Exhibition space to increase by 10pc


Exhibition space at World Travel Market 2002 has increased by just over 10 per cent with more than 5,000 exhibitors and 82 new destinations or companies exhibiting for the first time.

The rise to an unparalleled 36,210 square metres of exhibition space at World Travel Market, means this is the largest ever held. A total of 180 countries will be participating worldwide.

The record size coincides with the event's move to the more spacious new riverside location of ExCeL at London Docklands.

Virtually all regions have shown growth compared with last year. For example, Africa has taken 21 per cent extra space, Europe 20 per cent and the Americas and Caribbean nine per cent. The number of sharing companies has also gone up by five per cent.

"This is a very important indication of international support for World Travel Market at its new home", said Fiona Jeffery. " We are delighted that for the first time for some years, we have been able to meet exhibitor requests for further space.

"Many companies are planning an unprecedented amount of activity during the four days by taking advantage of the 55 event, meetings and function rooms.

"In addition to planning to conduct business on their stands, exhibitors are holding additional corporate hospitality events, press conferences, briefings, presentations, training initiatives and meetings of every description.

"This will run in tandem with the extensive World Travel Market official programme of free seminars, conferences, debates and major promotions. This includes a free London Eye ticket for everyone who has registered as well as giving away two brand new cars on the Wednesday and Thursday."

Among the 16 new countries exhibiting for the first time are Azerbaijan, Algeria, Yemen, Aruba, St Maarten, Monaco, Serbia, Canouan Island and Senegal.

Jeffery explained that it was not possible at this early stage to estimate visitor numbers. "We have staged the largest and most ambitious marketing and communications campaign in the history of World Travel Market to ensure that we attract a quality audience", she said.

World Travel Market 2002 represents the culmination of two years work for organisers on the move to ExCeL. In particular, they have focused on detailed planning of on-site logistics and transportation for the event.

For example, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which links with the London Underground and serves ExCeL, will operate up to a two-minute peak service, following the successful introduction of 24 new trains, due to be fully operational in time for World Travel Market. Each train has a capacity for 400 passengers and will loop between Canning Town and Custom House for ExCeL.

Customer service staff will be on hand at Custom House and Canning Town to direct passengers. In addition, announcements will be made on DLR trains and platforms. Additional signage is also planned at all key DLR stations

World Travel Market has negotiated two reduced-rate Visitor Travelcards to save money and eradicate queuing. The tickets are valid for either three or seven days.