When the world’s tourism industry converges upon London’s ExCeL centre for World Travel Market next week, there are certain destinations for which this year’s event will be more important than ever before.
For a country like Tunisia, whose tourism industry has been on its knees since the terrorist atrocities of March and July, exhibiting at WTM will be far more than an opportunity to catch up with old friends, but rather a vital step in its rehabilitation as a safe tourist destination in tourists’ minds.
For Gambia, which has seen its UK market halved this year because of the deadly Ebola virus that has ravaged other parts of western Africa, WTM will be an essential opportunity to reassure the trade and sign the deals that will help bring tourists back.
While for the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, which was devastated by tropical storm Erica in August, WTM will be pivotal in spreading the word that it’s open for business once more.
So in among all the traditional outfits, national dishes, scantily dressed dancers and cocktail parties, I hope that for nations like these in particular, WTM London is a colossal success, helping rebuild the tourism industries upon which their people are so dependent.
In our 28-page preview feature in this week’s edition, you can find out who’s exhibiting at the show, and why it’s worth paying their stand a visit.
As official media partner in the UK for WTM, we’ll be producing the Daily magazines and bringing you the biggest stories from the show on ttgmedia.com throughout the week.
And Team TTG will of course be at the show in force, so if you’re attending yourself, I hope you’ll stop by our stand on EU275, or drop into our busy press room in North Gallery 4 (but only if you’re bringing bacon sandwiches). And I hope WTM is as successful for your business as these countries undoubtedly hope it will be for theirs.