As you probably have seen on our social media posts, we have attended this year’s travel fair in, the World Travel Market – aka WTM London 2019. Our goal was to build connections, meet industry experts and see what the market holds for us. We knew that the travel industry is big, but we didn’t know how enormous it is and how all the layers, companies and people connected to serve this economic behemoth.
Few words about the industry
In 2018 the travel industry hit the 9th consecutive year of sustained growth. As a result of constant growth in numbers, the industry is turning to sustainability to preserve the destinations and nature.
Innovative solutions and ideas are thriving as well to serve it. Customers are turning to online platforms to buy their holidays the easiest way possible, therefore the industry is evolving and implementing new technologies.
The market is tough and very competitive. Technology plays a huge role in management and distribution within the travel industry nowadays even more as a result of growing online platforms. Also when multiple companies have the same hotel in their portfolio innovation and price comes into play.
What does differentiate the companies?
Innovation, good sales and well-targeted marketing.
- Selling the portfolio on more channels than others
- Making direct contracts with hotels for better prices and availability
- Implementing methods that improve system inter-connectivity
- Building booking engines that can interface with multiple engines/platforms
There are so many other options we cannot even cover in this post
WTM – How we got into that?
As we providing software development services and the travel industry heavily relies on software and technology, we have decided to pay a visit to the London fair. We wanted to see the companies and have a chat about what they do and how our skills can serve the industry. The only plan we had, to speak with people and see if we can build a connection.
Below you can read our personal opinion, how we felt and what experience we have got by the end of the day.
I was familiar with the World Travel Market fair as I’ve been attended a few times in the past and I also had the chance to work in the travel industry for a few years.
I knew most of the exhibitors and I was so excited when I met with some friends and we had the chance to have a chat. All the people I was talking to were nice and open for a chat.
I genuinely felt happy to see those companies in real life I was working with for years.
The technology section looked extremely competitive for me. Rate analysis, booking engines, and communication systems I’ve seen. Tour operators and accommodation suppliers were much different. I didn’t feel that competitiveness however I knew from my personal experience that they are, even more.
Countries’ display was amazing and attractive. I felt so excited walking through their themed stands. We got a little taste of each country – we’ve been offered massage, cocktails and VR experience.
All in all, WTM London 2019 was a really pleasant experience. The exhibitors were extremely friendly and open to a conversation. I managed to connect with new businesses and learned more about the industry.
My advice regarding WTM is the following. If you attend next year, be open, learn a little about the industry and wear extremely comfortable shoes. Excel is huge we did walk 16km just to see everything. Approach as many people you can and speak openly.
The exhibition blew me away. There was so much to look at and explore. Countries definitely made an effort to showcase their travel and tourism potential.
The tech companies we talked to solve really interesting problems. I feel we’ll be able to build great connections with many of them in the future.
We’ll definitely go back next year and make sure to wear those comfy shoes.
If you have any comments, ideas or personal experiences, feel free to share with us. We are curious to hear new ideas, solutions, and perspectives regarding the above. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media!
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