A packed programme covering social media, responsible tourism, careers and blogging is lined up for the fourth day of World Travel Market (WTM) London 2015, a leading global event for the travel industry.
“Whether you’re a tech start-up or a student, or looking to use new social media techniques to sell more holidays, or improving your green credentials, there are plenty of ways to learn from the experts and hear the latest research in each field.”
The busy schedule of speed networking, conferences and seminars on Thursday, November 4, offers delegates the chance to hear from industry leaders, and take part in unrivalled business and networking opportunities.
“The opportunities to boost your business and career are second to none”, Mr Press added.
Events kick off at 9am with a WTM Speed Networking event for WTM Buyers’ Club members and exhibitors. The intensive hour-long session at the Global Stage (AS850) offers participants the chance to hold many mini-meetings with potential business partners, which can be followed up that day, or after WTM London.
Meanwhile, the Holidays Matter Annual Conference will be getting under way in Platinum Suite 5 & 6. Organised by the Holidays Matter Network, this day-long conference will bring together industry partners, charities and researchers to make connections, share best practice and find out how to help people who cannot afford an annual break.
Another speed networking event will take place from 10am-11.30am, this time for 100 of the world’s leading bloggers to meet exhibitors. Taking place in Hall Entrance S11, the mini-meetings allow bloggers to discuss ways to increase the exhibitors’ media exposure.
Budding tech entrepreneurs should head for the Travel Tech Theatre TT390 at 10.15am for #DTTT Travel Start-up Pitches. The two-hour session is hosted by Nick Hall, founder of the Digital Tourism Think Tank, with trusted start-up advocate Alex Bainbridge — Chief Executive of travel tech firm TourCMS — and a panel of tech experts.
Travel start-ups will pitch to the audience and delegates will vote live to choose which ones are worth backing.
Over in South Gallery 19 & 20, the Responsible Tourism and Snowsports session will be studying the environmental and social impacts of ski and snowboarding holidays.
Taking place from 10.30am, the hour-long debate will feature four panellists describing what their business or destination has done to reduce the negative impacts of snow-based tourism, and what the industry can learn from their example.
Travel and social media
The first is ‘Instagram for Travel’, a session dedicated to advising delegates who want to take advantage of the rapidly growing medium of Instagram.
It will be followed by a session asking: “Can social media sell travel?”
Twitter and Facebook are adding ‘buy’ buttons; Instagram is making it easier for brands to work on the platform; and Google wants to make shopping easier from search.
The panellists will study how this could work in travel and tourism.
Looking at new PR trends, it will feature bloggers, content marketers and travel companies speaking about their experiences and sharing best practice.
The fourth Travel Perspective session examines why online video cannot be ignored.
The world’s dominant video platform, YouTube, is now 10 years old and is launching premium services, while live streaming is the one of the most exciting new developments in social media.
Conference for students of travel and tourism
Another conference will kick off at 11am, organised by the Institute of Travel and Tourism.
The ITT Future You Conference is the leading conference for students of travel and tourism, and will provide delegates with an unparalleled opportunity to hear from the sector’s rising stars and leading figures.
The line-up of industry’s brightest emerging talent includes the latest winners of TTG’s 30 under 30 Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders, giving their insight into how to succeed.
The two-hour conference will take place in Platinum Suite 3 & 4.
Called ‘Freshwater and Marine Cruising’, it will bring together experts to discuss sustainability and the social, economic and environmental effects of cruising. The debate will be chaired by Harold Goodwin from Manchester Metropolitan University, who is also WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor.
Starting at 1pm, the final responsible travel session will have all the ingredients for a tasty debate, as it covers the issues of food and drink on holiday.
Entitled ‘Can you taste the difference?’, the hour-long session will be in South Gallery 19 & 20, with panellists discussing culinary tours, authentic and fairly-traded food, and benefits for local economies.
GTP is an official media partner of WTM London 2015.