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June 1, 2022updated 27 Jul 2022 11:40am

Travel trade shows will be vital for tourism recovery

Now is an opportune time for B2B operators to make more sales and gather more qualified leads via the trade show network.

By Globaldata Travel and Tourism

B2B (business to business) tour operators can build and improve their industry presence by participating in travel trade fairs/shows to connect to other tourism businesses to expand their choice of destinations or other travel services where they lack experience. These travel trade fairs will be vital for tourism recovery.

Now is an opportune time for B2B operators to make more sales and gather more qualified leads via the trade show network. These events will help travel and tourism businesses to improve trade partnerships, increasing their ability to offer more products and services.

Negative travel sentiments could be a challenge for tourism recovery

The tourism industry was one of the worst affected industries during the Covid-19 pandemic. With international travel mostly suspended due to the travel restrictions, many businesses couldn’t survive, and some were significantly impacted by staff shortages caused by the irregular income flow due to travel restrictions. The tourism industry must recover for the survival of small to medium-sized tour operators and travel trade shows are a great start for them to get back in business and build more B2B relationships.

The sentiments of travellers are already down due to fears of contracting Covid-19. According to GlobalData’s opinion poll from May 2022*, when asked “Which of the following would deter you from traveling? ​​​” 50.5% of global respondents said that the fear of contracting Covid-19 would deter them from travelling. This proves that, to compete with the general public’s negative travel sentiments, travel companies should offer discounted tour packages or services. Travel and trade fairs could give them a chance to achieve their targeted price by introducing them to other businesses. Small to medium-sized tour operators must participate in these fairs to survive the uncertain times as these are the most affected companies in the travel industry.

According to GlobalData’s Demand and Flows database, the tourism industry is expected to fully recover by 2025. However, issues like global inflation, the rising cost of living, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict could slow the pace of recovery. At this critical time, travel trade fairs are a vital option for B2B tour operators to showcase their products or services in order to increase the global passenger flow.

Travel trade fairs have played an important role

Travel trade shows, such as World Travel Market (WTM) have played an important role in tourism recovery thus far and this is expected to continue. For example, at WTM London, approximately 5000 exhibitors attend to promote their destinations, products, and services. In addition, over 51,000 people from the global travel industry attend WTM London. Visitors and exhibitors come from a wide range of companies and sectors in the travel industry.

Travel trade shows like WTM give these exhibitors a chance to showcase what they do and which sector they cover. These events also give the attendees a chance to gain knowledge about a certain destination, product, or service which was not covered by them in past. An increase in travel options and services is likely to significantly increase the number of travellers. This shows that travel trade shows like WTM are vital for the recovery of tourism.

*GlobalData Opinion Poll on Deterrents to travel during COVID-19 – Closed May 18,2022 – 1361 respondents

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