A proud look into the first international physical event we attended since 2019
Rain was pouring down really hard in Rome, as the young and old gathered in the streets to celebrate the second Halloween marked by the global COVID pandemic. Our recent trip to Rimini to attend this year’s TTG finally brought us back to physical meetings, to an entire world of emotions that was unnaturally restricted to web calls, emails and office shift gatherings for too long.
We were hungry for more and decided to join – one year more – the 2021 World Travel Market in London; traditionally, the ideal place to get together and discuss the past high season to brainstorm, team up and present the best ideas about the following.
Europe would then open their doors to the world of excellence in Tourism and Travel and gather them all in the English capital to talk about rising best practices and challenges, leading the way towards the initiatives of the upcoming season.
THE WORLD TRAVEL MARKET OF 2021: THE AWARDS
This year, our Global Sales Manager & Social Media Strategist Zena Batocchi took off from Ciampino, excited to meet new and old partners abroad and to finally join the first international physical event in almost two years! As the words of the Scottish philosopher and doctor, Thomas Brown, beautifully conveyed, “London is a world by itself. We daily discover in it more new countries, and surprising singularities, than in all the universe besides.”
It was a great honour to be back in London to participate in this year’s edition. Most of all after winning Italy’s Leading Destination Management Company Award for 2021, assigned to Carrani Tours by World Travel Awards.
World Travel Awards™ represents a series of global achievements bestowed to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across the key sectors of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality, thanks to what is considered to be the most prestigious and comprehensive programme in the whole industry. So much so that despite the ongoing global time of hardship, the appetite for travel was evidently shown in the record voter percentage of 2020, the highest of any other year of WTA’s 28-year history.
The company has been receiving many important accolades over these past months, but the keyword that really puts all the work of the last 20 months into perspective is Resilience.
Recover, Rebuild, Innovate was the official slogan of the 2020 awards, which we won for making a positive impact in one of the hardest years that our industry has ever seen.
Through its chief editor, Roberta Rianna, L’Agenzia di Viaggi Magazine granted us the WTM World Travel Leaders’ Award 2020 during the last WTM digital edition and dedicated us a powerful and inspiring article in one November issue.
WTM and its media partners grant awards every year to excellence in the Travel industry, but why Carrani Tours and why 2020 of all years? Because we were able to reinvent our product portfolio to adapt to the challenging Italian market. We strived to guarantee all the COVID health and safety measures, to reshape the concept of all our best-selling tours to host smaller groups and to design new independent travel solutions that fit every budget and expectations.
Since March 2020, an ambitious but structured Digital Transformation was ignited: all our social standards were redefined to set up a long-term project that has been supporting all aspects of our activities, promoting the Italian destination worldwide through the eyes (and content) of our magical team and bringing all our beloved customers closer than ever!
Exhibitors from more than 30 countries signed up for this year’s WTM London. The physical show took place at ExCeL from 1-3 November, followed by WTM Virtual on 8-9 November. Simon Press, WTM London and Travel Forward exhibition director, added: WTM “was a pivotal time for our sector to come together to reconnect and rebuild. All our research shows there is a huge amount of pent-up demand for travel.”
The volume of partners historically present was partially reduced, due to the current geopolitical situation in the U.K, but also to the international COVID restrictions and to the general state of tourism worldwide. Nevertheless, despite this intricate web of setbacks, we finally reunited with our industry to show positive signs of recovery. We met with all our global partners and shared the encouraging stories of those who are traveling in Italy, pampered by the quality of our service and fully protected by the highest standards of hygiene and safety.
The event organisers confirmed exhibitors from more than 100 countries, representatives and regions from more than 141 countries signing up to WTM London’s Buyers’ Club. WTM also hosted the Travel Forward conference (1-3 November), focused on the technology drive for a substantial industry recovery.
The International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC) organized the ‘Invest Finance Restart’ Investment Summit (1-2 November), bringing together investors, thought leaders, destinations and entrepreneurs.
A SUSTAINABLE APPROACH
Globally, “extreme weather is becoming the new normal. The number of extreme events experienced during 2021 makes it clear that urgent action is needed more than ever. The climate emergency is an existential threat to societies in both developed and developing countries. With the broadest value chain of any sector, touching on almost every part of society, travel and tourism has a unique ability – and a responsibility – to lead positive action on climate change. At WTM London 2021, UNWTO was joined by WTTC to unite sector leaders and top thinkers to examine tourism’s sustainable future and the essential role targeted ‘green investments’ will play in achieving this.”
An extraordinary portfolio of the best international key actors of Travel and Tourism was present in London and we had the opportunity to discuss the past, to present our full product portfolio and talk about the future. The Italian source market represented a previously unknown universe, but gave us a sense of how much we really want to get back to traveling (Read our article on Revenge Travel).
All the world’s main attractions, dreamy beaches and snow-covered mountains are posted daily on social media and Italy keeps standing among the global preferred destinations.
ITALY: A BEAUTY TO TREASURE
We have always been on our clients’ minds in 2020, but we can now say with a bit of pride that we have never been this ready to finally welcome them all back. Italy is a Beauty to Treasure: this was made clear at WTM 2021, as the Italian Minister of Tourism, Mr. Garavaglia, joined by the National Italian Tourist Board (ENIT), Mr. Palmucci, announced two exclusive events to be hosted by Italy in 2022. The first is the Youth Tourism Conference, which will be held in the colorful and charming Sorrento, while the Wine Tourism Conference will happen in Alba, famous for the annual Truffle Festival. The Minister spoke of an optimistic future for national tourism and acknowledged the participation of the 17-region delegation that attended WTM in ENIT stands.
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It was so great to take part in the 2021’s edition of the World Travel Market. We cannot wait to see you all next year, finally numerous and together. The satisfaction and esteem of our clients are our greatest pride and joy.
About the author
Micol is a content creator with a passion for hospitality. She writes about the best experiences in Rome. Her daily mission is making sure that Gray Line – I Love Rome tours and experiences are perfectly uploaded onto our website to offer our guests all over the world a hassle-free experience when booking and enjoying one of our top-rated tours. Born and raised in Rome, she lives in Marino (near Rome) in the beautiful, green and tasty area of Castelli Romani. Her passion is connecting the English-speaking readers to the Gray Line – I Love Rome world!