From 1 – 3 November UKinbound returned to the ExCel London for World Travel Market London 2021. It was fantastic to see the international travel industry come back together for one of the most important events int he UK tourism calendar – now even more critical as recovery begins in earnest.
We were delighted to be back hosting the UK stand in partnership with VisitBritain, and were joined by a fantastic range of tour operators, attractions, accommodation providers, transport providers, and destinations representing the length and breadth of the country – from Aberdeen to Jersey and plenty in between.
With travel restrictions into the UK only recently lifted, there was lingering uncertainty around whether the event would deliver the volume and quality of buyers that our exhibitors had hoped for. Any nerves soon dissipated as the gates lifted and the UK stand was quickly abuzz with activity as our exhibitors got stuck into back-to-back business meetings – and our stand became one of the busiest in the venue.
We were honoured to welcome the Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston MP to the stand on the second day. It was a valuable opportunity for our exhibitors to engage directly with the Minister and explain some of the challenges many inbound businesses still face – in particular tour operators and DMCs, whilst showcasing the incredible diversity, vibrancy and tenacity of our wonderful industry. Exhibiting at World Travel Market, side by side with the world’s top tourism destinations, perfectly demonstrated the crucial role inbound tourism has to play in the UK’s economic recovery and in maintaining the UK’s global standing as a competitive, desirable and welcoming place to visit.
With two flagship events – our Annual Convention in September and now WTM – under our belt in as many months, there is now a real feeling of optimism and growth as we look to 2022 and beyond. The next year will present major opportunities for UK tourism, from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, so it’s vital that the industry continues to be supported through the winter season to ensure we’re fighting fit come Spring and well-positioned to take full advantage of the pent-up demand from international markets. As part of this, UKinbound will be submitting a response to the DCMS Select Committee inquiry on promoting Britain abroad.
For more information on WTM and to register interest in exhibiting with UKinbound in 2022, please email [email protected].