WTM Portfolio – the parent brand for WTM London, WTM Latin America, Arabian Travel Market, WTM Africa, Travel Forward and other key travel trade events – has launched a new online portal, WTM Global Hub to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub will offer the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The platform will be regularly updated to deal with the evolving demands of the pandemic and to share ideas about preparing for recovery. Upcoming weekly webinars will include featured guests such as the travel journalist Simon Calder, analysis from Oxford Economics and the entrepreneur Jeremy Jauncey.
Claude Blanc, WTM Portfolio Director, said: “We are living in an extraordinary time and the WTM team is committed to support the travel industry as it adapts to the unique challenges of coronavirus – and prepares for recovery.”
“Our annual events connect 110,000 industry professionals from 182 countries, offering unrivalled commercial opportunities and business insights. We’ve always augmented our face-to-face events with valuable online resources throughout the year, and now we’re ramping up that support with WTM Global Hub.”
One of the highlights at the launch will be a webinar from Oxford Economics, which is a leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis, taking place 28 April at 4pm BST.
It has predicted that the pandemic will mean that the global GDP will shrink by about 7% in the first half of 2020 but there will be a rebound in H2. Global GDP looks set to fall by 2.8% overall in 2020, with some permanent loss of output for the world’s economy, it forecasts.
Webinar featured speakers
During the webinar, Oxford Economics will focus on the effects that COVID-19 is having on the travel and tourism industries around the globe. Attendees will be able to ask questions during the webinar.
A second webinar will feature Simon Calder, the well-known British travel journalist and broadcaster. A regular writer for British newspapers and a commentator about travel on TV, who is also a keen attendee of WTM London.
The third webinar will feature Nick Hall, from the Digital Tourism Think Tank, speaking with Jeremy Jauncey, who has also presented at WTM London. The founder and Chief Executive of travel website Beautiful Destinations, Jauncey is an expert on social media and content creation.
Content on the hub will also be translated into Spanish and Portuguese, as WTM Latin America will provide materials in those languages.
The hub will feature seven sections:
• Virtual Events – interactive webinars offering essential advice to help travel businesses cope with the current crisis and thrive in the future.
• Podcasts – expert-led discussions with insights to guide you through these times.
• On-Demand – a library of videos from industry speakers and professionals, offering information and inspiration.
• Blogs – must-read articles with updates and trends from key industry professionals and experts.
• Responsible Tourism – a core element of traditional WTM events, this section will be updated with reports from the responsible and sustainable travel sector.
• Travel Technology – keep abreast of developments in this rapidly changing arena.
• Your Travel Community – a place to share positive news from travel professionals about how they are supporting the industry and others around the world.
Blanc concludes: “Webinars, podcasts, videos, news and blogs from key industry figures will provide travel professionals with a wealth of information, advice and support to cope with the current crisis and plan ahead for a ‘new normal’.
“I am very pleased to announce our first three webinars will feature analysis from Oxford Economics, as well as expert comment from Simon Calder and Jeremy Jauncey, as they will help guide the industry through these tough times and into a post-coronavirus world.
“We will travel again and we will meet at WTM events in the future. Until that time comes, WTM Global Hub will keep you informed, inspired and connected.”