Eight things you might not know about World Travel Market

  1. India Tourist Office hired an elephant for the show one year
    India Tourist Office hired an elephant for the show one year

    There were only 350 exhibitors when the show was first held, and it was at Olympia. This year that figure is nearly the amount of new exhibitors that have signed up. There are more than 5,000 now.

  2. Princess Diana opened the show in 1985, not long after giving birth to Prince Harry. As expected she draw in the largest crowd since the show had been taking place.
  3. Animals have been a fixture at previous events, including a ‘naked’ Lady Godiva on a white horse on behalf of Coventry Tourism and an elephant hired from a circus by the Indian Tourist Office.
  4. World Responsible Tourism Day was launched 20 years ago, but did you know it used to be called Environment Awareness Day?
  5. An internet café was featured in the 1996 show which had a theme around technology, and it’s still difficult to get a decent connection 18 years later…
  6. The entire programme was written in 2001 following the events or 9/11. A two-minute silence was held to mark the terrorist attacks.
  7. Performances have formed part of show in variations over the years. Riverdance provided some entertainment when the show moved to ExCeL while the musical version of The Lord of Rings opened the show in 2005.
  8. World Travel Market grew to its current size in 2010 after ExCeL was expanded by 50%, which was also the year its annual industry report was first launched.
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