World Travel Market London 2023, the globe’s most influential event in the travel and tourism industry, is set to introduce three captivating fresh segments on the exhibition floor this year: Lodging & Distributors, Adventures, and Transit.
These novel areas will supplant the International Hub and will mainly feature private-sector exhibitors and non-destination exhibitors.
The inception of the Lodging & Distributors, Adventures, and Transit sections was a result of extensive research carried out by World Travel Market earlier this year. The research revealed a discernible shift towards travel purchase decisions based on experiences, particularly among younger generations, rather than solely on the destination.
WTM’s behavioral analysis illuminated the evolving preferences of travelers, with Millennials and Gen Z increasingly selecting travel experiences or items on their bucket lists, rather than focusing solely on the specific city, country, or region to visit.
Juliette Losardo, Exhibition Director at World Travel Market London, remarked:
“While Gen X might choose destinations like Spain, New York, or Paris, the newer generations are inclined towards wellness retreats, white-water rafting, or partaking in local community cooking classes.
“This year, we’ve observed a surge in non-destination exhibitors enrolling for WTM London in response to the shifting demands of younger travelers, who make travel decisions based on their desired activities and experiences.
“The novel sections, Accommodation & Distributors, Transit & Adventure, cater to this cultural shift by providing a platform for buyers to explore what’s fresh and exhilarating in one unified space.”
Within the Lodging & Distributors segment, attendees will encounter numerous suppliers, including:
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts – a renowned global chain of full-service hotels and resorts and the flagship brand of Hilton, a multinational hospitality giant.
- Intrepid Travel Group UK – a well-known small-group tour organizer with over three decades of experience offering adventures worldwide.
- European Tour Operators Association – the trade association representing global and European tour operators and suppliers in European destinations.
- Miki Travel – one of Europe’s largest and most experienced wholesale tour operators.
In the Adventures area, visitors can explore exhibitors such as:
- Go City (formerly known as Leisure Pass Group) – the world’s largest provider of sightseeing passes, operating in 30+ destinations, including London, New York, Sydney, and Oahu.
- Montparnasse 56 – operator of the Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck, offering breathtaking panoramic views of iconic Parisian landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower.
The Adventures section also features providers of sporting events, with XS2Event and Champions Travel Ltd offering access to top events worldwide. Additionally, you’ll find companies like City Sightseeing, Big Bus Tours, and City Cruises Ltd, all offering unique travel experiences.
Within the Transit section, attendees can connect with representatives from car rental companies and transport providers, such as:
- Rail Europe – a leading European train ticket and rail pass provider.
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car – a global giant in car rentals.
- Wheego Mobility – a prominent German car rental supplier.
- Global Passenger Network – an organization representing independent coach companies operating in 40+ countries worldwide.
The Transportation area also features representatives from the burgeoning river cruise industry, including Amadeus River Cruises, Dutch Cruise Line BV, and United Rivers AG.
Furthermore, the topic of experiential travel is comprehensively covered in the WTM London Conference Program 2023.
The program includes a session by Tom Hall, Vice President of Lonely Planet, titled “Engaging Experience Enthusiasts: Embracing the Mindset of the Next Generation,” taking place on the Innovate Stage on November 7th from 10:30 AM to 11:10 AM.
On November 8th, from 10:30 AM to 11:10 AM, a panel discussion entitled “Crafting Unique Customer Experiences Everywhere” will feature Vaishali Patel, Founder and Director of Vaishali Ltd; Jo Fennell, Head of Sales for Northern Europe at GetYourGuide; and Nishank Gopalkrishnan, Chief Business Officer at TUI Musement.
You can find the complete list of Experience Track conference sessions here.