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Interview – Juliette Losardo: ‘WTM London 2022 will be a Knowledge Center for the Tourism Sector’

The foremost global event of the international travel industry – World Travel Market London – will be back to its fully live, pre-pandemic format, this November at London’s ExCeL.

This year’s edition, taking place during November 7-9, will see hundreds of destinations exhibiting and brands from across the globe showcasing their new products to buyers.

With the strapline “The future of travel starts now”, the exhibition will look forward to the future, beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, and focus on how the industry powers on, and keeps up the resilience that was shown (in abundance) through the pandemic – to enable business deals and resolution-based conversation.

“In our 42nd year, World Travel Market is a trusted source – a knowledge centre for the tourism sector and a facilitator of business connections,” says Juliette Losardo, the exhibition director of WTM London.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) caught up with Losardo to get a sneak preview of the event.

“This year, WTM London guarantees inspirational conference sessions, plenty of new features and networking opportunities galore, as we all look ahead towards the future of the travel industry,” she says.

According to Losardo, organisers are pulling out all the stops to make WTM London 2022 the most memorable so far, with a packed conference programme across four themed stages (Future Stage, Sustainability Stage, Technology Stage, Insights Stage) and over 70 live sessions.

“For over 40 years, WTM London has been THE place to meet new and existing business contacts and nurture relationships, and as the industry builds itself back after a challenging time, this platform is more important than ever.”

Following is Losardo’s interview to GTP.

  • After two challenging years for the travel and tourism industry, what can we expect from WTM London 2022?

Juliette Losardo: World Travel Market brings together the global leisure travel community; providing inspiration, education, sourcing, and benchmarking for travel professionals seeking to build unique and competitive, world-class travel experiences.

The exhibitors at World Travel Market showcase a comprehensive sourcing opportunity to anyone looking to build leisure travel getaways, and this year, we’re delighted to see so many regions of the world, and travel brands, once again, represented.

The conference at World Travel Market will address and debate solutions to the emerging trends coming out of the tourism sector and provide a home to the largest gathering of tourism policy makers globally – The Ministers Summit – in association with UNWTO and WTTC.

With the strapline “The Future of Travel Starts Now” we will look forward to the future, beyond the pandemic, and focus on how the industry move forward, and keeps up the resilience that was shown through the pandemic – to enable business deals and resolution-based conversation.

In our 42nd year, World Travel Market is a trusted source – a knowledge centre for the tourism sector and a facilitator of business connections.

World Travel Market attracts huge global attention and provides the ideal platform for those working in international travel and tourism to reunite in the most powerful way – in person – to develop their business networks, explore trends and seal important deals.

  • How will the “new traveler” face traveling in the years to come? Will it be in a very different way?

Juliette Losardo: The concept of how new generations will approach travel is truly fascinating. We have done much research on this topic over the past 12 months at World Travel Market, and within the conference programme you’ll see speakers addressing this very issue.  One of the key themes which we see emerging is that newer generations choose their leisure based on experience, rather than simply by destination.

  • The concerns regarding cost rise and inflation are amongst the factors that could impact travelers soon. Do you think that after a recovery in 2022, the travel and tourism industry could suffer a new fall?

Juliette Losardo: There will always be economic issues which affect our sector, and very few industries are immune to such fluctuations. Travel and tourism are robust and contribute significantly and consistently to global GDP. Forecasts suggest that this contribution will only grow, and that the industry is on a good trajectory. I think we all hope that the standstill that was created by the global pandemic was a once in a lifetime event, and in recent history there is nothing that compares. Looking to the future, I would expect challenges related to economic factors, but where the sector sees this challenge, opportunity will be close behind.

  • What destinations have already confirmed their presence at WTM London 2022? 

Juliette Losardo: We have been overwhelmed by the support of the industry – led by our loyal exhibitors, as we look forward to hosting the 42nd World Travel Market at ExCel London in November – take a look at the list, it gets bigger every day!

Confirmed exhibitors include tourism boards from destinations such as Greece, Mexico, Catalan Tourist Board, Balearic Islands, Guatemala, and the United Arab Emirates along with hotel groups such as Hilton. There are hotels, car hire firms and technology firms – the list truly goes on and on.

  • And Buyers, how many do you have confirmed until this date?  

Juliette Losardo: Registration opened during the first week of September, so we have just started acquisition, but so far, we are very happy with the response from global travel buyers and are performing very well against 2019 metrics.

  • How can an event like WTM London innovate and position itself for the new demands of the travel and tourism industry?

Juliette Losardo: World Travel Market is a B2B trade show, so its value lies in how it can help the industry trade more effectively. We are committed to driving business connections, leading the industry on best practise in response to emerging trends, and of course supporting the sector in the discovery of future opportunity.

At World Travel Market travel professionals can find inspiration, education, networking, and sourcing opportunities to enable the build of unique and competitive world-class travel experiences.

  • Will WTM London 2022 have again a digital format of the event? Last year, there were some critics regarding the fact that the physical event was too near to the digital one?

Juliette Losardo: In 2022 World Travel Market London will return to its live format only.

  • WTM London is known for its conferences and seminars. What can you say about this year’s programme?

Juliette Losardo: World Travel Market will always be driven by the developments seen within the sector and this year there will be four new conference stages dedicated to the emerging tourism trends, plus some brand new, very exciting features around the show floor.

The Future Stage is the largest conference stage and will host fundamental and futuristic content from a variety of sub-sectors such as space tourism, aviation and responsible tourism. We will hear from world class speakers uncovering what the future holds for the travel sector. The Future Stage will host the inaugural Ministers Summit, which is organised in association with UNWTO and WTTC –  this represents the largest gathering of tourism policy makers globally.

In addition to this you’ll see a Sustainability Stage, a Technology Stage and an Insight Stage – all delving deep into the most critical topics within tourism right now.

World Travel Market London takes place November 7-9 at Excel London.

Register now here.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is an official media partner of WTM London.

Follow GTP Headlines on Google News to keep up to date with all the latest on tourism and travel in Greece.
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