World Travel Market – London to be virtual only in 2020
World Travel Market – London to be virtual only in 2020

World Travel Market – London will be a digital only affair this year after organisers Reed Exhibitions abandoned plans for a physical conference.

Sister event, Travel Forward, will also be entirely virtual.

Live shows had been set to take place at ExCeL London from November 2nd-4th.

However, the continuing travel restrictions, imposition of quarantine requirements and local lockdowns across Europe mean that our events will be fully virtual experiences.

World Travel Market – London senior director, Simon Press, said: “Sadly, this year will be the first time since we launched World Travel Market – London in 1980 that there will be no live event.

“We have worked tirelessly to organise a physical show, but the increasing number of travel restrictions and the uncertainty around the world means it will be impractical for many overseas visitors to attend in person.

“Additionally, there remains uncertainty around business events and conferences being allowed to take place in the UK.

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“The official deadline for this decision being October 1st.

“However, thousands of travel trade professionals from around the globe will still be able to meet and do business in an extensive range of virtual sessions, to help the industry recover, rebuild and innovate.”

WTM Virtual will take place from November 9th-11th, offering delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more.

Furthermore, a virtual version of Travel Forward is being shaped up and will combine virtual exhibition, free virtual conference sessions and speed networking for start-ups to meet investors.

Richard Gayle, event manager for Travel Forward, said: “Travel Forward is the event that embraces fresh concepts and innovative projects to inspire delegates.

“This year, running Travel Forward virtually will allow us to connect even more with global travel tech companies wanting to promote themselves to the world.

“We are confident Travel Forward Virtual will offer delegates all the support and ideas about how the industry recovery and more solutions to overcome the biggest challenges facing the travel industry.”

Find out more below as Simon Press explains the thinking behind the decision to go online only:

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