Key Themes from WTM London 2018

The start of November sees thousands of travel industry professionals from around the globe make the annual trip to London, to visit the World Travel Market (WTM) exhibition. WTM is one of Europe’s biggest travel industry trade shows and always a huge event for us. This year was no exception, with a big team from Expedia Group Media Solutions descending on the ExCel Centre in Docklands for meetings, networking, and speaker sessions.

Angelique Miller, our Director of Brand & Marketing, kicked things off in style by participating in a panel on Digital Innovations in Tourism Marketing. Hosted by MMGY, the session also featured panellists, including Brand USA, who contributed to an energetic debate about the future of travel marketing. Topics addressed included: how data is changing the way we speak to travellers, the role of video within the marketing mix, and the new technologies set to disrupt the industry.

Next to take the stage was our Global Senior Vice President, Hari Nair, who joined a panel of experts on the opening day of Travel Forward, the new travel and hospitality technology event located within WTM London. Hari and his fellow panellists explored the expectations of tomorrow’s travellers and the opportunities these present across the travel ecosystem.

Hair Nair speaking from the stage at WTM's Travel Forward 2018

WTM was also an opportunity to host our annual London Insights Summit, which saw over 100 travel experts from Europe and beyond, joining us to discuss all things marketing. During the two-hour session, we shared findings from our latest custom study on bleisure travel and heard success stories from some of our travel partners. The summit ended with a fantastic discussion featuring partners from VisitDenmark and Palladium Hospitality Group discussing a wide range of topics, from the impact of younger travellers on the industry, to the trends that are impacting their core markets.

Media Solutions 2018 WTM Insights Summit

Wrapping up the action at WTM, Angelique Miller took to the stage once more to represent Team Americas at the annual MMGY Tourism Cup debate. Now in its fourth year, The MMGY Tourism Cup features top leaders from tourism in the Americas and Europe in a debate-style program. Following a keynote presentation from Expedia’s Vice President, Brand Marketing, Vic Walia, on the recipe for a successful ad campaign, both teams launched into a discussion of this year’s topic: tourism innovation and transformation in technology.

Angelique Miller wins the debate at WTM London 2018

Channelling her inner Don Draper, Angelique argued that we all need to stop thinking about advertising as ‘Madmen versus Maths men’ and embrace the power of data as part of the creative process. Her compelling argument turned the tide for Team Americas, setting them up for the first Tourism Cup win over Team Europe in several years!

We had a fantastic time at WTM and hope to see you at next year’s event. In the meantime, you can stay up to date on our latest news and research by subscribing to our blog via the form above, or following us on Twitter and LinkedIn.