The World Travel Market Forum (WTM), has concluded its activities which lasted from the 7th to the 9th of November of this year. According to the organizers of the WTM, more than one hundred country have participated in this event, while the number of the exhibitors exceeded 3000, about 70 of them have participated for the first time.
The WTM, owned by the exhibition organizer, RED, is the largest and most important platform for countries seeking to promote tourism destinations in their countries. It is also equally important for airlines, hotels, resorts, travel and tourism companies, and all stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry in the world.
The forum represents a crucial opportunity for the participants to meet their former acquaintances and renew some business ties, as well as the possibility to establishe a wide range of new relationships.
This year’s edition of the forum witnessed significant attendance from the largest important leisure and tourism destinations, such as the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. Moreover, The United Kingdom and Ireland pavilion witnessed double the size of last year’s attendance.
Saudi Arabia’s Participation
Among the participants in the WTM in London this year, there were some participations from the Middle East, and perhaps the most prominent of these participants is Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s participation in the forum this year is the second in a row, after achieving a remarkable recovery as the fastest growing tourist destination in the Group of Twenty.
Where the growth rate had exceeded 121% above the global average; This is compared to the growth rates before the global pandemic of Covid-19. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had achieved more than 62 million annual visits during the year 2021; Targeting more than 70 million visits during the current year 2022, and more than 100 million visits annually by 2030.
Saudi Arabia is working with commercial partners and the Saudi Air Connection Program to increase the connection of international flights from 99 to more than 250 destinations by 2030. Earlier this year, Wizz Air Airline had launched 20 new routes from Europe to Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam in Saudi Arabia, providing reasonable traveling fees.
The Saudi Tourism Authority opened its pavilion at the World Travel Market (WTM) this year, with the participation of more than 40 partners from the Saudi tourism system, aiming to build strategic partnerships with the most important global markets. It is worth mentioning that Saudi Arabia received more than 150,000 visits from the United Kingdom during the current year 2022.
The pavilion of the Saudi Tourism Authority presented; Illuminated glimpses of treasures, destinations, landmarks and tourist experiences through the various pavilions that set out on an inspiring interactive journey towards the most beautiful resorts in the Red Sea. As well as the historical areas in the city of Al-Hajr in the Al-Ula Governorate, and the historic Diriyah and others, highlighting the natural, climatic, cultural and social diversity. The Saudi café also welcomed its guests to celebrate the year of Saudi coffee.
Fahad Hamid al-Din, CEO and Board Member of the Saudi Tourism Authority, said: “The Saudi Tourism Authority continues its keenness with its partners to participate in the most important forums and exhibitions in the travel sector at the international level, such as the WTM forum in London. This is in order to open new horizons, concluding many agreements and partnerships with major European and international companies; To attract larger segments of priority markets”.
He also added: “The Saudi Tourism Authority seeks to support the private tourism sector to develop the Saudi destination and increase the number of visits from inside and outside the Kingdom; As a major partner of the Saudi tourism system in the implementation and success of packages and programs to provide enjoyable, smooth and safe tourism experiences.”
Last year, 2021, Saudi Arabia ranked first in the list of countries that topped the interest of investors and the business sector participating in the World Travel Fair in London, and this came in the comprehensive survey issued by the organizer.