WTM London 2023 highlights future of travel, responsible tourism and much more

 Wednesday, November 8, 2023 


The day two of World Travel Market London 2023 brought forth insightful discussions on a variety of key topics in the travel and tourism industry.

The Future of Travel: The Institute of Travel & Tourism Future You session focused on the next generation entering the travel industry, addressing the potential of 85 million job vacancies globally by 2030. The industry offers opportunities for career growth, with 40% of jobs in the sector offering higher pay scales. Louie Davis, Senior Strategy Manager at easyJet Holidays, emphasized the importance of persistence when seeking work experience, as the industry has room for newcomers to thrive.

The Travel Outlook:

The travel industry faces global economic challenges and potential recessions. A session at WTM London discussed how high inflation, rising borrowing costs, and regional conflicts could impact consumer behavior. While potential recessions and warning signs are present, the desire to travel remains strong as people divert spending to essential activities like travel.

Destination Updates:

China’s outbound tourism saw a significant drop, but those who were traveling spent more and sought more bespoke experiences. Nations looking to attract Chinese visitors were advised to remove visa requirements and leverage social media marketing platforms like Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok).

Sri Lanka showcased its remarkable rebound from political and economic turmoil, with over 1.5 million tourists expected by the year-end, up from 719,000 in 2022. The country highlighted its new global marketing campaign, focusing on repeat visitors and adventure tourism.

Responsible Tourism:

The Travel Foundation and TurEspana launched a guidance report to help businesses prepare for looming EU environmental reporting regulations, encouraging businesses to diversify their products and communicate their sustainable practices.

WTM London spotlighted community initiatives in South Africa and India that showcased responsible tourism policies and partnerships.

Diversity and Inclusion Summit:

Discussions emphasized the economic value of inclusion and highlighted initiatives that catered to differently-abled travelers, LGBTQ+ travelers, and more. Delegates were encouraged to make changes in their language and behaviors to foster inclusivity and representation of diverse groups in the workforce.

The queer travel market was discussed, with predictions of significant growth by 2030, but safety concerns for LGBTQ+ travelers were also emphasized. Safe spaces and destinations that are welcoming were highlighted.

WTM London 2023 provided a platform for in-depth discussions on a wide range of topics shaping the future of the travel and tourism industry.

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