All live shows set to take place in November at the World Travel Market (WTM) London at ExCeL have been cancelled and the event will be entirely virtual, an announcement by Reed Exhibitions said on Monday.
“Sadly, this year will be the first time since we launched WTM London in 1980 that there will be no live event,” WTM London’s Senior Director Simon Press said.
Although live shows had been set to take place at ExCeL during November 2-4, the continuing travel restrictions, imposition of quarantine requirements and local lockdowns across Europe – all due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) – forced the organizer to hold only virtual events.
“2020 has been a challenging year, but we pledge to do everything we can for the travel industry in 2021 and bring you the best live version of WTM London from the last 40 years,” Press said.
WTM Virtual will take place during November 9-11, offering delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more.
The virtual show will also see an investment summit in partnership with ITIC – International Tourism & Investment Conference – and a new Marketing Forum and masterclass workshop in partnership with The Five Percent.
In addition, the UNWTO, WTTC & WTM Ministers’ Summit will gather tourism ministers and the private sector with a mixture of live and virtual events to set out a roadmap for a safer, greener and smarter future for the sector.
The WTM Virtual will have four virtual theatres to host webinars and debates, including the Responsible Tourism.
Travel Forward, the travel and hospitality technology event co-located with WTM London, will also be a virtual-only show.
Furthermore, London Travel Week will be returning virtually between October 30 – November 5 providing attendees with a chance to learn, network and innovate in the week leading up to WTM Virtual. The virtual event will include speed networking sessions for exhibitors, brands and destinations; virtual awards ceremonies of the World Travel Leaders’ Awards and the Responsible Tourism Awards; summits on wellness, BAME Tourism, LGBT Tourism; and destination briefings and press conferences.