Top 10 tourism and travel exhibitions, trade fairs and shows in the world5 min read

The global travel industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. In 2018 $1,700 billion was spent in reservations. Without doubt this growth is fostered through the coming together of industry professionals that attend its many exhibitions and trade fairs each year.

At each international gathering, it’s an occasion for all the stakeholders to do business together, exchange ideas and design the future of the sector. To help you better navigate the many international travel trade fairs on offer, here in no particular order are our 10 MUST attend events this year in the tourism industry.

ITB Berlin

Date: 6-10 March 2019

Location: Berlin

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ITB Berlin is the largest tourism event in the world with over 110,000 visitors and 10,000 exhibitors inside 160,000 m2. This trade fair in Germany is the standout event for all tourism professionals whatever their job title. You can find every tourist destination imaginable but also many niche segments that make up the tourism universe: Eco tourism, luxury, technology, tour guides, MICE, medical, LGBT, youth,…with dedicated sections for each and even for recruitment. In summary, an event of great quality (over 90% satisfaction rate) that offers possibilities for growth in the industry.

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IFTM Top Resa

Date : 1-4 October 2019

Location: Paris

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2018 is the occasion to celebrate the 40th edition of this important trade fair for the tourism industry in France. It’s in excellent shape (+5% growth in 2017) with excellent results each year. It targets the entire tourism industry. Over 32,000 professionals and 1,700 companies attend. The show’s ‘villages’ divide its themes into 21 different zones of exhibition space, a very efficient setup for visitors. The number one event in France with numerous potential business opportunities.

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IBTM World

Date: 19-21 November 2019

Location: Barcelona

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IBTM Barcelona is the unmissable event for the MICE segment (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) of the tourism sector specialised in BtoB. The 15,000 participants that attend form a very qualitative audience. 80% are top management, decision makers, looking to invest. Barcelona is of course a fantastic location which adds to this unique opportunity to do business.

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WTM London

Date: 4-6 november 2019

Location: London

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WTM is a key international event for the entire tourism industry boasting participation from 38 different sub sectors. With more than 51,000 attendees and £2.8 billion in business generated, you can expect a massive gathering with enormous business potential at this UK top travel show. Speed networking sessions are ideal to meet the right people. For visitors, the conference programme at World Travel Market London is second to none and is made up of the biggest influencers in this space.

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ILTM Cannes

Date: 2-5 December 2019

Location: Cannes

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ILTM Cannes is unique in the landscape of BtoB tourism trade fairs as its focus is entirely luxury and the guest list is quite exclusive. Indeed, the participants are selected by invitation only and solely based on their ability to gather together qualified decision makers. This method of selecting the audience makes for an extremely qualitative event with unparalleled networking potential. Each year, ILTM Cannes brings together 1,500 buyers from 75 countries.

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Africa Travel Week

Date: 10-12 April 2019

Location: Cape Town

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If Africa is the market for you, look no further. Africa Travel Week is the prima tourism event for the continent of Africa. It’s actually 3 events in one: WTM Africa, IBTM Africa and ILTM Africa. These 3 franchises, all based around African travel are owned by Reed Exhibitons and break down as follows: ILTM for luxury, IBTM is BtoB and WTM is a BtoC event.

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IMEX America

Date: 10-12 September 2019

Location: Las Vegas

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IMEX America is the number one trade fair for the US travel market with an emphasis on BtoB events. Once again, it’s renowned for the quality of its audience with over 4,000 qualified buyers  and 3,000 exhibitors, including tourist offices, suppliers, convention centres, international hotel groups as well as sections dedicated entirely to BtoB exhibitions and trade fairs.

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The New York Times Travel Show

Date: 25-27 January 2019

Location: New York

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The New York Times Travel Show is certainly the largest tourism event in North America with over 30,000 buyers and travel agents for just 560 exhibitors. It’s a very international affair with 170 countries represented and focused on the entire tourism industry. The conference schedule has an immense reputation with over 280 speakers and experts debating the latest trends in the sector.

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ITB Asia

Date: 16-18 October 2019

Location: Singapore

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ITB Asia is a one of a kind tourism event. It boasts 11,000 participants in the largest hybrid gathering of its kind (BtoB and BtoC) on the Asian continent. An unmissable trade show if you want to grow in the east as 70% of buyers in attendance are Asian. ITB Asia is renowned for is efficiency in terms of business opportunities with over 22,000 meetings registered as taking place during the last edition.

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Arabian Travel Market

Date: 28 April – 1 May 2019

Location: Dubai

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The Arabian Travel Market is a highly reputable trade fair which focuses on the Middle East (inbound and outbound). The 28,000 buyers are there to discover over 2,800 products and services. In total, 39,000 participants attend, most of which are industry professionals but also public institutions (governments and ministers) and specialised buyers from the international press. An important gathering that groups together all the actors of the travel industry in the Middle East.

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Check the comprehensive list of all the travel events in the world

If you regularly participate in business events, we launched Tradefest, a free dedicated global events review platform. By signing up, users benefit from industry specific personalised recommendations and can consult user generated content in the form of user reviews and scores to get impartial feedback on events in their community.