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Record Breaking World Travel Market

World Travel Market 2005 will be the largest ever and this year sees its fourth consecutive increase in exhibitor space of more than 3% increase…

World Travel Market 2005 will be the largest ever and this year sees its fourth consecutive increase in exhibitor space of more than 3% increase. Over 5,000 national tourist offices, industry organisations, tour operators, hotels, cruise lines, airlines, other transport operators and technology companies from more than 190 countries and regions will be participating.

The global business event takes place at London EXCEL between Monday 14 and Thursday 17 November 2005.

Since the dark days of the 9/11 and the many natural and man-made challenges that have faced the international industry since then, there has been a concerted and universal acknowledgement of World Travel Market`s role in helping companies and organisations to build business, identify new markets, make new contacts and keep abreast of the latest industry developments, said Fiona Jeffery, Group Exhibition Director. This has been further supported by independent research.

The demand to exhibit has grown extensively and is inevitably reflected in the continued strong performance of the industry with an expected rise of between 5% and 6% this year.

New Exhibitors

Jeffery said she was particularly delighted to welcome back a number of exhibitors to World Travel Market after an absence. This includes, for example, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Colorado, Massachusetts and a large number of the Canadian Provinces, Territories and tourism partners, who will be present in London to underpin Canada`s new brand launch on the opening day.

The event will see 123 new exhibitors this year including:

Africa – Ivory Coast, the Africa Collection, Cavern Resorts, Seasons in Africa, Somak Travel, Cape into Africa, Somak Travel, Classic Africa, Lesotho and Zuma Zuma.

Americas – Texas, South West States, Paraguay. Asia – Buffallo Tours, Cox & Kings, Macau, Rajasthan4You, The Claridges, Kyrgyzstan, Bhutan, Websource, Coco Collection, Far Pavilions, Mongolia, Air Astana.

Middle East – Yemen, Etihad Airways, Kuwait, Oasis Adventures, Iran, Port Ghalib, Agadir, Pyramids Golf and Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Europe – Greater Madrid Tourist Board, Kuoni Travel, Canal Andalusia Tourismo, Eurofly, Hotetur, Provincia di Brescia, Marcegaglia Tourism;

UK – Thistle Hotels, Cameron Macintosh, New London Partnership, Dewynters, V&A Museum, Warner Breaks.

Global Village – Refad Hotels & Resorts, Louvre Hotels, Cendant;

Travel Technology – CSI Media, Nota Bena, TextBay, Omnitourism, Synxis, Sky Interactive, Web Reservations, Retail Decisions.

The event, which last year attracted nearly 45,000 participants, including nearly 13,000 international buyers (Meridian Club members), has a number of new initiatives, including a dedicated and unique `show within a show` Travel Technology area. The technology initiative is supported by two half-day conference on Monday and Tuesday organised by EyeforTravel and a programme of educational seminars, co-ordinated by Genesys, World Travel Market`s Travel Technology Partner.

Hotels and Airlines Focus

There will also be a spotlight on hotels and airlines in the meetings, conference and incentive travel sector focus on Tuesday 15 November, supported by key associations – ABPCO, BACD, MIA, MPI UK and EIBTM. This includes the display of an exact replica of what is claimed by Yotel to be the world`s most radical hotel. The hotel room is the brainchild of well-known entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe who took his inspiration from British Airways first class and Japanese capsule hotels.

With a record number of hotel exhibitors World Travel Market, for the first time, is hosting a major `Hotels 2005` panel discussion on Tuesday 15 November at 14.00 hrs at the World Stage. The senior line-up is: David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer, Best Western; Reas Kondraschow, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Cendant Hotel Group International; Jurgen Fischer President Commercial Operations, Hilton Group plc and Gerard Greene, CEO Yotel.

Earlier in the day, at 11.00 hrs there will also be a top airline panel, chaired by Richard Quest, presenter of CNN`s Business Programme.

Personal Event Planner

Another first is the new Personal Event Planner or PEP, helping guide visitors to exhibitors that match their own geographical and sector preferences. For those visitors who have forgotten to print their personal PEP before leaving home, kiosks will be available at ExCeL where they can acquire a copy of their own tailor made list of companies that reflect their personal business interests.

Ministers` Programme

In recognition of the crucially important role of Tourism Ministers at the event and their vital contribution to the industry throughout the year, World Travel Market has also organised for the first time a Ministers` Programme on the opening day.

This includes VIP hospitality, a room for Ministers and a World Travel Market Ministers` Reception at the House of Lords, hosted by Baroness Anelay of St. Johns DBE, chairman of the World Travel Market Advisory Council. Mr James Purnell MP, UK Minister for Creative Industries and Tourism is the guest speaker.

Opening Ceremony

Music from the new J.R.R. Tolkien`s musical adaptation of the Lord of the Rings, will have its worldwide premiere at World Travel Market`s Opening Ceremony at 11.00 hrs on Monday 14 November.

The acclaimed Finnish music group, Varttina, a 30-strong choir and three Black Riders of Mordor will be flown in especially for the ceremony on the World Stage. The epic theatrical event opens at The Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 23 March 2006 with previews from 2 February.

Pre-event Launch of travel

Immediately after the Opening Ceremony, at 12.30 hrs on the World Stage, worldwide industry leaders will unveil details about the new top level internet domain, .travel (dot travel).

Senior representatives of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) and Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) are among those scheduled to participate in the .travel launch preview event.