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The importance of trade shows for the travel and tourism industry


The seminars and presentations will inform you of industry trends and new developments.

Trade shows bring a business many benefits.  They give you the opportunity to make sales and gather qualified leads – nowhere else will you find a room full of people in buying mode, looking to source products and services like yours.  They also enable you to network with others in the industry – maybe you’ll source new partners, resellers or suppliers.  

Another major benefit is being able to witness all the latest developments within the industry – all the main players will be there, demonstrating or launching new products and services so you can see what they are up to, and what works and what doesn’t.  The seminars and presentations will inform you of industry trends and new developments.  

For individuals, trade shows offer the opportunity to source new products and services, see the latest trends and maybe take advantage of a promotional offer.

Recovering from the pandemic
The travel and tourism industry was one of the worst affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.  With international travel mostly suspended, many airlines didn’t survive.  A slump in demand for international travel along with travel restrictions hit the industry hard.  An ONS survey found that:

  • Monthly air passenger arrivals to the UK declined from 6,804,900 in February 2020 to 112,300 in April 2020, a reduction of 98.3%.
  • Greater London had the biggest fall in room occupancy of any English region from 2019 to 2020, with just 20% of rooms occupied in July 2020 compared with 90% in the same month in 2019. 
  • Hotel and travel agency businesses saw the steepest decline in turnover during the first national lockdown, falling to 9.3% of their February levels in May 2020.
  • In the three months up until June 2020, employment in the industry for fell by 21.5% compared with the same three months of 2019.

The industry has since recovered somewhat, travel restrictions have been lifted in this country and many others.  People have proved enthusiastic to get back to taking international holidays and the industry is growing again.  Predictions by the World Travel and Tourism Council state that the industry’s contribution to the global economy could reach up to $8.6 trillion this year, only 6.4 per cent down on pre-pandemic levels. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

New trends in travel and tourism
Attending trade shows will give businesses and individuals information about the direction that the tourism and travel industry is taking.  There have been a few notable trends:

  • The requirement for increased safety measures and cleanliness following the pandemic – consumers are much more particular about hygiene and many worry about entering busy places like public transport.  A survey found that 46% of travellers were afraid of catching the virus while using public transportation.  In addition, 63% of tourists said they would stay away from crowded attractions.
  • Increase in solo travel – More and more people are choosing to take trips alone.  The survey found that 30% of travellers were planning a solo trip last year, up from 17% in 2020.  
  • Travellers want local experiences – they are looking for authenticity and many firms such as Airbnb are responding to this by offering experiences offered by locals in a particular area.
  • Increased use of technology – travel firms have embraced the use of chatbots to aid customer service.  Some hotels in China are adopting robots to clean their rooms.  Many airports and airlines are adopting facial recognition software to increase security.
  • The blending of work and travel – the increase in working from home means that people can increasingly work from anywhere, and many are starting to combine travel with work.  The ‘workation’ is booming as people discover that the location of their work matters less.
  • Sustainability is becoming more of a priority – tourists want hotels to be environmentally friendly, and they increasingly want to support the local economy of where they travel to. 
  • Electric planes – small electric commuter planes are being developed by several companies and this trend is likely to continue due to the lower costs and better environmental impact.

Stand create by Quadrant2Design

Travel shows in the UK this year
To discover the latest trends for yourself you might want to attend one of these trade shows taking place this year:

1. A Place in the Sun Live – 6-8 May 2022 at London Olympia
The trade show is linked to the Channel 4 programme and is the largest overseas property exhibition in Europe.  Featuring hundreds of overseas property agents and experts on hand to guide you through the legal, tax, healthcare, financial, currency transfer and relocation issues.

2. Business Travel Show Europe – 29-30 June at London ExCel
This is the leading event for business travel and networking.  Keep abreast of all the developments affecting the business travel sector and how changes will impact business trips.

3. TravelTech Show – 29-30 June at London ExCel
This trade show brings together global decision-making technology buyers from within the travel industry to help them source innovative technology solutions for their travel business.

4. Group Leisure and Travel Show – 6 October at the Arena MK, Milton Keynes
Meet businesses associated with tourism in this country – from attractions to tour operators will be on hand to share their expertise.

5. Grown-Up Travel Show – 8-9 October at Harrogate Convention Centre
A new trade show for discerning travellers and empty-nesters looking to find adventure and explore the world.

6. Holiday Park and Resort Innovation – 2-3 November at NEC Birmingham
This is Europe’s largest event for the staycation industry.  Providing inspiration, resources and guidance to achieve more bookings.

7. The Luxury Travel Fair – 3-6 November at Olympia London
A show dedicated to the most discerning and experienced traveller.  Meet tour operators and agents to discover the finest hotels and luxury trips that money can buy.

Whether you are an individual looking for inspiration or a business associated to the travel and tourism industry, there are many reasons to attend industry specific trade shows.  Take it from an expert – Alan Jenkins, MD of exhibition stand contractor Quadrant2Design said ‘We see the same companies exhibiting time and time again due to the advantages they gain from attending a trade show, there really is no other marketing activity that can match it, as long as the show has a good arrangement and a correct exhibition plan, as well as a responsible involvement of the company. 

Main photo by Haley Black from Pexels

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