World Travel Market is over for another year and as always the official figures say that numbers of attendees are up again this year.
TTG says – Between Monday and Wednesday 38,735 visitors went to the show, according to unaudited figures. This compares to 37,331 across the first three days of WTM 2011.
Wednesday alone saw a 9% increase in visitors, compared with the equivalent day the previous year, taking the total visitor number 13,638. On Tuesday more than 17,000 visitors went to WTM, a 1% increase on last year.
The first day of WTM 2012, which is open only to exhibitor invitation visitors and the press, saw numbers up by 5% on last year’s event to almost 8,000.
WTM director Simon Press said: “I am delighted with the visitor attendance of WTM 2012 across the first three days. These figures demonstrate the power and importance of WTM to the industry and the role it plays in facilitating business for sector.
“WTM 2011 generated £1,653 million in industry deals, with this year’s event poised to facilitate even more business for our exhibitors.”
I am not sure if these numbers are actually filtering through to the Africa area, I certainly don’t think numbers were up in our corner of North Hall. But then I suppose quality is better than quantity and even though the Caribbean was pumping – was that just because the agents could pick up great freebies or did they actually go there to learn more?
After 4 years of recession the UK market to Africa is down and there is little chance of a quick fix. The weakness of the Rand is helping South Africa a little, but the situation in Kenya continues to be a challenge and everyone is hoping and praying for a peaceful election in March – as that could mean a turning point for East Africa.
The questions we continue to ask are – ‘Are shows like WTM still worth doing?’ ‘Who should exhibit at WTM?’