Tracey Poggio chairman ANTOR

What to expect at World Travel Market

Tracey Poggio, chairman, ANTOR, offers a round-up of some of this year’s trade shows at WTM.

Members in Europe are celebrating longstanding awards, international festivals, relationships with airlines and the introduction of AI into attractions with guest appearances and G&T happy hours at WTM 2019.

Cyprus – an island of contrasts and year-round sunshine – will celebrate its beaches, special interest activities, mouthwatering cuisine and hospitality.

Finland's Moomins will be making a guest appearance on Monday and Tuesday, and Lisa Kokkarinen, head of the Sustainable Arctic Destination Programme, will be speaking in the session on 'Cities-Tourism Sustainability- Resilience'. Sweden’s partners will be a three-minute stroll away from WTM for meetings.

France will host 70 French tourism partners, and on Monday at 2.30 pm, they will host the signing of a three-year partnership with easyJet.

In Gibraltar, the tourist experience at St Michael’s Cave will be enhanced with AI in a series of changes to the Gibraltar Nature Reserve visitor experience. Advanced technologies will create a touching experience for all ages, using abstract and awe-inspiring projections of key moments and characters from the past. Additionally, there will be daily G&T hours on the stand to celebrate the opening of the new gin distillery “Spirit of the Rock” and its unique blend “Campion”.

Serbia will host the EXIT festival, taking place in Novi Sad, which is home to 70 pristine nature reserves and five national parks.

VisitBritain will focus on three core initiatives made possible by the government’s £40m 'Discover England' fund, including developing world-class bookable tourism products, and educating the English travel trade with the Tourism Exchange GB platform.

Taking place at the Middle East and Gulf Region section, members will announce increased visitor numbers new museums and hotels, extra airlift and host lunch on the stand. For example, Egypt welcomed 11.4 million UK visitors in 2018, an increase of 30% since 2017 and developments will set Egypt up for future growth, including: the opening of The Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo’s Sphinx International Airport, six hotels, the Mayflower’s five-star deluxe boat and the Sonesta Sun Goddess Cruise.

Jordan is celebrating the launch of the twice-weekly, winter direct easyJet flights from London Gatwick to Aqaba, seeing a 24%increase in visitor numbers in 2019 to date.

Qatar will be promoting the opening of Qatar’s National Museum, and highlighting the destination’s cultural offerings and the latest developments in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022. Architectural models of the FIFA World Cup 2022 stadiums will be on display throughout the show.

Ras Al Khaimah will be discussing adventure offerings, the destination strategy and future projects, during lunch on their stand on Tuesday from 12pm-2pm.

In the Americas, Miami is partnering for a second year running with American Airlines and their local hoteliers this year, celebrating 30 years of American Airlines presence in Miami.

In the nearby Caribbean, 14 islands of the Bahamas, the majority of which were unaffected by Hurricane Dorian, will be representing idyllic holidays in The Bahamas with the knowledge that their very presence is helping the recovery of storm-hit islands. Tobago will be celebrating its increased visitor numbers with live entertainment from a steelpannist, a Tobagonian drummer and accompanying singer, providing traditional entertainment and music with daily tastings of award-winning organic Tobagonian chocolate.

Last but not least, in Asia, Taiwan will be hosting its annual happy hour including snacks at 4pm on Monday plus fantastic prizes to be won, and India is focusing on niche experiences, including many exciting and traditional Indian activities, including henna, turban tying, sari tying, yoga, cultural dance performances, and an Indian food demonstration on their stand.

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