Many of the movers and shakers of the tourism industry have spent this week in London at the latest incarnation of the World Travel Market.
India was the partner country this year and talking up its e-visa system designed to make travel to the country easier and faster.
Vinod Zutshi, Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Tourism explained: “Anyone sitting in his room at home, via his laptop, fills in the application of one and a half pages, sends it to the portal of the bureau of immigration and within three days he gets his e-visa in the in-box.”
The World Travel Market provides a showcase for newly emerging hot spots like Balkan nation Serbia, which is heavily investing in tourism, with the country’s second-largest city Novi Sad set to be one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2021.
Marija Labovic, CEO of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, told Euronews: “This is the first time that a non-EU town has been nominated as European Capital of Culture. We see this also as a great opportunity, not only for Novi Sad and Northern Serbia but for Serbia as a whole because it brings that great image to Serbia.”
Exhibitors from 182 countries and regions took part with the event expected to generate around three billion euros of travel industry contracts.
The Euronews correspondent covering the event, Sebastian Saam, concluded: “For many exhibitors here tourism fairs are nothing special, some attend up to 20 a year. But London’s World Travel Market is different, because of the size of the deals made. And for big and small players alike, its a business essential.”