Around the World in 4 Days at London's World Travel Market 2012 (Photos)

Once again I can say that "I survived WTM London." World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry is held every year in November at London's Excel conference center. WTM is a vibrant must-attend four-day business-to-business event, presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to travel professionals from over 160 countries. By attending WTM, participants gain immediate competitive advantage for their business and stay abreast with the latest developments in the travel industry. With over 5,000 exhibitors and  total attendance figures rising above 45,000, WTM is the place to be every year in November. Elaborate displays line the halls of Excel. Some countries bring their locals dressed in full costume. Others may provide a food or drink from their region of the world. Mammoth displays showing off a nations terrain such as the Himalayas in Nepal or the rainforest of Costa Rica or Malaysia. Tourist boards, tour operators, hotels, technology providers and more came to WTM London to conduct business with the travel sector.

Here is the 2012 World Travel Market in pictures.

Testing out the award-winning, flat-bed seats of Oman Air

The Greek Economy may be down, but Greece came to show the world that when it comes to tourism - "Greece means business."

The Kenyans brought along a very proud Masai warrior.

Looking for a new adventure tourist destination? - How about Iraq?

Madagascar - Conducting business.

At the Belgium stand - What else would one expect but complete bar serving delicious Belgian beers on tap.

The country with the largest representation at the World Travel Market is India.

Costa Rica brought the rain forest to London.

From Russia with love.

City Sightseeing on a double-decker bus indoors at the WTM.

Two Indonesian beauties with one Greek American beast.

Only at the WTM can you find a country not recognized as its own sovereign nation promoting tourism - North Cyprus.

Brazil would like you to know that the World Cup is coming to Brazil.

I'm not quite sure what country this guy is from, but he was deep in conversation. Looks like he means business.

The Italians brought  high-speed rail to London.

Ecuadorians in costume.

Yes, indeed - Zambia is an amazing travel destination.

If you wanted to learn more about Bolivia - WTM London was the place to be.

Ireland open for business - The Emerald Isle was well represented at WTM 2012. Many from the travel industry took a "Jump into Ireland."

Where else but at the World Travel Market can you find a real Cuban hand rolling Cuban cigar. The Cubans sold cigars for ten pounds each.

Bula! - Fiji, like many nations relies heavily on tourism. Always nice to meet the locals.

Emirates brought real flight staff.

Uganda - "The Pearl of Africa" next to Ethiopia - "The Cradle of Humankind."

Bulgaria brought a vibrant display to the WTM.

Thailand is always filled with hotels, tour operators and the Tourist board of Thailand - always jam-packed ready to conduct business.

Jordan brought along one of its main attractions - Petra.

Just in case you missed World Travel Market 2012. The wonderful folks at WTM London would like to remind you that it's never too early to plan for World Travel Market 2013.

See you in London - November 4-7 2013 for more business to business meetings, more tourism knowledge, and if you're lucky, just maybe, a couple more Belgian beers, a cup of Turkish coffee, Pisco Sour courtesy of our Peruvian friends, a few Greek olives, perhaps some Argentinian wine, some Dutch cheese, Dates from the Middle East and more.

About the Author: Nick Kontis - Travel Expert and Founder of the World Travel List

Nick Kontis started out as a world traveler at an early age traveling back and forth between California and Greece every summer. But it was a backpacking trip around the world at age 24 that proved to be a life changing experience. After traveling by car, train, plane, bike and, boat around the world, it would be this trip of a lifetime that would lead to a life as a travel entrepreneur and world traveler. Nick has been on both radio and television. Featured on Arthur Frommer’s television show, and referred by Lonely Planet writers. Frequently mentioned as the “father of around the world airfares.” Arthur Frommer once said, “If Jules Verne were alive today he would use Nick to go around the world in 80 days.” Nick and his various travel companies have sent over 10,000 people taking their dream trip through airfare discounts of as much as 50% off the airlines published fares. Now Nick promotes travel through his World Travel List and ‘Trip Rambler’ by World Travel List. Having traveled to over 80 countries Nick hopes to inspire others to travel the world. Follow Nick's "passion for travel" on  World Travel List.

Read more of Nick's Travel Tales on "Trip Rambler" - http://trip.worldtravellist.com

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Comment by Nicholas Kontis on November 16, 2012 at 10:53am

Hi Ed,

Great to hear from you. I guess I will see you in New York in January. I hope that the Javitz is good to go by then?

Yes, I love London and the WTM at least gives me an excuse to be in London every November. It's quite a fascinating show, the WTM. Besides the B to B, which is a given. The displays are amazing. Just to see the pure passion each nation has to promote travel is quite a spectacle. And, where else can I set up a meetting at 430pm in the Belgium section and drink some of the finest beers on the planet. Ed, do keep in touch. Say hello to Dave and Jose. You know that I love you guys. All the best. Yesterday, I woke up in Bristol, England, drove to Heathrow, sat on a runway three hours and United's computers were down. Well, here I am back in San Francisco. Mexico will be calling me in December.

Comment by Ed Wetschler on November 15, 2012 at 9:10am

Nick, I've never been to WTM, so I appreciate this what's-it-all-about blog post. I do attend the New York Times Travel Show, and no doubt you attend the LA Times show, but what makes WTM interesting is that it's not a B2B and B2C mishmosh; it's a purebred, focused B2B. 

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