Numbers attending this year’s World Travel Market rose by 4% to almost 52,000 delegates over the four days, according to figures from the exhibition organisers.
The delegate increase represents the fifth consecutive year of growth for the London show.
WTM said numbers on the fourth and final day – which many tourist offices want dropping due to poor attendance – was “on par” with 2013.
“The Thursday WTM Speed Networking for buyers took place for the third year running to facilitate post-WTM business deals. Furthermore, WTM Bloggers Speed Networking was successfully introduced alongside WTM Destination TV Showcase, which allowed exhibitors to network with TV producers,” WTM said
The first day saw invitation-only visitor attendance up 9% on last year’s event to almost 9,692.
The Tuesday achieved 8% growth year-on-year to 19,706 visitors, making it the busiest day of the show.
There was a 6% increase in visitors to 15,017 on the Wednesday.
All visitor groups experienced growth, according to unaudited figures. WTM Buyers’ Club delegates were up 7% to 9,116. This increase in senior buyers at will see the event facilitate around £2.5 billion in industry deals.
Other visitor group increases include trade visitors (6%), international media (2%) and exhibitor personnel (2%) compared to WTM 2013.
Furthermore, overall visits are fast-approaching the 100,000 mark, with this year’s show having 98,426 visits. Unique delegate numbers for WTM 2014 were 51,965.
WTM senior director, Simon Press, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the delegate attendance at WTM 2014, which is a record for a trade-only WTM. These figures demonstrate the power and importance of WTM to the industry and the role it plays in facilitating business for the sector.”
“World Travel Market 2013 generated £2.2 billion in travel industry contracts between exhibitors and senior buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club, with WTM 2014 looking set to be responsible for around £2.5 billion.
“For World Travel Market to welcome almost 52,000 senior industry delegates is a great way to celebrate the 35th WTM.”
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