“The first day of World Travel Market London 2023, the world’s most influential travel and tourism event, kicked off with ministers, global experts, and industry players attending in large numbers. About 4,000 exhibitors are participating in the exhibition at ExCeL London (November 6-8) to exchange ideas, drive innovation, and accelerate their businesses. More than 14% of new exhibitors, ranging from household names to specialist firms and niche brands, have signed up for the show. High-profile names debuting this year include Eurostar – the high-speed international rail service connecting the UK with mainland Europe – and ABBA Voyage, a live concert staged in London with virtual ‘Abbatars.’
Also exhibiting for the tourism authority, which is heading to WTM London to highlight its culture, heritage, cuisine, wellness, and sustainability offerings through the three-day industry showcases.
This year holds particular significance for the Chinese tourism industry, as it marks their first major-scale exhibit since the onset of the pandemic. The UK China National Tourist Office (CNTO London) has organized a delegation of over 40 representatives from Beijing, Shanghai, Shanxi, Hubei, and Jiangxi to participate in wtm. They have set up an eye-catching booth under the theme ‘Nihao China,’ showcasing a wide array of interactive heritage experiences and the rich tapestry of Chinese tourism culture. Collaborating with several prominent Chinese airlines, their presence at the event underscores their unwavering enthusiasm in welcoming tourists to visit China.”
During the opening ceremony of the Chinese exhibition area at wtm‘s “Nihao China” pavilion, Li Liyan, Minister Counsellor for Cultural Affairs at the Chinese Embassy, shared insights about the global tourism market’s swift resurgence as the pandemic has receded, and China’s eagerness to embrace the return of international tourists. Counsellor Li mentioned that China has resumed group outbound tourism to various countries, including the UK. Starting on October 23rd, the Chinese Embassy in the UK ceased online visa appointments. Furthermore, as of November 1st, travellers are no longer required to complete the “Health Declaration Form” for entry and exit. These measures have not only made travel more convenient but have also strengthened the exchange and cooperation between China and the UK. He also cited the words of the American British author Henry James, who once remarked, “Travel is the best education; it enables you to comprehend the history, culture, and people of other places, thus enhancing your understanding of your own country and life.” Li emphasized that both China and the UK possess rich histories, diverse cultures, and abundant tourism resources, making travel an increasingly vital conduit for fostering cultural exchanges, mutual learning, and friendship between the two nations.
The slogan of WTM London this year is “You have the power to change travel, and travel has the power to change the world,” which is highlighted by the significant role of the travel industry in shaping the relationship between individuals and the world and its charm.
Since 2006, international tourism leaders from around the world have come together at World Travel Market, in association with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), to debate policy, strategy, development, and investment.
The UNWTO forecasts continued growth in international tourist arrivals in the coming years, leading to a surge in employment opportunities within the sector. In any case, China has opened the gates to world tourists.”