WTM London 2018 is predicted to generate a record £3.4 billion in travel and tourism industry deals, surpassing the £3.1 billion from WTM London 2017.
The global travel and tourism industry continues to grow, with more than 1.4 billion trips forecast globally in 2019, with the number predicted to rise to 1.8 billion by 2030.
And while Brits make almost 73 million outbound trips each year, inbound tourism to the UK is also growing – and is approaching 40 million trips annually.
This growth was reflected at WTM London 2018 in a more than 4% increase in visitors to a record 32,462.
In total, the event saw 88,742 visits from 51,409 participants, while 4,664 exhibitors from 182 countries and regions took part.
Independent research by WTM London’s exhibitors reveals WTM London 2018 will generate a massive £3,353,042,708 in travel industry deals, either through contracts signed at the event or from negotiations with WTM Buyers’ Club members, which will lead to deals signed before this year’s event.
The introduction of five regional Inspiration Zones at WTM London 2018 led to an increase in content and ideas for participants to take back to their businesses and implement to help fuel the growth of the travel and tourism industry.
This strategy saw a greater number of CEOs and tourism ministers take part in the content programme, including easyJet boss Johan Lundgren and UK tourism minister Michael Ellis.
Meanwhile, more research was added to the programme from organisations including Euromonitor International, Mintel, ForwardKeys and Nielsen.
WTM London senior director Simon Press said WTM London 2018’s record business and visitor numbers cemented its place as a “must-attend” event for national and regional tourist boards, global brands, luxury operators and technology companies.
“The record visitor numbers at WTM London 2018, alongside the £3.4 billion in business generated, shows that WTM London and the travel and tourism industry are both in good health,” Press added.