World Travel Market in London closed yesterday – with Tourism Ireland taking the award for ‘Best Stand for Doing Business’!
Now in its 32nd year, WTM is the largest B2B event in the tourism calendar, with almost 50,000 representatives of the travel industry from around the world and 3,000 international media in attendance over the past four days.
This year, 66 Irish tourism enterprises – including hotels, ferry companies, visitor attractions, coach hire companies, incoming tour operators, activity providers, hostels and car hire companies – exhibited at the Tourism Ireland stand, networking, negotiating and exchanging contracts for 2012. According to the organisers of WTM, about £1.4 billion’s worth of business was transacted at the event last year.
Winners of the various stand awards at WTM were chosen after extensive tours of the exhibition by a panel of travel industry experts. Commenting on the award for the Tourism Ireland stand, the judging panel said: “The Tourism Ireland stand had created a busy atmosphere for delegates. Multiple entry points to the stand led to a warm friendly welcome with a number of options and opportunities to explore. The judging team also commented on the stand’s giant shamrocks and Titanic display which focused their minds immediately on the business opportunities within.”
With over 200 countries all vying for business at WTM this week, Tourism Ireland had been aiming to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the influential global media and travel trade in attendance.
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of our tourism partners on the Tourism Ireland stand at WTM this week was extremely welcome and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace. We are delighted that our busy stand proved eye-catching for the judges and was singled out for this accolade.
“Our aim was to capture the attention of the influential travel trade and media from around the world attending WTM this week, to convey the message to the world that the island of Ireland is very much open for business. The award is good news indeed as we kick off our marketing drive to grow overseas visitor numbers in 2012.”