Last week, the yearly meeting of the World Travel Market in London, taking place from the 5th to the 7th of November, ended and created again new possibilities, ideas, and plans for the travel industry in the world.
One of the world’s most influential travel provider, like Johan Lundgren, CEO, easyJet, or Bruce Poon Tip , founder of G Adventures and other speakers from different parts of the world, like Eliza Reid, the first lady of Iceland gathered at the WTM meeting 2018, exchanging new ideas and experiences to develop the travel industry and thus, to create remarkable opportunities and social initiatives for travellers.
How do we navigate this world of possibilities?
This was one of the key questions of this years’ meeting of the World Travel Market in London that faced not only the diversity of possibilities but also the challenge of dealing with ‘this world of possibilities’.
The annual World Travel Market London allows the most influential travel providers to share their innovative ideas that will shape the world’s dreams and plans for travel over the next years.
The program of the meeting this year varied a lot and gave the different travel agencies and entrepreneurs the chance to connect with experts from different areas of expertise. An interesting and relevant part of the meeting was focused on responsible tourism in order to establish sustainable development.
In this sense, the social impact startup Authenticitys was shortlisted in the WTM Responsible Tourism Speed Networking Buyers 2016 at the World Responsible Tourism Day for ‘responsible travelling’. Also this year, on the World Responsible Tourism Day (7th of November), a lot of great WTM Responsible Tourism sessions, talks and panels took place.
On the first day of the WTM 2018 different topics, like the panel about “Business Taking Responsibility for Security, Health and Safety” stood on the program. There, different solutions for managing the responsibility on different aspects of guests and visitors were provided and discussed. “How can these risks be managed and reduced and whose responsibility is it?” The focus of this panel was to underline the role of businesses in ensuring the security, health, and safety of the travel community.
Also, “Creating Shared Value” was another interesting topic. Presented by Harvard Professor Michael E. Porter, it discussed the importance of businesses going beyond CSR and creating shared value. The professor argues that tourism companies must redefine their purpose in order to create a shared value that can bring back together business and society. Only by then, the shared value can “reconnect company success with social progress”. It is getting more and more important, that tourism businesses achieve the engagement of people from the local community with the visitors and tourists, sharing their natural and cultural environment.
What is more, the WTM meeting included the input about the exposition “Expo 2020 Showcases the Future of Sustainability- Water and Energy”, a particular project unveiling further details on the plans and progress of the sustainable world expo for the Abu Dabhi Sustainability week in January 2019.
“More than just an event”
The annual World Travel Market is an opportunity for travel provider and businesses to learn and profit from expert content, networking tools and the exchange of different ideas and solutions for more responsible tourism. By bringing together a community of global travel professionals all year round, mutual learning and understanding can be established and therefore, enables the transmission of creating a social impact in the travel industry.