World Travel Market lays out Covid-19 safety protocols

Organisers of World Travel Market – London (WTM) and Travel Forward (TF) have unveiled details of robust safety measures for the face-to-face events at ExCeL London.

This year, the shows will be hybrid with the physical events taking place on November 1-3, followed by the virtual shows on November 8-9.

The live events will be one of the first face-to-face gatherings for the international travel and tourism sector since restrictions eased and the WTM and TF teams are drawing upon its global experience and expertise to deliver a secure environment in which to conduct business.

Simon Press, WTM London and Travel Forward exhibition director, said: “We are eager to welcome visitors back to ExCeL as it is time for industry professionals to reunite to do business in person as the sector recovers.

“The new guidance for our industry, All Secure Guidelines 2.0, has been prepared by AEO, AEV and ESSA in line with guidance published by DCMS and government.

“Our team in London, and colleagues around the world have been working hard to develop our Stay Safe Guidelines in line with this.

“We will implement increased hygiene measures and medical safeguarding, while creating an environment for business to thrive again.

“The health and safety of visitors, exhibitors and staff will be our utmost priority and we will continue to issue updates to reassure delegates as we approach the show.”

Attendees will need to demonstrate their Covid-19 status by either a proof of vaccination, proof of negative test or proof of natural immunity.

Visitors must also not travel to ExCel if they feel unwell.

Admission will only be for those who register in advance and visitors are encouraged to use the WTM and TF planning tools before they arrive.

Delegates can show their badge for contactless scanning, either on a smartphone or printout – and there will be no badge holders or lanyards.

WTM London will be a ‘mask-friendly’ event as delegates are strongly recommended to wear face masks, especially in enclosed or crowded spaces.

Those using public transport will be required to wear a face mask on the Transport for London network.

Hand sanitiser will be available throughout the venue and elbow bumps are suggested as an alternative to handshakes or hugs.

The Excel Cleaning team have been trained to deliver new cleaning procedures before, during and after the event, including regular cleaning of all touch points.

Catering facilities will open in line with the latest government guidance and cashless payments are encouraged.

Exhibitors are reviewing stand designs to avoid enclosed meeting areas and create more open, ventilated space.

Press concluded: “All attendees will verify their Covid-19 status, by showing they have been double-jabbed, or have a negative test, or proof of natural immunity, so delegates can conduct business with confidence.

“Exhibiting at WTM London may look a little different this year, but it will continue to be the place where ideas are generated, and new connections are made.

“We urge visitors to prepare in advance to ensure everyone knows about the new practices and follows the science-based guidelines to safeguard ourselves and others.”