It is often said that we live in a global village. With more and more technological advancement in digital communication, it has never been easier to conduct business globally. However, the importance of human touch and good interpersonal communication cannot be erased by the digital age. It is still as relevant as before for travel industry professionals to conduct business face to face and there is no better meeting place than tourism trade fairs.
The tourism industry has a multitude of trade fairs and similar events running throughout the year. These trade fairs provide an opportunity for those within the industry to network with their peers and interact with prospective clients and business partners. Direct sales can be made, and long-lasting partnerships established within the space of a few days. Fairs also provide an opportunity to explore current and future trends in the tourism sector which then allows companies to tailor their products and services accordingly. Some fairs attract millions of visitors annually, offering a wide spectrum of benefits and reach for industry professionals.
Selected tourism trade fairs
The largest tourism trade fair is the “Internationale Tourismus-Börse” ITB which takes place every year in March in the German capital Berlin. Countries, cities and regions, tour operators, online hotel booking portals and many other suppliers from more than 180 countries present products and services at this fair. Managers, experts, buyers and young professionals from different sectors are on hand to network and advise industry partners and public visitors.
“Feria Internationale de Turismo” best known as FITUR is the global meeting point for professionals and trade visitors focusing on Latin America, both inbound and outbound travel. FITUR arranges business appointments between exhibiting companies and independent professionals from the world of travel. It also chooses different areas for of focus every year, for instance, Health, Sustainable Tourism, etc
Travelcon is the place to go to learn about the business of tourism and communication from industry experts. Attending this tourism convention offers the opportunity to expand your network of contacts with tourism industry leaders, influencers and celebrated travel writers through master classes, writing and photography workshops or short tutorial sessions. This tourism fair aims to create an environment in which attendees can learn from experts within and outside the tourism sector.
World Travel Market which takes place annually in London is one of the most extensive and exhaustive tourism fairs in the world. With more than 51,000 stands, hundreds of events and conferences, this tourism fair covers almost every aspect of tourism and travel. It offers a wide range of sectors for professionals and the public including; cruise offers, wellness, information for young travelers, aviation, adventure, family tourism, technology, and much more.
Choosing what to attend
The costs of taking part in various tourism trade fairs can be quite high. It is therefore important to follow some steps to achieve the best possible results.
- Take an in-depth look at your company. What is it that you offer? Who is your target audience? How best can you reach them? Are you looking to only meet possible industry partners or possible customers as well? Then it is important to know whether the event is open to the public or exclusive to industry service providers.
- It is also important to perform a cost-benefit analysis before deciding on which trade fair to attend. As with any business venture, it is vital to keep cost low, while attaining maximum results. A few ideas of achieving this include;
- Partnering with like-minded companies. Many companies come together with industry partners beneath their national tourism boards so as to have a strong presence during international tourism events. National umbrella bodies thus make sense for those companies focused on single destination travel. Other umbrella bodies include regional, continental and theme-oriented organizations.
- You can also choose which fairs to attend based on special or niche services you provide or are interested in, for instance, adventure, ecotourism, mountaineering, birdwatching, family, LGBTQIA travel, winter travel or ski destinations, travel for seniors, travel for those with limitations, business travel, travel blogger events, etc.
- Another way of maximizing possible returns from attending tourism trade fairs as a professional is utilizing the World Travel Nation marketplace to let your network know exactly when and where you will be. You can also make connections on the platform and arrange appointments to meet in person at different events.
The BUZZ.travel Marketplace allows you to not only post your current offers but also to let your partners and members of your network know which trade fairs you will be attending. You can also prearrange appointments with other professionals and prospective clients. Simply go to the marketplace section, scroll to tourism events, create your event, indicate date and time, highlight the exact location, and ask your partners to meet you there. This allows you to maximize returns on your trade fair visit by ensuring direct contact with pre-vetted industry service providers on the BUZZ.travel platform.