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Top 14 travel conferences in 2024-2025

Top 14 travel conferences in 2024-2025

Top travel conferences

Travel conferences are now a crucial part of the industry. Every year, countless events worldwide offer an excellent opportunity to connect with industry leaders and innovators. As a representative of a travel company, you might question whether attending these events is beneficial, beyond just networking with peers. Moreover, with so many events featuring expensive tickets, how do you select the right ones for your needs?

The decision-making process for attending a conference involves several factors: location, cost, and the overarching theme of the event. Does the conference offer the insights needed to grow your business? Will it facilitate connections with the right travel professionals? Is it feasible to attend without interrupting your own business operations?

As regular attendees of various conferences, we at Zoftify have decided to help you narrow down the list of events that are truly worth your time and investment. But you might still be asking yourself:

Why should I visit travel conferences?

Attending conferences offers numerous benefits. Firstly, as we've already noted, travel industry events provide a platform to connect with industry professionals globally, opening doors to new exciting opportunities and potential collaborations.

Secondly, these events often include workshops and panel discussions led by industry leaders, offering insights into the latest trends, challenges, and latest innovations in the travel sector.

Attending travel trade shows and conferences allows you to explore new products and travel tech firsthand, deepen your understanding of travel industry dynamics through expert presentations, and increase your business’s visibility by engaging with a wider audience.

Another key aspect of conferences is the professional development they offer through educational sessions, which may include certification programs. Additionally, they provide an opportunity to gain inspiration and motivation from success stories and innovative ideas.

For those in the travel industry eager to broaden their knowledge, expand their network, and increase their influence, attending these conferences is invaluable. Although they can be expensive, the benefits are typically worth the investment, particularly if you approach them with an active mindset and fully leverage the opportunities they present.

Travel Industry conferences you should visit:

IPW

Next conference:

May 3-7, 2024, Los Angeles, USA

Overview:

U.S. Travel’s IPW is a premier international travel trade show designed as a cost-effective, in-person platform for conducting business and fostering industry relationships. This event attracts a diverse group including tour operators, travel agencies, buyers, journalists, and representatives from marketing and technology sectors across the USA.

According to the organizers, IPW annually welcomes over 1,000 U.S. supplier organizations and more than 1,100 travel buyers from over 60 countries. This year’s five-day event features extensive networking opportunities, pre-scheduled appointments, and targeted educational sessions.

Phocuswright Conference

Next conferences:

Europe: June 10-12, 2024, Barcelona, Spain

USA: November 19-21, 2024, Phoenix, USA

Overview:

Phocuswright is a prominent travel market research firm that also operates PhocusWire, a news outlet. The company hosts annual conferences in the USA and Europe, attended by major companies like Expedia, Google, Airbnb, and other industry giants.

This year, the theme for the European conference is "You, me & the machine," focusing on how AI advancements are reshaping the industry. Key discussion topics will include privacy and identity issues related to AI, sustainability concerns, and the impact of AI on jobs within an industry traditionally built on personal relationships. The theme for the USA conference is yet to be announced.

TravelTech Show 2024

Next conference:

June 19-20, 2024, London, UK

Overview:

Originally known as Travel Technology Europe, the TravelTech Show in London has been a key conference for over 21 years, bringing together experts in travel marketing, digital technology, and commercial strategy. Last year, the event hosted over 70 leading brands, represented 63 countries, and saw attendees responsible for a combined technology spend of £133 million. The buyer to exhibitor ratio was impressive at 10 to 1.

The conference covers a wide range of topics. Last year, discussions included the role of social commerce in the travel industry, leveraging real-time public data for competitive advantage, and strategies to engage Gen Z travelers at the event.

Business Travel Show Europe

Next conference:

June 19-20, 2024, London, UK

Overview:

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Business Travel Show Europe is renowned for facilitating connections between international suppliers and buyers in a business-oriented setting. This year's agenda includes business travel accessibility, generative AI, reducing travel-related carbon emissions, and upcoming trends.

Last year, the conference attracted approximately 700 buyer companies, including major names like Google, Royal Caribbean, and Goldman Sachs, alongside around 300 exhibitors. Discussions focused on data management for enhanced savings and control, the application of robotic process automation to expedite travel programs, and carbon removal strategies.

This year, the event is set to welcome over 750 qualified travel managers and corporate travel bookers, promising even greater networking opportunities and insightful sessions.

Global Business Travel Association Convention

Next conference:

July 22-24, 2024, Atlanta, USA

Overview:

The GBTA Convention, hosted by the USA-based business travel trade organization, is pivotal in disseminating industry-specific knowledge and resources to enhance managed travel programs and promote business growth among its members.

Last year, the event welcomed over 5,200 attendees from 58 countries, featured more than 300 exhibitors, and attracted over 1,100 travel buyers from upwards of 600 buyer companies. Discussions included the future of the workforce in the industry and sustainable travel practices.

This year, the GBTA Convention in Atlanta will focus on modern business travel management principles and sustainable practices. Noteworthy attendees include influential companies like Amazon, Sabre, and Uber, promising a fertile ground for networking and learning.

Skift Global Forum

Next conference:

September 17-19, 2024, New York, USA

Overview:

Skift, a major player in the travel news sector, sends out approximately 1.3 million daily newsletters each month and hosts prominent industry events.

Last year, the conference attracted over 3,000 attendees, including a high percentage of director-level or higher professionals, from nearly 94 countries. Discussions at the event focused on the future of airlines, the global impact of digital technologies, and lessons the travel sector can learn from tech disruptors.

This year’s event promises to be even more impactful, described as "bigger and better than ever before." Scheduled speakers include CEOs from Booking Holdings, Tripadvisor, Intrepid Travel, and Virtuoso, ensuring a lineup rich with industry insights and leadership.

World Youth and Student Travel Conference

Next conference:

September 24 – 27, 2024, Lisbon, Portugal

Overview:

The WYSTC, with over 30 years of history, is a leading networking event for the youth, student, and educational travel sector. The premier event is celebrated for its impressive 94% satisfaction rate and more than 57 million EUR in successfully closed deals.

This year's three day event will explore a range of topics relevant to contemporary travel trends. Discussions will focus on Gen Z travel preferences, latest trends in youth and student travel, and effective travel marketing strategies on TikTok, among other subjects.

Arival 360

Next conferences:

San Diego, USA: September 30 – October 3, 2024

Valencia, Spain: April 28-30, 2025

Overview:

Arival 360 focuses on in-destination businesses within the travel and tourism industry, addressing their positioning, challenges, and emerging ideas. The conference features insightful sessions, workshops, and panels led by industry experts and thought leaders. These gatherings are designed to help attendees learn how to enhance their business from seasoned professionals with relevant expertise.

Last year’s event attracted over 685 participants and about 385 companies from 62 countries. Discussions covered the use of generative AI in the tours and activities industry, the economic impacts on spending for experiences, and the role of women in travel.

Adventure Travel World Summit

Next conference:

October 7-10, 2024, Panama City, Panama

Overview:

Hosted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, this Summit connects a global network of about 30,000 adventure travel professionals, including individual guides, tour operators, and organizations dedicated to sustainable tourism. The annual event rotates locations globally and offers extensive networking and learning opportunities.

Last year's adventure show attracted 773 delegates from various countries and explored themes such as integrating AI with human-driven sales and marketing, promoting inclusive tourism, and strategies for reducing emissions. The upcoming Summit in Panama promises four days packed with networking, B2B meetings, outdoor activities, and educational sessions.

World Travel Expo Miami

Next conference:

October 21-23, 2024, Miami, USA

Overview:

The World Travel Expo, hosted by Miami International Airport and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, aims to connect global decision-makers from airlines, airports, tour operators, travel agencies, activity providers, and other relevant entities. The expo focuses on fostering new networking opportunities and collaborations.

Last year's tourism conference attracted over 3,000 travel professionals from around the globe and addressed topics like the future of cruising, air travel, and broader travel trends in the post-pandemic era.

World Travel Market

Next conference:

November 5-7, 2024, London, UK

Overview:

Since its inception in 1980, the World Travel Market, an annual conference, has become a cornerstone event for the travel industry. It is renowned for attracting a diverse range of attendees, from entry-level professionals to top executives across B2B travel and tourism sectors. The event is celebrated for its extensive assembly of organizations within the industry.

Last year, the WTM welcomed over 40,000 travel executives and tourism professionals from 184 countries. Discussions focused on the future workforce in the tourism sector and how educational advances are transforming the industry.

Fitur

Next conference:

January 22-26, 2025, Madrid, Spain

Overview:

Fitur is an established annual five-day travel conference primarily focusing on the inbound and outbound Latin American markets. It provides a platform for tourism businesses to connect with high-level travel professionals, engage in meaningful debates, and discuss critical issues facing the tourism industry.

The last conference hosted 153,000 industry professionals and 97,000 other attendees, with representation from 9,000 companies across 152 countries. Topics discussed included enhancing the customer in-destination experience through both human interaction and robotic assistance, sustainability initiatives in tourist destinations, and the effects of major sports events on Latin America.

ITB Berlin

Next conference:

March 4-6, 2025, Berlin, Germany

Overview:

ITB Berlin, a renowned travel convention based in Berlin, boasts over fifty years of history. The annual event features well-defined segments such as “Business Travel”, “Travel Technology”, “ITB Book Award”, and “LGBTQ+ Tourism”. The upcoming event will spotlight Albania as the host country and has already registered over 5,600 exhibitors with nearly 2,000 products.

The previous event attracted more than 24,000 visitors and featured over 400 speakers under the theme "Pioneer the Transition in Travel & Tourism. Together". It welcomed participants from more than 385 companies, including industry giants like Microsoft, Google, Booking.com, and Phocuswright, and covered a diverse range of topics such as generative AI, diversity in travel, and sustainability in tourism technologies.

Las Vegas Travel Agent Forum

Next conference:

March 30 – April 2, 2025, Las Vegas, USA

Overview:

Hosted by the Travel Show Marketing Group (TravelSMG), the LVTAF is a key event designed to connect travel agents from North America with the global travel B2B market. The forum emphasizes a comprehensive approach to networking, education, and business development. With TravelSMG's extensive marketing reach to over 40,000 travel agents, the event boasts a vast network.

Last year, the forum delved into topics such as destination weddings, group business management, and all-inclusive strategies, offering valuable insights and opportunities for attendees.

Conclusion

Attending travel conferences provides invaluable networking opportunities, exposes you to the latest trends, and offers invaluable insights that can greatly benefit your business or deepen your understanding of the travel sector. These events are essential for anyone looking to broaden their network of tourism professionals or keep up with the latest technological advancements.

The conferences listed above are crucial for marking on your calendar. Participating in them can enhance your networking capabilities, give you a competitive edge, and position you as an influential contributor to the industry's future.

Additionally, we invite you to meet our representatives at upcoming events such as TravelTech Show 2024, Phocuswright Europe, and Skift New York travel events. We look forward to connecting with you!

Askar works day and night to identify emerging travel trends and analyze market developments. His work helps Zoftify stay ahead of the curve by following data-driven design and development approaches.

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