London: “We want stuff like Ryanair – they have smashed their social media and TikTok – a perfect mix of original content and trends.
“I love the new Virgin ad; I feel as non-binary person, this is an airline where I can present myself however I want and I won’t be judged.”
- WTM organisers were challenged to put Equality, Diversion and Inclusion (EDI) further into the spotlight.
In a session looking at how far the industry had come in EDI over recent years, Graeme Jackson, Head of Strategic Partnership, The Travel Foundation, said that, while “there are definitely winds of change blowing,” he said: “This discussion could be on the main stage of WTM on Day One – and should be.
•Burnout expert Kelly Swingler urged employees to trust their own instincts and leave toxic workplaces.
The renowned executive coach and author told delegates that there is no single cause of burnout but warned that bullying, bitchiness and other hostile behaviour can create toxic work environments that can lead to stress and breakdowns.
“Every one of us should recognise that we should create happier, healthier workplaces, which stops burnout,” she told delegates in a session on the Future Stage organised by the Association of Women Travel Executives.
- Good PR is no longer about being a ‘press release factory’ and bloggers no longer cut it by posing half-naked on the beach, WTM’s PR and Digital Communications Summit heard.
Authenticity is key now, with Kelly Soderlund, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Trip Actions, saying: “People can smell fakeness from a mile away.”
Daniel Andrews, CEO of content marketing agency The Tree, said the way PR companies work with bloggers is changing: “We have to realise that it’s a new generation now and they are creators,” he said. “We have to work more carefully with them. The days of a half-naked man on the beach is gone.”
- Holidaymakers have temporarily lost their focus on sustainability in the “desperation for travel” after the pandemic but will rapidly regain it, tour operators have predicted.
Chris Wright, managing director, Sunvil, said ‘flight shaming’ had previously become an issue among his clients in 2019.
Sonal Patel, Audley Travel’s chief sustainability officer added that, “over the last two years clients have been more concerned about health and safety regarding Covid than sustainability.”
However, the panel agreed the issue was climbing to the top of the agenda again.
- The travel industry needs a single sustainability certification system to avoid ‘greenwashing’, a WTM London panel agreed.
Around 150 tourism labelling schemes exist in the UK, some of them paid-for, the session heard.
Chris Haslam chief travel writer at The Times and Sunday Times suggested an overarching scheme could be run by UNWTO.
- Addressing consumer demand for technology and sustainability could keep travel business better able to survive the economic downturn said Euromonitor International in a presentation of its latest research.
Technology is predicted to become rapidly more important to the travel experience with data and analytics continuing to be the technological priority of travel companies surveyed and artificial intelligence and augmented or virtual reality the next in importance.
Interest is particularly high in the Asia Pacific where 48% of consumers said they would use a VR headset to view holiday destinations before deciding to book.
Turning to responsible tourism, Euromonitor pointed out however that there was “a disconnect” between the level of travellers’ desire to travel more sustainably and travel companies’ action in this area.
To see press releases about these sessions and more from WTM London, click here: https://hub.wtm.com/category/press/wtm-london-press-releases/
Photography from WTM shows is available to download via the following link: https://wtm.mediafiler.net/wtm/start/index
World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events, online portals and virtual platforms across four continents. 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. The show facilitates business connections for the global (leisure) travel community. Senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating travel industry contracts.
Next live event: Monday 7 to 9 November 2022 at ExCel London and 6-8 November 2023 at ExCel London. http://london.wtm.com/
Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 30th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2022 attracted over 23,000 visitors and hosted over 30,000 participants including 1,500 exhibitors and attendees from 150 countries, across 10 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #ATMDubai
Next in-person event: Monday 1 to Thursday 4 May 2023, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai
Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2023. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes ILTM Arabia, ARIVAL Dubai, Influencers’ events and activations, ITIC, GBTA Business Travel Forums, as well as ATM Travel Tech. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events as well as a series of country forums.
WTM Latin America takes place annually in the city of São Paulo and attracts around 20,000 tourism professionals during the three-day event. The event offers qualified content together with networking and business opportunities. In this its ninth edition – there have been eight face-to-face events along with a 100% virtual one, which was held in 2021 – WTM Latin America continued to focus on effective business generation, and achieved the advance booking of six thousand meetings that were held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors in 2022.
Next event: Monday April 3rd to Wednesday 5th April 2023 – Expo Center Norte, SP, Brazil
WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2022, WTM Africa facilitated more than 7 thousand unique pre-scheduled appointments, an increase of more than 7% compared to 2019 and welcomed more than 6 thousand visitors (unaudited), the same number as in 2019.
Next event: Monday 3 to Wednesday 5 April 2023 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town http://africa.wtm.com/
About ATW Connect: Africa Travel Week’s digital arm, is a virtual hub packed to the seams with interesting content, industry news and insights, and the opportunity to hear from experts on a variety of topics in our new monthly webinar series. All with the aim to keep all of us in the travel and tourism industry connected. ATW Connect focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology.
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
RELX About RELX
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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