Smart technology: Gateway to the UK?

Smart technology: Gateway to the UK?

Digitalisation is providing new opportunities to entice tourists to visit regions outside of London, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International, released today (Monday 2 November) at World Travel Market London.

Only 9% of the 17 million visitors to London in 2014 ventured ‘up north’, according to ONS statistics, yet that figure is set to increase as cities up and down the country experiment with smart technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “UK cities are redefining their tourist offerings, with many turning to digitalisation and hi-tech solutions to attract visitors. This can range from simple smartphone applications and online games to sophisticated, smart cities that use big data to transform the urban experience for both residents and tourists alike.”

Bristol, for example, has installed more than 200 beacons around the city, which use Bluetooth connectivity to send and receive data from nearby smartphones, providing visitors with information relevant to where they are.

Bristol is part of the Government-backed UK Smart City initiative, where IoT projects are creating efficient urban services for residents and visitors, reveals the report – which is celebrating its 10th anniversary at WTM London 2015. Embedded digital technology around cities can improve transport, accessibility and facilities and some technological advances are expected to become tourist attractions in their own right.

One such project is the trial of driverless cars in Milton Keynes. The self-driving pods are located in pedestrianised areas and visitors can hail a vehicle by smartphone app.

Caroline Bremner added: “Smart City projects can help cities differentiate themselves from competitors by offering cutting-edge technology applications to help visitors make the most of their stay.

“For tourists the IoT could bring real-time information on traffic and public transport, platforms to gather and distribute information about cities as well as efficient allocation of resources to boost sustainability.”

Although smaller tourist boards and attractions may find the cost of some projects prohibitive, they will seek out joint ventures to share the cost rather than miss out on digital opportunities.

In addition, some initiatives are open to all, such as #RealTimeTravelGuide, backed by VisitEngland, which delivers real-time visitor information via Twitter. Participants including tourist information centres are encouraged to engage with and support local businesses to share their announcements, offers, updates and reasons to visit specific locations.

World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “Ten years ago, when the WTM Global Trends Report in association with Euromonitor International was launched, no-one had any idea just how widespread the use of smartphones and other technology would become. The opportunities for tourism in the digital age are endless.”


About WTM Global Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International

Celebrating 10 years of partnership, the leading global travel event World Travel Market (WTM) and strategic global market research provider Euromonitor International are pleased to reveal the top travel trends in the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International. For ten consecutive years, the report has been at the forefront of accurately predicting major travel trends around the world, looking at how the travel industry is developing in a rapidly changing landscape. The WTM Global Travel Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International, offers an insight into to the size and shape of travel and tourism and identifies pressing industry issues, emerging brands, destinations and demographics, growth categories and consumer trends.

About World Travel Market London

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.

WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa.

World Travel Market Events

World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.

The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.

In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.

WTM is  part of Reed travel Exhibitions, the leading events organizer in the travel industry, and is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.

Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.

RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.

RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

About Euromonitor International

Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have over 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets. We deliver market research solutions to support strategic planning for today’s increasingly international business environment. Our research offers in-depth market analysis on consumer goods and services industries worldwide, as well as economic, demographic and socio-economic data and insight on countries and consumers. Euromonitor International is headquartered in London, with regional offices in Chicago, Singapore, Shanghai, Vilnius, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Dubai, Cape Town, Tokyo, Sydney and Bangalore, and has a network of over 800 analysts worldwide.

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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