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Wednesday, 16 September, 2020, 17 : 45 PM [IST]

WTM London & Travel Forward to go virtual in November

World Travel Market (WTM) London and Travel Forward – the travel and hospitality technology event co-located with the former will be entirely virtual in November.

Live shows had been set to take place at ExCeL London (November2-4, 2020); however, the continuing travel restrictions, imposition of quarantine requirements and local lockdowns across Europe mean that the events will be fully virtual experiences.

Simon Press, Senior Director, WTM London, said, “Sadly, this year will be the first time since we launched WTM London in 1980 that there will be no live event. We have worked tirelessly to organise a physical show, but the increasing number of travel restrictions and the uncertainty around the world means it will be impractical for many overseas visitors to attend in person. Additionally, there remains uncertainty around business events and conferences being allowed to take place in the UK.  The official deadline for this decision being the 1st October.

However, thousands of travel trade professionals from around the globe will still be able to meet and do business in an extensive range of virtual sessions, to help the industry recover, rebuild and innovate.”

WTM Virtual will take place from November 9 to 11, offering 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.

The virtual show will also see an investment summit in partnership with ITIC – International Tourism & Investment Conference – and a new Marketing Forum and masterclass workshop in partnership with The Five Percent.

The WTM Virtual will have four virtual theatres to host webinars and debates, including the Responsible Tourism.

Furthermore, a virtual version of Travel Forward is being shaped up and will combine virtual exhibition, free virtual conference sessions and speed networking for start-ups to meet investors.

With the theme “Resilience, Innovation, Response”, Travel Forward Virtual will add a technology-based approach in supporting the recovery of the travel and tourism industry.

Richard Gayle, Event Manager for Travel Forward said, “Travel Forward is the event that embraces fresh concepts and innovative projects to inspire delegates. This year, running Travel Forward virtually will allow us to connect even more with global travel tech companies wanting to promote themselves to the world. We are confident Travel Forward Virtual will offer delegates all the support and ideas about how the industry recovery and more solutions to overcome the biggest challenges facing the travel industry.”

Press added, “We made the decision to transition to a virtual-only event after a great deal of consultation with our industry partners, sponsors, delegates and staff. We know this will be a disappointment to all those who were planning to attend the live show.

“However, our main objective has always been to deliver a global show bringing travel professionals from the seven continents, and we are now channelling our energies into the creation of an outstanding, large-scale digital gathering that will enable the travel industry to connect, to network, do business and learn about this new consumer environment.

“We will miss meeting you in person at ExCeL but we have the skills, experience and resources to produce an engaging and effective show to support the industry’s recovery.

“2020 has been a challenging year, but we pledge to do everything we can for the travel industry in 2021 and bring you the best live version of WTM London from the last 40 years”.

 
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