Tour operators eager to get a piece of the estimated $183 billion global travel tour and activities market, will know the importance of keeping up to date with the changing industry landscape. One way to hone business strategies is to attend the best travel shows and conferences the industry has to offer.
These events are designed specifically to provide valuable insights to travel professionals. Whatever the reason for attending, whether it’s to uncover information on the latest innovations, learn new skills, build brand awareness, network with other industry professionals, or sign up new deals; there is a travel industry conference for everyone.
Below is a list of fifteen events on the horizon this year. For ease of reference, they are ordered according to the continent and date they are being hosted on.
Best Travel Shows and Conferences For Tour Operators To Attend
Africa Travel Trade Shows
Africa’s Travel Indaba – 12 to 14 May in Durban, South Africa
Tour operators looking for tourism partners in Southern Africa should attend Africa’s Travel Indaba. It provides the meeting point for making those connections.
The trade show showcases the region’s tourism products and services available for international trade, attracting international buyers including inbound tour operators, foreign travel agents, DMCs, online booking companies, and media.
Asia Travel Trade Fairs
ITB Asia – 21 to 23 October in Singapore, Malaysia
Much like its parent event ITB Berlin, ITB Asia is widely supported by the travel industry. The focus over the three day convention is to expand the industry circle, giving attendees the chance to establish quality connections, access new markets, and continue building relationships with their peers.
As it is Asia’s largest hybrid show, it is one of the best travel shows to get a stake in the immense Asian outbound market. Buyers from the MICE, leisure, and corporate travel markets can access over 1,300 global exhibitors in one location.
Australia Tourism Shows
Australian Tourism Exchange – 10 to 14 May in Melbourne, Australia
Organized by Tourism Australia, the Australian Tourism Exchange is the country’s largest annual travel and tourism B2B event.
Wholesalers and retailers from around the globe meet up with Australia’s tourism businesses in scheduled appointments and networking events. Pre and post-event familiarisations also allow them to experience some of the market’s offerings first hand.
Adventure Travel Word Summit – 6 to 9 October in Adelaide, Australia
The Adventure Travel World Summit is a place for adventure tourism professionals from around the world to meet. Gathered at the four day summit, they will have the opportunity to network and create connections with other experts in the industry.
Through one on meetings, listening to keynote speakers, and going out on a Day of Adventure, adventure travel professionals can map out the future of adventure tourism and tackle its challenges.
Europe Travel Conferences
Fitur – 22 to 26 January in Madrid, Spain
For those who missed Fitur in January, it may be worth scheduling it into next year’s calendar.
Fitur takes place annually in Madrid and is one of the tourism industry’s largest and longest-running trade shows. With a specific focus on inbound and outbound markets in Latin America, exhibitors, trade visitors, and the general public attend the five day fair to promote their brands, present new products, network with industry professionals, and discover the latest travel trends for the region.
Travel Technology Europe – 26 to 27 February in London, United Kingdom
Travel Technology Europe is powered by Phocuswright and Phocuswire: names synonymous with travel and digital innovation. Needless to say, expect to see some of the industry giants present at the conference.
During the two day event, exhibitors and attendees meet to discuss technology in travel. It is a place where experts introduce the latest products and innovations, explore new ideas, and offer solutions for the travel industry.
Arival – 1 to 3 March in Berlin, Germany
This event is specifically for creators and sellers of tours, activities, experiences, attractions, and events around the world. Companies offering in-destination experiences get in front of a program designed to help them advance their business offering.
Expect to rub shoulders with some of the industry giants at Arival. There are networking opportunities, workshops, as well as technology demonstration labs over the three days. Everything from sales and distribution, marketing, pricing, technology, social, to mobile is covered in the schedule.
ITB Berlin – 4 to 8 March in Berlin, Germany
Following straight on from Arival is ITB Berlin. 10,000 exhibitors represent more than 180 countries in a global travel show intended to bring together trade experts and buyers in the tourism industry.
By separating the focus into destinations and industry segments, participants benefit from the most relevant information related to their particular niche.
World Youth and Student Travel Conference – 22 to 25 September in Lisbon, Portugal
Anyone involved in the global youth, student, and educational travel industry should make a point of attending the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) in Lisbon. It is the place where the professionals convene to network, trade, and participate in workshops and seminars.
WSYTC provides exhibitors with the opportunity to promote their brand to the global youth travel market, while buyers get access to the best in products and services.
North America Tourism and Travel Events
Travel Adventure Show – 11 January to 29 March in locations across the US
The Travel Adventure Show takes place in the US across various locations and dates starting in Boston and ending in Dallas (see the link to get the schedule).
Tour operators, destination marketers, travel product companies, and travel industry suppliers come together to exhibit their global offering. Attending the shows are over 200,000 ready to buy travelers, qualified travel advisors, influencers, and media eager to see what’s on the market and discover their next vacation.
Phocuswright Conference – 16 to 19 November in Phoenix, US
In addition to its reputation for being forefront when it comes to technology, Phocuswright is also very much a leader in travel market research.
On the program and driving discussions at the Phocuswright Conference in Phoenix, are travel industry leaders from around the world. Giving life to data taken from the research authority, speakers share ideas, debate issues, and explore the ever-evolving reality of the travel industry.
Global Sustainable Tourism Conference – 19 to 22 November in Kelowna, Canada
Global industry stakeholders involved in the development and promotion of sustainable tourism gather annually at the Global Sustainable Tourism Conference (GSTC).
Here, discussions take place between the public sector, tour operators, development agencies, NGOs, hotels, academia, and consultants among others. Together they focus on the key challenges and opportunities pertaining to smart destination management and sustainable tourism, with a series of panels and presentations delivered by several keynote speakers from around the globe.
South America Tourism Conferences
WTM Latin America – 31 March to 2 April in Sao Paulo, Brazil
World Trade Market (WTM) offers a series of six shows across the globe, each with a focus on a specific market. At WTM Latin America, visitors can expand their industry network and learn about the latest trends and innovations from the experts, while exhibitors get exposure for their products.
In the three day B2B tourism fair, more than 600 exhibitors from 50 countries showcase their travel products to 9,000 influential visitors and qualified global buyers. Travel agents, inbound and outbound tour operators, group travel organizers, online travel agencies, DMC’s, and marketing agencies are just some of the participants attending the event, reinforcing the position of Latin America in the global industry.
Peru Travel Mart – 22 to 25 May in Lima, Peru
For tour operators who have their sights set on Peru, Peru Travel Mart is one of the best travel shows to register for. With a specific focus on tourism in the country, attendees from all over the world meet one on one with industry professionals from tour companies, the top attractions, hotels, airlines, cruises, and land transport suppliers.
During the event, there are pre-scheduled appointments to meet the suppliers offering travel products in Peru, as well as seminars for product training and promotion. Attendees also go on pre and post-conference tours, including a Lima city tour to become familiar with the gateway to Peru.
Travel Mart Latin America – 23 to 25 September in Lima, Peru
Travel Mart Latin America is a two day meeting conference for the buyers and suppliers of Central and South American travel products and services.
The buyers are tour operators and wholesalers form global markets who can book group, FIT, and special interest travel, while suppliers represent receptive operators, hotels, tourism boards, and other organizations from the regions.
This list includes only a fraction of the best travel shows scheduled for this year. However, it provides a selection based on location, target market, and business objectives.
These sorts of events provide tour operators with the opportunity to connect with other professionals in the industry and discover more about the technology and trends moving it forward. Equipped with ideas to shape business strategies, they can better set themselves up for long term success.