Why attend a travel conference?

Following a few-year hiatus on account of the pandemic, the world’s biggest and best travel trade fairs are back in business. These travel exhibitions are must-visits for anyone keen for extra exposure, industry connections or partnerships, a taste of fun travel experiences and insider information on the latest trends in tourism and travel for business.

From a fair with a focus on responsible tourism to an event that provides unparalleled opportunities to learn about tech and the future of travel, here are the top seven business and leisure travel events to attend in 2024.

1. FITUR, Madrid

When: 24-28 January 2024

The annual travel extravaganza that is FITUR takes place at the huge IFEMA Madrid venue. Drawing over 100,000 visitors, it’s a global meeting place for tourism professionals, but it’s also the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound markets in Latin America.

Full of fruitful business opportunities, it offers attendees up-to-date, expert insight into the industry alongside cultural activities. 2024 brings the 44th edition, with a special focus on various travel sectors and demographics like FiturTechy, Fitur LGBTQ+ and Fitur Woman. You can get to IFEMA from Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez airport via the metro.

2. ITB Berlin, Berlin

When: 5-7 March 2024

ITB is the biggest travel trade fair in the world, bringing 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 countries to Messe Berlin each March (bar a hiatus during the pandemic).

Spread over a few days, this event sees travel professionals come together to pitch ideas, brand-build and network with industry insiders. You can expect seminars, panel discussions predicting the future of travel and an ITB Business Travel Forum for business travelers. Not to mention an array of treats and entertainment to give a taste of many diverse cultures; from edible delicacies like Dutch stroopwafel to Scotsmen clad in tartan kilts.

ITB is vast, so you could wander the stands for days but don’t worry – there are buses that take attendees around the conference campus and three metro stations for people getting there from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) or Berlin Central Train Station.

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3. CTC Corporate Travel Summit Asia, Singapore

When: 25 April 2024

Located in the heart of balmy Singapore at Swissôtel The Stamford, CTC is a summit whose mission is to help industry talent by providing valuable information on business travel, big data and a chance to network.

The convention features a range of events including corporate seminars and educational workshops alongside social get-togethers, with CTC Membership available for travel managers.

Whether you want to showcase your brand or mingle with thought-leaders and customers, CTC provides an excellent platform for the corporate travel community. You can get to Swissôtel The Stamford from Singapore Changi Airport by bus, shuttle bus, taxi or via Singapore’s efficient MRT rail transit system.

4. Travel Tech Show, London

When: 19-20 June 2024

The UK’s Travel Tech Show is the premier event for those keen to get to grips with the latest digital technology developments in the travel sphere. Over the course of two days, attendees are privy to unparalleled opportunities to learn about innovation in the industry, whether that’s developments in AI or smart tourist destinations.

There’ll be plenty of product demonstrations, Q&As and super informative panel discussions. Not to mention networking events to share knowledge between the hundreds of travel professionals gathering at this vast venue in East London.

Public transport access for the event is abundant, with three onsite DLR (Docklands Light Railway) stations, easy access to London Underground, onsite parking and London City Airport only five minutes away.

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5. Business Travel Show Europe, London

When: 19-20 June 2024

The Business Travel Show Europe is held alongside its sister event, the Travel Tech Show, at Excel London. It’s the largest exhibition and conference for the European business travel community, offering a unique chance for travel professionals to connect.

In addition to two days of meeting key industry players and customers, it also promises a packed program of enlightening masterclasses and discussions with distinguished speakers.

Highlights include the ‘Innovation Faceoff’ in which a panel of expert judges pick the best travel business pitch from a selection of participants. Head home via DLR, London Underground or London City Airport, which is just five minutes away.

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6. GBTA Atlanta, Atlanta

When: 22-27 July 2024

Each year the international tourism industry looks forward to GBTA, with 2024 serving as the 55th annual edition.

This three-day convention will help you discover the latest industry developments, best practices and analysis of travel trends to empower you to achieve your goals. Immerse yourself in the carefully curated program, connect in-person with peers and potential partners, and grow your skills with ‘Education Sessions’ dedicated to professional development.

GBTA is held at the Georgia World Congress Center, for which public transport is readily available, including rideshare options to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

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7. World Travel Market, London

When: 5-7 November 2024

World Travel Market (or WTM) is a leading travel trade show held at Excel London in November, with an especially forward-thinking agenda; think presentations, talks and interactive events with an emphasis on diversity, inclusivity, technology and sustainability.

As well as cutting-edge educational content programs in the name of responsible tourism, attendees can expect star keynote speakers like journalist and broadcaster, Louis Theroux, sharing his top tips for travel firms. While you’re not showcasing your brand or lapping up exhibits from companies from all around the world, you can connect with peers and some of the travel industry’s biggest names.

The Excel venue is served by DLR, London Underground and London City Airport.

After a challenging few years, the travel industry is coming back bigger and better than ever, with demand on the rise and even breaking pre-pandemic records. These leisure and business travel events offer an opportunity to network, to learn about new technology and trends, and to take your brand or business travel experience to the next level – an opportunity not to be missed.

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