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World Travel Market 2014

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More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embarked last week on ExCeL - London to attend World Travel Market, and to negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends. WTM, now in its 35th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals.

According to unaudited figures, WTM 2014 has had a total 82,213 visits compared to 78,035 at 1pm on the third day of the 2013 event. The first two and a half days of World Travel Market 2014 experienced an impressive 7% increase in visitors, including buyers.
 
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday up to 1pm on Wednesday of WTM 2014, saw percentage year-on-year increases for visitors, and overall participants, with all delegates including visitors, buyers, international media and exhibitor personal up 5%. WTM 2013 generated more than 2 billion pounds of travel industry contracts, revealed independent research by Fusion Communications.

 

 
The stand of Hotelbeds, which expects to deliver double-digit growth across all its regions in 2014.
 
Hotelbeds has announced solid growth figures in all its regions, with Europe remaining the best-selling region and the MEAPAC region registering, once again, the highest growth rates. Mallorca, Tenerife, Barcelona, London and Paris were the travellers’ most-chosen spots in Europe.
 
 

 
The stand of Bulgaria
 
Bulgarian stand drew the interest of numerous foreign visitors at a meeting of Bulgaria’s interim Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy Branimir Botev with representatives of British and international media. Bulgaria was presented before the foreign visitors as an attractive tourism destination and a good place for investments and realisation of business ideas. Emphasis was put on key for Bulgarian tourism products: wine and gourmet tours, the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage and the Thracian civilisation, in particular, spa tourism, balneotherapy, and others.

 

 
Monday 3rd November 12:00–14:00 WTM Global Stage “eTourism Dynamics: Technology and hotel distribution online: outstanding competitive practices and exciting trends for the future”
 
This pannel investigated the distribution strategies for hotels and the issues that they emerging with the collaboration with the OTA’s.
 
What is been happening the last years is that several OTA’s have been expanding dramatically so they created oligopoly situations in the market place. Some of the conditions that they emerged in the contrast between the OTA’s and the hoteliers have got with issues that they are relating with brand identity and price parity”, stated Dr Dimitios Buhalis.

 

 
The stand of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism
 
This year, Turkey focuses on Istanbul, recently named top destination in the world by Tripadvisor readers and ranked 8th by the ICCA, as well as on its MICE offerings. Turkey also highlighted the historic destinations of the city of Bursa and its village of Cumalikizik and Pergamon in the city of Izmir newly added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List this year. Also, in the stand were presented the new tourism infrastructure developments of the country including the skiing centre at Mount Erciyes in Kayseri, close to the well-known tourism centre of Cappadocia.

 

 
The stand of New York
 
The number one destination in the USA, New York, after reaching its goal of attracting over 50 million tourists in 2012, expects to boost arrivals to 55 million by 2015.
 
The big delegation of New York state including Hudson Valley Tourism, Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, and Wine, Water & Wonders of Upstate New York, was attending World Travel Market in a bid to promote twin or multi-centre stays using New York City as a gateway to the rest of the region focusing on adventure travel, agro-tourism, historical or cultural sights.

 

 
A cute snapshot from the stand of Bolivia, which presented its tourism attractions under the campaign "Bolivia Awaits". 
 
"Bolivia will waiting for you, with all its natural rich culture, heritage and inviting to visit it in all its magnitude and splendor," said the director general of the Bolivian Tourism, Mr. Ernesto Rossel, that highlighted the work of promotion in partnership with tourism operators to increase the amount of British visitors to Bolivia. The Bolivian stand organized by the Ministry of Tourism, with the participation of the public sector, and 12 community-based tourism enterprises, including tour operators and hotel companies. The contribution of tourism to the GDP of Bolivia is 4.51% to 32,000 million dollars, while 1,2 million tourists registered in 2013. Visitors of British origin occupy a prominent position in the ranking of income from foreign tourists to Bolivia.

 

 
The stand of Jamaica, which won several awards.
 
Jamaica walks away with several awards from this year fair, including the Caribbean’s Leading Destination 2014, Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board 2014, Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination 2014, the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Port 2014, and the Caribbean’s Leading Heritage Attraction 2014.
 
 

 
Snapshot from TripAdvisor’s networking party
 
The famous mascot welcomes all the guests.
 
 

 
The stand of Colombia, the bigger and better than ever, with more than 20 local Colombian operators, from destination management companies (DMCs) to hotel chains and tour operators.
 
Last year has been an outstanding year for Colombian tourism, in particular in the UK market. The country welcomed more than half a million international visitors (589,033) in the first quarter, a 12% increase on the same period the year before. Colombia is well on track to surpass its target of attracting four million visitors in 2014. In 2013 Colombia had 13.9% increase in UK visitors year-on-year compared to 2012, rising from 23,801 to 27,101, and even bigger double-digit increases forecast for both 2014 and 2015.

 

 
Snapshot from the stand of Oman Air, which eyes double-digit growth this year.
 
According to the undersecretary of Oman Ministry of Tourism Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi major airline expansion and a range of new hotel openings will fuel steady the tourism growth for Oman, a country that enjoys a steady growth of between 10% and 20% year on year. The target of the Ministry of Tourism is by the end of 2016 the growth to go up to 25% supported by the expansion of the airports in Muscat and Salalah.
 
Worldwide visitor numbers in 2013 reached nearly 1.4 million, with nearly 134,000 from the UK. Oman Air will expand its fleet with a range of new aircraft, including Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Also new routes will be added to Manila and Jakarta.

 

 
Snapshot from the stand of ReviewPro
 
RJ Friedlander, CEO of ReviewPro, attended World Travel Market to discuss the hospitality industry’s next generation of review analytics. Social media and online reviews have been buzz topics over the last few years and most hoteliers already maintain active accounts on Twitter, Facebook, review sites and other online channels to engage with guests and collect feedback from numerous online sources.

 

 
The stand of Dubai, a family destination
 
Dubai launched as a family destination in WTM according to a statement by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). At this year stand the big delegation, consisting of over 100 partners from Dubai’s tourism industry, demonstrates Dubai’s global reputation as a leading family destination. This image of Dubai was supported by TripAdvisor’s rating as having the best hotels and shopping malls in the world.

 

 
A snapshot from the Ministers' Summit
 
Participants at the UNWTO & World Travel Market (WTM) Ministers' Summit stressed that "immense synergies" between mega-events and tourism should be used to generate long-time benefits for the destination and its people. Opening the Summit, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, underscored that "Destinations need to consider infrastructure, investment and jobs, intangible benefits such as how the country is perceived and the most effective way to involve the community when looking at the legacy of mega-events".

 

 
Snapshot from the stand of Belgium, that promotes the big events that happen in the country in order to attract visitors.
 
Belgium promoted during WTM the gastronomy tram to experience top-class cuisine from around the world. Visitors to Brussels can board a special tram that has been fully decked out as a modern gourmet restaurant. Once sitting comfortably, they will be served a three-course meal put together by top chefs from some of the best gourmet food cities of the world, while they tour Brussels by night for two hours. For its third consecutive season, the Tram Experience takes visitors on an exceptional journey into the cuisine of some of the major gastronomic cities of the world, including the UK.
 
 

 
The Stand of Egypt, which has revealed plans to offer incentives to tour operators and airlines in an effort to boost tourism to the country.
 
Egypt is starting to show positive signs of heading back to its 2010 arrival figures from the UK market. Some 14.7 million people visited the country in 2010, compared with 9.5 million last year. Of these, 2.5 million were Russian – Egypt’s biggest tourist market, followed by Germany and then the UK, of which there were 995,000 tourists.

 

 
Snapshot from the stand of TravelClick, that provides innovative cloud-based solutions for hotels around the globe to grow their revenue, reduce costs and improve performance.
 
TravelClick offers hotels world-class reservation solutions, business intelligence products, and comprehensive media and marketing solutions to help hotels grow their business. With local experts around the globe, helps more than 38,000 hotel clients in over 160 countries drive profitable room reservations through better revenue management decisions, proven reservation technology and innovative marketing. Since 1999, TravelClick has helped hotels leverage the web to effectively navigate the complex global distribution landscape. TravelClick has offices in New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Barcelona, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, Melbourne, Orlando, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.

 

 
Snapshot from the stand of South Africa
 
South African Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom led a big delegation of South African tourism suppliers in WTM 2014, including representatives of government, South African Tourism (SAT), provincial and local government tourism marketing authorities, and a range of tourism and travel product owners and travel service providers. A variety of experiences offered by South Africa was promoting as well as an effort to built a reputation for the country as a unique, diverse, friendly and accessible destination. In the last 20 years, South Africa has recorded a truly impressive growth in international tourist arrivals. As the country received just under 500,000 arrivals from the UK in 2013, this market remains the largest overseas source market, as well as a very important market for South Africa.

 
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