After two years of no in-person World Travel Market, I was delighted to hear from our company directors, Fiona and Sarah, that the much-anticipated travel trade event would finally make a return, uniting international tour operators, travel agencies, tourism boards and media contacts once again at Excel London from 1 November – 3 November 2021.
Being the new intern at GEC PR since September also meant that this would be my first time experiencing a trade event of this scale, entirely focused on the travel and tourism industry. In the few weeks leading up to WTM, I soon realised that although this year’s event would take place in a smaller capacity, the excitement and buzz within the industry was still as present as ever – perhaps because the pandemic taught us the real value of face-to-face contact and made us cherish these opportunities more.
At this year’s World Travel Market, GEC PR got to represent the two Indian State Tourism Boards: Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
Madhya Pradesh Tourism
Madhya Pradesh, often referred to as the ‘Heart of India’ due to its geographical location as well as its many natural wonders and spiritual sites, showcased its rich cultural heritage during these three days. From attending trade meetings to connecting with content creators, it soon became clear that the desire and enthusiasm for international travel was truly at the forefront. To top it off, the Indian State Tourism Board also won the Gold Award for its Rural Tourism Program at WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021, highlighting their commitment to create sustainable and regenerative trends within the travel industry.
The Southern Indian state of Karnataka presented a colourful world filled with vibrant culture, lush wildlife, and soothing wellness treatments at this year’s WTM. As for the on-stand activity, the Indian delegation charmed with their hospitality, giving a warm welcome to anyone who was interested in exploring the different facets India has to offer as a travel destination. However, my personal favourite feature was that stand visitors were able to create their own bespoke virtual travel memory through a fantastic photo opportunity that immediately transported them to magnificent locations in Karnataka.
Apart from representing clients, our team also participated in captivating and insightful tourism forums. These not only reflected on the drastic changes the travel industry has had to endure and adapt to over the last two years, but also presented a way forward, predicting future travel trends whilst emphasising the ever increasing importance of having a strong presence in the digital world of social media.
Following the event wrap-up – and upon having a moment to reflect and process the exciting whirlwind that comes with attending World Travel Market – I can confidently say that this was a truly extraordinary PR experience. I am certain that WTM 2022 will only exceed its predecessor.