Buyers from travel firms around the world can reconnect with established partners, forge new contacts and make business deals at next month’s WTM Virtual (9-11 November) from 7am to 10pm GMT, to allow access to all the different time zones across the globe.
Organisers of the online event aim to host 5,000 pre-selected buyers from a diverse range of companies across the world and from their global database. Of those buyers already registered, almost 50% have expressed an interest in the Middle East region.
To date, over 100 exhibitors from over 10 destinations in the Middle East have confirmed. They include Dubai Tourism, Expo 2020 Dubai, Emaar Entertainment, Jordan Tourism Board, NEOM, RAKTDA and Saudi Tourism Authority, amongst others.
Buyers will have access to free one-to-one meetings, along with other opportunities to meet exhibitors taking part in WTM Virtual and Travel Forward Virtual. Furthermore, they can meet members of the media and influencers from around the world.
Some buyers with spending power in certain sectors will be selected to take part in Speed Networking sessions during London Travel Week.
As well as sealing crucial business contracts for 2021 and beyond, the buyers will be able to learn about key travel trends as the industry recovers, rebuilds and innovates in the wake of the pandemic.
Those who apply will be vetted to ensure they are senior, high-calibre buyers and then they can join the WTM Buyers’ Club.
This will enable free access to the entire WTM Virtual platform, with many opportunities to connect, learn and do business.
The online activities start with London Travel Week (30 October-5 November) which hosts networking and promotional opportunities ahead of the main events during WTM Virtual (9-11 November).
WTM London’s Senior Director Simon Press said: “This will be a vital opportunity for senior buyers to reconnect with valuable contacts in the wake of the pandemic, as we all look to recover and rebuild in 2021.
“Many travel businesses have seen widespread changes in personnel over the course of the COVID-19 crisis so it’s more important than ever for buyers and suppliers to make contact with the right people in order to plan their roadmap to recovery.
“Our number one priority is to facilitate meetings and networking – but another key element will be our conference sessions with thought leaders from across the travel industry. These will help buyers invest in the right products and destinations for growth next year.”
He added: “Although we can’t meet in person this year, the online platform does mean that we can attract a wider variety of buyers than in previous years.
“The WTM Portfolio team has hosted many virtual events in recent months and we have a 40-year track record of holding top-level gatherings, so buyers and suppliers can be confident that they will have a first-rate experience.
“WTM Virtual will be a must-attend event for senior buyers with substantial spending power who want to conduct business, develop trusted partnerships and lay the foundations for a bounce-back in 2021.”