Coming at the end of the year, WTM London always provides a neat platform to look towards the next.
The buzz around this year’s show – the biggest yet – tells you that despite rising oil prices and, for the UK, the concerns posed by Brexit, travel is still the vibrant, dynamic industry we all love.
At WTM London, we learned that travel’s growth is far outstripping that of other industries and that managed correctly, it can be a force for good; indeed, G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip says travel could develop into “the greatest form of wealth distribution the world has ever seen”.
Poon Tip was among a stellar line-up of speakers at ExCeL, and in this issue we have a digest of the best sessions. We also salute the winners of the new International Travel and Tourism Awards and those for Responsible Tourism.
Looking ahead, we ask where the budget long-haul sector is heading after a summer that saw consolidation and a casualty. Despite this, it’s a sector that is growing significantly and allowing more of us – particularly in Asia – to see the world.
Our big interview is with Leisure Pass Group’s Ted Stimpson, who outlines just how enormous the untapped market for attractions passes is. We also learn how the UAE’s lesser-known emirates are gearing up for tourism and how Malta has changed its image, lowered its average visitor age and became a hip year-round destination.
China’s secondary gateways, opened up by a new wave of flights, are also under the spotlight and we have a round-up of 2019’s new attractions around the globe.
If you want proof of just how vibrant and dynamic this industry is, just flick through these pages.
Enjoy the read, and a well-earned rest this festive period.
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