10 good reasons to attend: WTM

This year's unmissable event has a green theme. Leanne Bell reports.

1. WTM World Responsible Tourism Day

WTM World Responsible Tourism Day will be launched on 14 November by polar explorer Pen Hadow, with panel discussions on carbon offsetting, water shortages and poverty reduction, enhanced by an awards ceremony and networking opportunities.

2. WTM and UN World Tourism Organization Ministers' Summit on Climate Change

UNWTO secretary-general Francesco Frangialli and WTO chair Fiona Jeffery are among the speakers at this invitation-only summit on 13 November. It includes a panel and audience debate on tourism and climate change and will cover poverty alleviation and sustainability.

3. WTM China Contact Forum

The trends, policies and major players in China's tourism industry will be in the spotlight during this forum, entitled 'China: the future of travel 2007'. The one-day conference will also focus on the opportunities for travel created by the Beijing Olympics, and the Chinese inbound and outbound markets.

4. Networking opportunities

On the first evening, The Lord of the Rings musical is being held to raise funds for Just a Drop, which provides clean water to children throughout the world. There is also a dedicated networking session during WTM World Responsible Tourism Day.

5. WTM gala dinner and British Travel Awards

Celebrate the UK's best travel companies at the WTM gala dinner held in conjunction with the British Travel Awards, in Battersea, London, on 15 November - one of the biggest nights in the UK travel industry's calendar.

6. Hundreds of exhibiting destinations

More than 200 representative countries and regions will be exhibiting, providing planners with ample opportunity to do business with the meetings sector. An estimated £23bn-worth of business is conducted during the event.

7. Airline debate

Airline consultant and commentator John Strickland and Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgeway go head-to-head in an industry discussion on 13 November. There will also be additional discussions, with representatives from an airline, an airport authority and a manufacturer.

8. Hotel issues discussion

On the agenda for 13 November for discussion by senior figures from top international chains will be subjects such as new developments, emerging destinations, luxury hotels, service, return on investment and recruitment.

9. Find out about British travel trends

The first day of the show includes an insight into the future of British travel. Tourism Intelligence International will present findings in a session entitled 'How the British will travel 2010', which aims to provide suppliers with the tools required to understand and exploit the UK travel market.

10. Focus on CSR

CSR is up the agenda of this year's WTM. Highlights include the 12 November sessions 'Luxury travel with a conscience', while 'Green is gold' on 13 November explores how travel retailers can help clients become greener. 'Scream if you're green', held on 14 November, will offer delegates practical tips.

WHAT'S NEW
- WTM World Responsible Tourism Day
- WTM and UNWTO Ministers' Summit on Climate Change
- WTM China Contact Forum - China: the future of travel 2007
- Gibraltar is returning to WTM for the first time in four years
- Bosnia and Herzegovina will make its first appearance at the show

FACTFILE

Where: Excel London, Docklands, London

When: 12-14 November 10am-6pm, 15 November 10am-5pm

Getting there: The Jubilee Line and DLR offer access to Excel London via Canning Town and Custom House. The venue has 4,000 parking spaces and is a five-minute drive from City Airport

Registration: www.wtmlondon.com/cit.

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