World Travel Market 2014’s Conference and Event programme experienced a 4.5% increase, breaking through the 17,000 barrier for the first time. WTM 2014 hosted more than 100 conferences and events with a total attendance of 17,036.
The number of unique delegates attending the sessions increased by 4% to 8,829 compared to WTM 2013’s 8,482. The WTM 2014 unique attendance figure is up by 1,335 delegates compared to WTM 2012’s attendance of 7,494.
The conference and events programme, which included sessions on aviation, cruise, hotels, sports tourism and responsible tourism, experienced visitor growth on all four days of WTM 2014.
Monday 3rd November saw a 4% increase in attendance to 2,444 compared to the previous year. The first day of WTM 2014 included the prestigious Captains of Industry event, which saw former Sainsbury Chief Executive Justin King address more than 200 of travel’s senior leaders.
Tuesday 4th November also experienced a 4% increase to 6,770 delegates. The second day of the event saw the launch of the new Wellness and Women in Travel programmes, while the popular UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit also took place.
Wednesday 5th November saw a 1.5% increase in delegates to more than 5,000 (5,052). The third day of WTM 2014 saw World Responsible Tourism Day – the largest day of action in the world – take place, while it was also the launch of the World Travel Leaders at WTM.
Thursday 6th November experienced a massive 12% increase to 2,797 delegates. The final day of WTM hosted a number of industry conferences including industry charity The Family Holiday Association Holidays Matter and the HASMAI Europe’s Digital Marketing Conference. The Thursday also hosted the first WTM Bloggers Speed Networking session which saw more than 500 people take part.
Headline speakers across the programme included former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King, Facebook Head of Travel Lee McCabe, TUI Travel Deputy CEO Johan Lundgren, Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger, Ryanair Director of Flight Operations Peter Bellew, Flybe Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Simmons, TUI Aviation Chief Operating Officer Chris Browne, former British Lion rugby player Keith Wood, Glasgow Commonwealth Games CEO David Grevenberg, Amazon Local Director Geraldine Wilson and Paralympic medallist and TV presenter Ade Adepitan.
The increase in attendance at the WTM Conference and Seminar programme is part of the wider success story of WTM 2014, which saw more than 52,000 delegates attend over the four days – a 4% increase on WTM 2013. The event is predicted to facilitate more than £2.5 billion in industry deals, which would be a record for all the previous 35 World Travel Markets.
World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “World Travel Market 2014 was a great success, not only did more than 52,000 delegates attend but we had a record number of attendees at the Conference and Events sessions, breaking through the 17,000 barrier for the first time.
“Last year we introduced a number of new programmes including the Wellness programme, which was extremely popular with around 500 delegates attending WTM 2015 conference and events are poised to be even more.”