The 40th edition of World Travel Market London was busy for GEC PR, with the team meeting with industry partners and media to update them on the exciting developments taking place with our clients. Key travel trends were also discussed during seminars at WTM, and we learnt all about the latest environmental concerns faced by the industry and the rise of conscious travel, as well as the changing role of the digital landscape in promoting destinations.

Here are the key trends we picked up on during our attendance at seminars hosted at WTM:

  • Influencer marketing shows no signs of slowing down – but could we see the end of Instagram and Facebook in the near future?
  • Digital content is on the rise and it’s taking new forms – voice is becoming a big part of production and Podcasts are growing in popularity.
  • Technology serves a purpose, but human interaction is still key in the travel industry.
  • Climate change and sustainability are becoming more and more important to travellers – people are conscious about their impact and want to ‘travel with a purpose’.
  • Gen Z is not a niche anymore. This generation will surpass millennials sometime this year and Instagram and YouTube remain the most popular channels to connect with that age group.
  • Authentic experiences and storytelling are still at the forefront.
  • Travellers want a friction-free, personalised and high-quality online experience.

Here’s a roundup of what our clients were up to at this year’s WTM:

Visit Maldives
Travel agents who joined us at the Maldives stand were transported to the island nation through Maldivian music performances and traditional snacks. On Monday 4th November, Mr Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), announced the destination’s tourism and marketing strategy in the UK for 2020 and answered questions about developments in the Maldives during a press conference. Sarah, Jen and Eliza from the team also toured London’s sights on the Visit Maldives branded Original Tour bus, which will be used for tours in Central London until 29th February 2020. Lastly, travel agents visiting the Maldives stand were entered into a prize draw and three lucky people won holidays to the Maldives. For more information, visit www.visitmaldives.com.

Madhya Pradesh Tourism
Delegates from Madhya Pradesh Tourism showcased the Indian state’s extensive wildlife offering, exquisite traditional culture, rich heritage, cuisine, and welcoming hospitality to partners who visited the stand at WTM. Next year is set to be an exciting time for tourism in Madhya Pradesh, as we expect the number of UK visitor arrivals to increase following the inclusion of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in an episode of the BBC wildlife series Dynasties by Sir David Attenborough. Madhya Pradesh, which is known as the ‘Tiger State’ of India, has also been named one of Lonely Planet’s ‘best value’ destinations for 2020, and travel agents who booked a meeting with the tourist board at WTM were presented with the chance to win a FAM to MP in order to experience the state for themselves. For more information, visit www.mptourism.com.

Odisha Tourism
Travel industry contacts who met with Odisha Tourism at WTM had the opportunity to discover the treasures of Odisha, which is also referred to as India’s ‘soul state’ and is a hidden gem for UK travellers who are planning to visit India. A raffle competition took place on the Odisha Tourism stand this year and the winner of the prize will travel to the state to discover its ancient temples, tribal cultures, and abundance of natural beauty for themselves. This includes Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and Chilka Lake, which is Asia’s largest inland saltwater lagoon and home to large flocks of flamingos. For more information, visit www.odishatourism.gov.in.

Kyoto Traveler’s Inn
For visitors heading to the Land of the Rising Sun during the 2020 Summer Olympics, Kyoto Traveler’s Inn offers experiential travellers a chance to stay in traditional Japanese accommodation with futon bedding and tatami flooring. Agents who visited Kyoto Traveler’s Inn on the Japan National Tourism Organization stand had the chance to try on a real kimono and those who uploaded their kimono selfie to social media were entered in a competition to win a three-night stay for two at the hotel. For more information, visit www.k-travelersinn.com/english/.

Women in Travel (CIC)
Women in Travel (CIC), the social enterprise dedicated to empowering women through employability and entrepreneurship in the travel industry, hosted three events at World Travel Market this year, plus an exclusive breakfast event at Odgers Berndtson. On the first day of WTM, Women in Travel’s founder Alessandra Alonso discussed the transformative power of travel for women during an inspirational talk with Céline Cousteau, who is the granddaughter of Jacques Yves Cousteau. A discussion on how travel and tourism can stimulate women empowerment and gender equity in Africa also took place on the second day of WTM, along with a seminar titled ‘Technology is a Girl’s Best Friend’, which saw the University of Surrey present valuable insights on the power of technology in the travel industry. For more information, visit www.womenintravelcic.com.

Are you interested in finding out how GEC PR can provide PR support for your organisation at next year’s World Travel Market?

Contact us at info@gecpr.co.uk to find out how we can help you achieve your PR and marketing goals in 2020.