#WTMA2020 – Travel & Tourism Media Insight Forum – a journey into navigating media partnerships

Travel & Tourism Media Insight Forum –
A journey into navigating media partnerships
Hosted on Day 1 of World Travel Market Africa, the Travel and Tourism Media Insight Forum, sponsored by National Geographic, will bring together key decision-makers from destinations -both global and regional – media players, public relations agencies and influential thinkers. Expert panel discussions will provide a crucial insight into the grey area that currently defines media and destination relationships. Quantifiable value can further be derived after the session with scheduled one-on-one meetings – where media can prepare and personalise opportunities based on pre-posed questions by destinations.

A new decade for travel and tourism will bring trends that will impact how destinations market themselves and how media will contribute to these transitions. How destinations respond to these trends is crucial and the part media will play for a far wider reaching role in the changing narrative.

Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism & Sports Portfolio for Reed Exhibitions South Africa says that the relationship between tourism and the media is both vital and complex. “WTM Africa is excited to offer a platform where such important and valuable information can be shared and discussed to better appreciate, educate and understand the way forward in this everchanging environment” she says.

Branding will be driven by contradictory influences – it may be more targeted but it will reach larger key target audiences. The world of media is also becoming more multifaceted, offering not just the traditional advertising platforms but a variety of other mediums which destinations can utilise in their marketing strategies. Two elements will define this new decade – technology and relationships.

Image: Travel & Tourism Media
Technology is the engine driving existing media and new players such as global influencers, social media networks and niche media channels are offering new ways to promote a destination. Traditional mediums are also affected by technology, with live streaming, real-time and embedded reporting and more infotainment options that are both interactive and targeted. Yet despite the drive of technology, the platform between media and destinations will be defined on the basis of relationships and not just the commercially driven opportunities.

The value of content and the constant requirement for up-to-date information will lead media to reach out to destinations more. In turn – driven by storytelling – destinations will look to reach new and existing audiences, who are more accessible, with increasing tourism products and the cost of travel decreasing. A destination, especially when faced with budgetary restraints, rebranding exercises and perhaps most importantly how to navigate and respond to a crisis, will look towards media as a “co-conspirator”. Even in their darkest hour, recovery from crisis can be accelerated or hampered depending on the relationships built with the media.

Destination management organisations and government supported tourism authorities have also had an unfortunate history of having an inconsistent relationship with the media. There can be a misunderstanding of what a media offering entails – the potential return on investment and the costs involved are understood while the biggest issue is the expectation that media should provide obligatory good news coverage, especially at times when destinations are facing challenges to their brand image.

Here is where there exists a knowledge gap between destinations and the media. This problem of misconceptions and unrealistic expectations has led to the under-utilisation of one of the most tried and tested models of destination marketing – national brand awareness and crisis recovery. From a destination perspective there is a need for better understanding of current trends and assisted decision making, especially when faced with budgetary restraints, complex and technologically driven rebranding exercises and, perhaps most importantly, how to navigate and respond to a crisis that will impact destination tourism. An opportunity lies within better, transparent partnerships and the understanding of the intrinsic value and role of the media relationship – not only during times of need but as a continuous partnership that benefits both sides while retaining credibility for both.

Visit the website for more information on the Travel and Tourism Media Insight Forum taking place at WTM Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 6-8 April 2020.

More about Reed Exhibitions and WTM events around the world:

World Travel Market
World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises nine leading travel events across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:

WTM Latin America attracts about 9,000 senior executives and generates about US$374 million of new business deals. Taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 8,000 unique visitors, including buyers and travel agents, attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. http://latinamerica.wtm.com/.
Next event: Tuesday 31 March to Thursday 2 April 2020 – Sao Paulo

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Around 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. http://africa.wtm.com/.
Next event: Monday 6 to Wednesday 8 April 2020 – Cape Town

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2019 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, with representation from 155 countries over the four days. ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. www.arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com.
Next event: Sunday 19 to Wednesday 22 April 2020 – Dubai

Arabian Travel Week is the weeklong festival of events for travel professionals and enthusiasts, launched to empower travel, champion ideas and the rapid development of the tourism sector in the Middle East. Running alongside Arabian Travel Market this April 2020, Arabian Travel Week invites the entire community to come together to shape the next 12 months of tourism through parties, award ceremonies, product launches and more. www.arabiantravelweek.com
Next event: Thursday 16 to Thursday 23 April 2020 – Dubai

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts. http://london.wtm.com/
Next event: Monday 2 to Wednesday 4 November 2020 – London #IdeasArriveHere

Travel Forward London is the leading travel technology event, co-located with WTM London. Travel Forward is renowned for showcasing the next-generation technologies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Over 19,000 travel officials and 150+ innovative solution providers attend for 3 days of cutting-edge insights, open debate and unrivalled networking opportunities. The combination of a 2-day conference, interactive exhibition and Startup showcase makes Travel Forward truly unique. http://travelforward.wtm.com/
Next event: Monday 2 to Wednesday 4 November 2020 – London #NeverStandStill

International Travel & Tourism Awards (ITTAs) celebrate and showcase the best in class of the global travel & tourism industry. The awards provide a platform to honour the success of national, regional and city tourist boards and recognise outstanding private sector companies and individuals across 15 diverse categories. An independent panel of judges, who are all prominent members of the travel community, select each prestigious International Travel & Tourism Awards winners. https://awards.wtm.com/
Next Event: Tuesday 3 November 2020 – London

London Travel Week, brought to you by WTM London, is the one-stop-shop for event hosts and visitors to be able to shape the next 12 months of travel together. The festival of events support the global travel and tourism industry through capturing invaluable news and enhancing industry connections. https://londontravelweek.wtm.com/.
Next event: Friday 30 October to Thursday 6 November 2020

BorderlessLive is the festival where content creators, brands and the travel community join each other to learn, collaborate, create, inspire and be inspired. This one-of-a-kind event is open to all who have a keen interest in social media, travel, lifestyle, hospitality, tourism and the future of digital influencer marketing. http://www.borderlesslive.com/
Next event: Friday 11 to Saturday 12 September 2020 – Tobacco Dock, London

About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face-to-face through data and digital tools at more than 500 events a year, in more than 43 countries, attracting more than seven million participants. Reed’s events are held in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, LGBTQ+ travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf and spa travel. We have over 40 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

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